Mon/Fayette Special Edition: Mayor Tom Murphy’s letter to Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission

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Hotline, Fall 2001

A letter from Pittsburgh Mayor Tom Murphy to the Commissioner of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission is reprinted below. The Mayor’s office confirms that this is still his position.

Commissioner James Dodaro
Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission
March 27, 1996

Dear Commissioner Dodaro:

I would like to thank you and your staff for taking the time to brief myself, my staff, and Councilmen Jim Ferlo and Bob O’Connor on the status of the Mon/Fayette Transportation Project. The City fully recognizes the potential significance of this project not only in the revitalization of the Mon Valley but also in the continued vitality and growth of the City and region as a whole. While I appreciate the hard work and thorough analysis your staff has done on this project, I would like to reiterate what I consider four crucial issues that need to be addressed before the City can fully endorse the project.

  • Riverfront Development (Glenwood Bridge to City Line): The riverfronts and Nine Mile Run represent two of this City’s most valuable assets. In no way can this project compromise these assets. The highway must be shown to be compatible with, if not advantageous to, both residential development in Nine Mile Run and the development of park and recreational uses along the riverfront from the Glenwood Bridge to the City line.
  • Financial Feasibility: Through our ongoing internal planning and development efforts and work with SPRPC a number of City and regional transportation priorities have been identified. However, as you know, funds for advancing these priorities are becoming increasingly scarce. Consequently, funds for pursuing the Mon/Fayette and Southern Beltway projects must come from sources independent of the regular federal and state funds allocated to this region.
  • Highway Design and Amenities: Given the physical scale and presence of this project, it must be shown to be a visual asset to it environment by using sensitive design treatments to minimize its presence and impacts and enhance its natural and physical environments.
  • Community Support: In order for the City to be able to fully support this project, the concerns and needs of our neighborhoods must be addressed in a meaningful and thorough manner. The City’s ultimate position will be based in part on this project’s community implications and public deposition.

I believe these conditions are consistent with the City’s current position as understood by your staff. We look forward to working with your staff and insuring not only the project’s feasibility but also its supportability and contribution to the well-being of the City, Mon Valley and entire metropolitan region. Again thank you for your time and efforts.

Sincerely,
Tom Murphy, Mayor
City of Pittsburgh