Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Sustainable Pgh event

Early registration ends after 11/28!

Thursday, December 13, 2012
8:00 am - 3:30 pm
David L. Lawrence Convention Center
Downtown Pittsburgh
Networking Lunch Included

Early Registration: $35
$30 for Members of Sustainable Pittsburgh, Allegheny Conference on Community Development, Students, and Elected and Appointed Officials
Register now!

Our region is faced with a multi-billion dollar price tag for clean water, transportation, and redevelopment.  Time has run out for band-aid approaches.  But what are the sustainable solutions we deserve and how can we turn problems into lasting opportunity?

Regional sustainability, and thus prosperity, hinge on a new way of thinking and partnering for increased collaboration between businesses and local government.  This conference comes at a critical juncture for our region.  Clean water, transportation, and innovative finance for redevelopment are top priorities as defined by emerging and established leaders in SWPA.  Attend to learn what is at stake and how you can become involved.  Learn about breakthrough ways businesses and local government can work together to solve problems regionally and unleash our full potential for sustainable development.

Featuring joint keynote discussion:

Mario Leone, Manager, Borough of Monaca
Dennis Yablonsky, CEO, Allegheny Conference on Community Development

Panel keynotes:

Transportation Funding - Beyond quick fixes
Barry Schoch, Secretary of Transportation, PA Department of Transportation

High Stakes Case for Green Infrastructure - What would you rather pay for?
Jim Good, Interim Executive Director, Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (Veolia Water North America)

Innovative Finance for Urban Redevelopment - Smart growth or otherwise?
Michael Pehur, Development Finance Consulting Director, Duane Morris Government Strategies

Each keynote will be followed by moderated panel discussion and Q&A.

Additional speakers include:

Steve Bland, Port Authority of Allegheny County
Lynn Colosi, Clear View Strategies
Chad Davis, Michael Baker Jr., Inc.
Dave Dudo, Beemack Trucking
Craig Dunham, Dunham reGroup LLC
Steve Feller, Mt. Lebanon
Bill Gatti, TREK Development Group
Steve Gifford, Greensburg Community Development Corporation
Susan Hockenberry, Local Government Academy
Joe Massaro III, Massaro Corporation
Mark Minnerly, The Mosites Company
Ruthann Omer, The Gateway Engineers, Inc.
Mark Peluso, Town Center Associates
Mary Ellen Ramage, Borough of Etna
Allison Robinson, UPMC
John Schombert, 3 Rivers Wet Weather
Alex Sciulli, Highmark
Michael Silvestri, Peters Township
Mayor Maggie Stock, City of Butler
Ken Zapinski, Allegheny Conference on Community Development

More details, including conference agenda, available

Presented by:
Allegheny Conference on Community Development
Local Government Academy
Sustainable Pittsburgh

Sponsored by:
Michael Baker Jr., Inc.
Gateway Engineers
HDR, Inc.

Thanks to our Media Sponsor:
90.5 WESA

Event sponsorship opportunities available: - 412.258.6646

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Friday, August 31, 2012

Get on the bus, Gus.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Plan Pgh

MOVEPGH COMMUNITY WORKSHOP #1 We're getting technical with transportation--come and get your hands dirty. Sent 03/21/2012 @ 2:12 pm MOVEPGH Community Workshop #1 is focused on transportation issues related to the Northside, Allegheny Riverfront, and West End Valley. The workshop is open to the public – even if you do not live in these areas. Join the MOVEPGH team for an open and interactive discussion about walkability, highways, transit, bicycling, and more. Workshop #1 Schedule: Workshop #1 Kick-off Event: Describing the week's activities & preliminary findings WHEN: Monday, March 26 6:00-7:30PM WHERE: Allegheny Middle School - Allegheny Center 810 Arch St, Pittsburgh, PA 15212 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Workshop #1 Open House: See the MOVEPGH team at work & provide input WHEN: Three open sessions--drop in any time Tuesday, March 27 10:00AM - 5:00PM Wednesday, March 28 10:00AM - 5:00PM Thursday, March 29 10:00AM - 3:00PM WHERE: Sen. John Heinz History Center - Strip District 1212 Smallman St, Pittsburgh, PA 15222 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Workshop #1 Wrap-Up Event: A MOVEPGH team progress report for the week WHEN: Thursday, March 29 6:00-7:30PM WHERE: Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School - Allegheny Center 50 Montgomery Pl, Pittsburgh, PA 15212 About the MOVEPGH Design Workshops: MOVEPGH Workshop #1 is the first of four (4) week-long MOVEPGH public designworkshops to be held around the City over the next six months. Each workshop will highlight different portions of the City of Pittsburgh--Click here to view the map of focus geographies of all four workshops. These “design studio” workshops will be multi-disciplinary, working design sessions where stakeholders, designers, technical experts, and the public will work together to develop, design and plan solutions. TheMOVEPGH team will work all week long in a different location for each of the four Workshops to develop and test various design and planning ideas related to: transportation solutions for areas of change and redevelopment; expanding multi-modal choice; developing street designs and complete streets; creating interlinked bike, pedestrian, transit, and street networks; protecting areas of no change; expanding connectivity; selectively expanding vehicle capacity Workshop Format: Each of the four workshops will follow a similar schedule: Day 1 – Evening Kick-off meeting Day 2, 3, & 4 – Daytime Open House work sessions Day 4 – Evening Wrap-up event Evening Kick-off Meeting: sets the stage for the coming week, and provides a progress report on work to-date. Daytime Open Houses: provide great opportunities for community groups, residents, the business community and others to interact with the planning team by expressing their ideas, plans, and concerns. Drop in any time! Evening Wrap-up Meetings: will summarize all of the input received during the previous four days and offer another opportunity for an interactive discussion with other stakeholders and the MOVEPGH Team. MOVEPGH Project info can be found at More info about Workshops #2, #3, and #4 will be coming soon! Hope to see you there! Remember to stay current with all of PLANPGH at and!

