residents weigh in on transit development

As the plans for development around the light rail transit station progress, residents had a chance to weigh in at a March meeting on what they’d like to see happen with the Shady Drive East parcel. About 30 people attended, some just to hear preliminary plans and others to speak on concerns from traffic to access during construction.

Early concepts for the project suggest a mixed-use residential development with 40 or so apartments and light retail and office space, such as a law firm or accountant office. It would likely not be the large-scale, high-density project originally discussed that involved building a parking garage and platform over the T tracks. The Mt. Lebanon Economic Development Council found the lower density project was more financially feasible and would require less public money than the high-density concept.

The development would be on land that currently includes the “kiss and ride” lot adjacent to the T station, but all 28 spaces there would be relocated to the new project so no parking would be lost.

Among the residents’ suggestions:

  • Make sure there is adequate access to the T station during
  • Calculate the trip generation for proposed office or retail uses
  • Clean up Parse Way and Alfred Street, and integrate them into the landscape plan
  • Improve pedestrian access to Washington Road and the
    T station
  • Maintain the scale of the neighborhood
  • Maintain the residential character of the neighborhood
  • Make sure buses do not park on Shady Drive
  • Ensure vehicle and pedestrian safety
  • Provide public amenities and spaces
  • Provide green space
  • Include parking for guests of residents on Shady Drive

Commercial Districts Manager Eric Milliron told the residents their ideas would be considered for the first of two RFPs, which was to be sent out in late March or early April, with replies due from potential developers by the end of May. A second RFP, to include more detail, will then go out with responses due and a developer chosen by the end of the summer.