After two and a half years in the making, the Draft Oakland Plan is available for public comment ending May 1, 2022 (the previous end date of April 6 was extended by the City on March 21).

Below is a summary of the Oakland Plan Vision statement; a brief history of the process to date; details on the goals, policies, projects, and programs thare are available for review and public comment right now in the Mobility Chapter; and information/dates for what comes next before the Oakland Plan goes to the Planning Commission for formal adoption.

Status: During an extended 55-day public comment period (increased from the initial 30-day period), the City of Pittsburgh held two virtual open house meetings on Saturday, March 19 and Wednesday, March 23. The Planning Commission held briefings on March 22, April 5, and was initially scheduled for hearing and action on May 17, 2022, though upon reviewing over 900 public comments, a continuance was issued so that additional testimony could be heard in regard to over 40 comments for inclusion in the Plan revisions. The next Planning Commission meeting is now scheduled for June 14, 2022, where action to adopt the plan, and recommendations for associated zoning proposals on to City Council and the Mayor will be reviewed.

(Last updated May 18, 2022. All information sourced from EngagePGH.)

 


The Oakland Plan Vision:

Oakland is a great place to live, work, learn, and play, and a globally important center of innovation, healthcare, and education. Oakland’s success continues to build on its heritage as a place where generations of immigrants, African-Americans, and students have found opportunity and a home. Oakland is a place of innovation that gives new technologies to the world. The neighborhood that created a cure for polio is now contributing to the global response to climate change and addressing systemic inequities. Finally, Oakland is a beautiful place – where historic structures and zero carbon buildings sit side-by-side in harmony and a network of inviting parks and open spaces create green connections where children of all ages can play and relax. Public art is found around every turn and the surrounding hillsides are blanketed with habitat and crisscrossed by trails. There is no better place to be. (Source: EngagePGH)

The Plan is organized into four "chapters":

  • Community: Meeting the needs of residents, employees, students, and stakeholders
  • Development: Maximizing the benefits of new development for the community
  • Mobility: Making it easier, safer, and healthier for people to get around
  • Infrastructure: Nourishing neighborhoods through new energy, stormwater, and open space systems

 


History/Status:

Currently in Stage 4: Formalize

From fall 2020 through spring 2021, Action Teams met monthly to review input from the summer 2020 online open house which attracted 2,500 visitors who made 800 comments, reviewed data, and heard from local and national experts. Tours, workshops, and other events were held during this time to further inform the woerk of staff and the Action Teams. They generated the set of strategies which were released for public review in September 2021 on the EngagePGH website.

Input was then sought from the broader Oakland community at eight in-person events through the fall with nearly 1,500 Oakland stakeholders in attendance. An online open house over the same period was visited by another 2,000 stakeholders who left nearly 500 comments. In October 2021, Action Teams reviewed this input and made their final recommendations to the Steering Committee which is now working with staff to integrate public comments and strategies into the Draft Oakland Plan which was been released for public comment on March 7, 2022.

 


Mobility Chapter

As a member of the Mobility Action Team and The Oakland Plan Steering Committee, our organization collaborated with organizations, businesses, institutions, and residents of Oakland for the development and review of strategies included in The Oakland Plan.

The Mobility Chapter is about making getting around easier, safer, and more enjoyable. Its content strengthens transportation systems by making targeted investments throughout the neighborhood and establishing new programs. In the Draft Oakland Plan, you will specifically find proposals to:

  • Improve and enrich the transit experience
  • Improve pedestrian and bicycle safety and circulation
  • Make Oakland fully accessible
  • Address parking demand
  • Support economic development through curbside and freight management

 

Mobility Chapter: Goals (from the Draft Oakland Plan EngagePGH website, currently open for public comment here)

Goals are long-term outcomes that organizations and the City of Pittsburgh will work towards by taking action on policies, projects, and programs. Goals are aspirational in nature and express the neighborhood's collective desires and values for various topics in the plan. Compared to the policies in the section below, goals can encompass many different ideas and desires whereas policies focus on one specific topic. The goals are organized as specified in the City's Neighborhood Plan Guide.

M1. Transit service and stations

  • M1.A Maximize the value of shuttles and transit. Public and institutional transportation services are part of an efficient system that serves both economic development and resident needs.
  • M1.B Oakland as transit hub. Oakland is a hub of the regional transit system, on par with downtown, to ensure equitable access to jobs and activities that are growing here.
  • M1.C Transit is a mode of choice. Stops and station areas are attractive hubs of activity and buses provide the safest, most comfortable, and enjoyable way to get where you're going.

M2. Pedestrian access, safety, ciculation

  • M2.A Pedestrian priority. Streets are designed as a system to provide safe, accessible, and comfortable pedestrian environments.
  • M2.B Circulation. Accessways through and between buildings and open spaces follow pedestrian desire lines.

M3. Accessibility

  • M3.A Accessibility without bounds. True accessibility results from intentional design on the part of public and private investments in the right-of-way and in buildings.
  • M3.B Accessible network. The rights-of-way are improved to create an accessible network of ways to get to and around Oakland.

M4. Bicycle infrastructure

  • M4.A Bike networks. A network of bike facilities gets people to and around Oakland safely, and conveniently, without gaps or the need to divert out of the way. The bike and transit networks are integrated.
  • M4.B Bicycle-oriented development. Activities and facilities in the ground floors of buildings and public right-of-way support and are supported by cyclists.