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Crucial Decision Time for the SPC in Transportation

Policy Brief

An electronic publication of

The Allegheny Institute for Public Policy

December 9, 2010                                                                                                   Volume 10, Number 67

Crucial Decision Time for the SPC
On December 13th the board of the Southwest Pennsylvania Commission (SPC)—which consists of elected and appointed officials responsible for steering planning and transportation priorities for the ten county region—must decide whether it will once again approve robbing Peter to pay Paul. 

The SPC board went on record this past July in a resolution saying they would no longer take money for highways and bridges and shift or “flex” it to the Port Authority (PAT) to cover its recurring budget shortfalls.  In two pieces earlier this summer (Policy Brief Volume 10, Numbers 39 and 41) we pointed out the SPC had taken previous flex actions from 2003 through 2007 amounting to a total of $150 million taken from roads to close budget gaps for Allegheny County’s mass transit agency.

In 2005 the SPC noted in a resolution that “in the future our limited highway dollars should first be used to repair our existing roads and bridges, not close holes in the transit budget”.  Previous flex actions were taken under the belief that temporary fixes would give officials in Harrisburg time to come up with a fix for mass transit, likely including new fees or taxes.  After the Governor raised the possibility of flexing money again this past summer, the SPC took strong and swift action to convey their opinion that enough was enough. 

So when the Governor came to Pittsburgh last week announcing that he had found $45 million to close the current operating deficit for PAT and avert service cuts and layoffs and all that was needed was SPC approval, there must have been consternation and disbelief on the part of some board members. To confuse the issue, the Governor has said the money will not come from highway funds, but economic development funding tied to discontinued projects. “We're not asking for dollars to be taken from highways to be paid into mass transit” was what the Governor said, even though newspaper reports have identified the dollars as very closely linked to road projects. 

Presumably the idea was that the SPC board could save face by not having to once again dip into the limited pool of money for highways and bridges that are in bad shape but could instead tap this new unencumbered pool of economic development dollars to help PAT.  In the July meeting minutes there are quotes from two commissioners that note roads in the region are “…already rated poor by the American Society of Civil Engineers” and that further ignoring roads would entail “scary effects”.

What the SPC board should do is take the Governor up on his offer and accept the money but insist on transferring it to the backlog of road projects where deterioration has occurred because of the money already “flexed” to PAT in an effort to keep the agency from facing its day of reckoning. If there is money at the Governor’s disposal requiring approval of the SPC, the board should make its case for correcting the infrastructure deficiencies that may have been exacerbated by giving money to PAT.  The SPC should resist pleas to approve money for PAT that could be directed to highway work.

Perhaps a new Governor will offer the same money for needed road work if it has not been shifted to the PAT money pit. 

The SPC has acquiesced to requests for helping out mass transit while the state has done nothing to address PAT’s monopoly or the right of its employees to strike and extract generous wage and benefit packages.  Nor has it actively discouraged the addiction to building new projects or its severely out of line operating costs. Note that while PAT was slipping into its financial hole, it worked diligently to acquire money to build the North Shore Connector, which also required the SPC to approve shifting many millions more from its own projects. If ever there was an organization with the right to say it will no longer be an enabler of irresponsible behavior it is the SPC.

Besides, denying this latest effort to find yet another temporary fix will put the issue of the Port Authority front and center of the incoming Governor and General Assembly where they can look for real solutions for mass transit in Allegheny County.

Eric Montarti, Senior Policy Analyst                              Jake Haulk, Ph.D., President 

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