Sprucing up the street

By the time you read this, Mt.  Lebanon should be well on the way to developing a plan to improve the Washington Road Central Business District. This past summer, Commercial Districts Manager Eric Milliron worked with consultants from Evolve to gather public input and develop a plan for upgrading uptown’s infrastructure. Milliron said a preliminary proposal should be completed and ready for presentation to the commission by late September or early this month. At issue are four areas of concentration: streetscape improvements, connecting to the light rail transit station, revitalizing Parse Way (the street parallel to Washington Road that provides pedestrian access to the T station) and providing connections to other community assets, such as Clearview Common and the Mt. Lebanon Public Library.

After two public meetings, Evolve looked at the challenges facing Uptown, including: inefficient and old street lighting and poles, narrow walkways, problematic raised planter beds that reduce visibility and the need for a better way to water the plants.

Evolve created a potential list of options for streetscape improvements, including: minimize suspension wires to light poles, cultivate canopy trees, use lighting with a low visual impact, increase the sidewalk width, integrate street furniture, provide for stormwater storage and plantings and increase Washington Road crosswalk visibility. Grates for plantings could be lower to the ground to allow for less irrigation and more space along the sidewalk.

The final plan will call for several stages of work in the next few years. 2018’s portion is expected to be discussed in this fall’s municipal budget meetings.

For more details about the project: www.lebomag.com/parsing-the-dream/