M5. Traffic safety

  • M5.A Zero fatalities. No one dies or is seriously injured on city streets.
  • M5.B Unbiased enforcement. Safe, equitable, and just outcome in traffic stop and enforcement interactions

M6. Parking

  • M6.A Comprehensive parking strategy. On- and off-street parking are continuously managed as a system to meet a variety of changing needs with the minimum space dedicated to parked vehicles.
  • M6.B Transition parking. Development that incorporates significant amounts of parking is carefully designed so that parking structures can be converted to other uses and circulation between buildings can be efficiently reprogrammed for non-auto uses.

M7. Freight operations

  • M7.A Freight systems. Delivery of goods to Oakland and movement of trucks through the area needs to be carefully managed to support employment activities and improve safety to other street users.
  • M7.B Safe delivery. Loading and unloading of trucks happens in designated spaces and times to ensure efficient and safe operations

 

Mobility Chapter: Policies

Policies set a preferred direction and describe what must be done to achieve the goals in the section above. Where goals can have many elements that relate to a central theme, policies should have a clear focus. They are specific enough that future projects can be assessed to determine if they would advance the values in the plan or run counter to them. Along with the vision statement and goals, policies are formally adopted by the City's Planning Commission when The Oakland Plan process commences.

Each of the seven Goals outlined above are accompanied by specific Policies – which can be reviewed on the EngagePGH website via the Mobility Chapter page by expanding the Policies box found midway down the page. Policies  range from transit amenities for riders, access to local transit in a 5-minute walk, ensuring multimodal connectivity, reducing single-occupancy vehicle trips to, from, and around Oakland, pedestrian and bicycle priority over vehicular mobility, leading pedestrian intervals, improved sidewalk experience, working with the accessibility community to identify high-priority corridors and intersections to bring in compliance with ADA standards, implementing the Bike(+) Plan for Oakland and ensuring a safe, connected, and accessible network for all bike(+) users, traffic calming measures, reducing parking demand throughout the neighborhood, ensuring efficient use of the curb for all users, and a lot more.

Review all of the Policies from the Draft Oakland Plan and provide your comments through April 6, 2022.

 

Mobility Chapter: Projects & Programs

The projects and programs are a shared "To Do" list where the community and government identify the projects they want to undertake over the next 10 years to make the vision a reality. Many of the ideas you see on the EngagePGH website's Mobility Chapter page are the result of ideas from people in Oakland, supported by research and case studies, and now ready for your review and inclusion in the final plan.

We highly recommend that you "dig into the details" for each of the 13 projects and 28 programs outlined on the EngagePGH website for your review right now. You'll find a brief title and description plus detailed information about how the project or program could be realized – including when it should start, by whom, and potential funding sources, as well as an additional page full of details, drawings, illustrations, and specific ways to provide comments on each strategy in most instances.

The projects (and the timeframe to start each) are listed below. Detailed review of all 13 projects, along with all 28 programs, and the opportunity to provide public comment, can be reviewed on the EngagePGH website's Mobilty Chapter page here.

 

In addition to the 13 projects detailed above (with links to more information on the EngagePGH) website, more than 28 Programs have been identified, as well, incluiding: Addressing enforcement biases; creating partnerships to ensure all-weather walkability; filling critical gaps in Oakland's bicycle network; building transportation planning capacity; creating transit pass discount purchasing programs for employers, developers, and other organizations; implementing transit stop enhancements; developing a communitiy-based parking enforcement program; adding new east-west transit, bicycle, and pedestrians connections; improving frequency and speed of transit service to areas to the east; establishing frequenty and direct transit service between Oakland and the airport and Amtrak trainline; connecting to the Mon Valley communities, and to the North and South Hills; establishing a formal construction coordination program; creating a curbside management program; systematically eliminating obstructions to improve accessibility for pedestrians and wheelchair users; enforcing sidewalk standards; improving city steps and adding wayfinding, runnels, maintenance, and call boxes; updating residential permit parking zones and and managing on-street parking; establishings partnerships for micromobility solutions; installing pedestrian safety improvements; implementing performance-based parking in commercial areas; prioritizing sidewalk connections and accessibility improvements; installing traffic calming; developing a comprehensive transportation demand management program; developing a campaign highlighting walking as part of an active, healthy lifestyle; and more.

 


What Comes Next?

During this active 55-day public comment period (ending May 1, 2022), the City of Pittsburgh will hold two virtual open house meetings on Saturday, March 19 (10am-2pm) and Wednesday, March 23 (10am-2pm). The Planning Commission will hold briefings on March 22 and April 5, then – after the extended public comment period ends – the City's Planning Commission will hold a hearing and action on May 17, 2022, where it will receive testimony on the plan, take action to adopt the plan, and recommend the associated zoning proposals on to City Council and the Mayor to become law – including the associated Zoning Proposal which has four key components:

  • Fifth and Forbes Avenue Corridor (with new provisions that better support employment activities including a predictable pathway for creating taller buildings, new open space and sidewalk standards, and limits on new residential development to create more space for jobs)
  • Boulevard of the Allies (supporting more dense mixed-use development around the Boulevard and incentivizing the creation of affordable housing)
  • Central Oakland between Louisa Street and Dawson Street (allowing new multi-use hosuing structures that can better meet student and affordable housing needs while providing new open spaces), and
  • Inclusionary Housing (all of Oakland will be included in the Inclusionary Zoning Overlay District currnetly found in Lawrenceville, Bloomfield, and Polish Hill. Development projects providing 20+ residential units for sale or rent must price 10% of those units affordably. There is a separate page for the Inclusionary Zoning proposal on the EngagePGH website.)

For Zoning only, a second set of hearings and meetings will follow for City Council (dates to be scheduled) before then going to the Mayor for the Zoning Pro