Green / Clean / Safe
The WCDC has secured funding for many projects to make Wilkinsburg greener, safer, and cleaner.
Green Space & Streetscape Improvements
In fall 2012, we worked with TreeVitalize, the Nine Mile Run Watershed Association (NMRWA), and the Wilkinsburg Shade Tree Committee to plant 76 trees along Penn Avenue as part of the Wilkinsburg TreeVitalize Project: Rooted in Wilkinsburg – 500 Tree Initiative. The tree plantings were in accordance with Nine Mile Run’s Street Tree Plan for the Wilkinsburg Business District.
NMRWA continues to care for the trees planted during the initiative. To build on this streetscape improvement, we contracted with a landscaper during spring 2014 to plant and maintain perennial flowers and grasses in the tree pits along Penn Avenue.
Future green space improvements include securing funds to plant and maintain the tree pits on Wood Street and supporting plans for the park at South and Wood, a project that was initiated during fall 2012 when Penn State Landscape Architecture students spent a semester creating new plans for vacant lots in Wilkinsburg.
Litter Remediation & Prevention
Visit Wilkinsburg’s business district today, and you are likely to encounter far less litter than you might have a few years ago.
We have been installing litter receptacles throughout Wilkinsburg to combat litter and present a clean, attractive business district. Over 40 litter receptacles have been installed so far. The receptacles, which were fabricated by Wilkinsburg-based company, Technique AP, were purchased with a 50 percent match from the Wilkinsburg Municipal Authority.
Designed by the WCDC Design Committee, the 45-gallon receptacles are constructed of steel with a hunter green powder coated finish, and have a hinged door on the side with a rigid plastic liner. In the coming years, the Design Committee plans to design and install additional street furnishings (e.g. benches, information kiosks, and bus stations) to match the litter receptacles and further enhance our business district.
In addition to litter receptacles and street furnishings, we regularly work with community members, business owners, and student groups to conduct litter clean-ups within the business district.
Traffic Signals & Lampposts
In 2009 & 2010, we facilitated the completion of an upgrade to 12 traffic signals along Penn Avenue. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation completed the upgrade in order to provide a coordinated traffic signal system along the Penn Avenue corridor. Along with signal upgrades, pedestrian safety was enhanced with the construction of handicap ramps and the inclusion of crossing signals with countdown timers, which indicate the amount of time that a pedestrian has left to cross the intersection.
In addition, with a grant from the Duquesne Light Company “Power of Light” program, Wilkinsburg’s existing decorative lampposts were refurbished in spring 2015. This grant program places a special focus on illuminating regional and neighborhood landmarks, recreational lighting, as well as lighting initiatives promoting economic vitality, safety, and security.
Most recently, together with the Borough of Wilkinsburg, we completed phase I of a traffic circulation study, which looked at ways to improve the flow of traffic in and around the business district. We are currently securing funds to complete and implement phase II of the study.
Borough of Wilkinsburg Police Chief, Ophelia Coleman, has partnered with us to launch an aggressive new initiative on safety improvements within Wilkinsburg’s business district.
The initiative is designed to work closely and consistently with Wilkinsburg businesses on a range of proven tactics for crime prevention, safety awareness, and improved enforcement, all undertaken as a part of strategic efforts aimed at improving the quality of the borough’s business district.
The expanded safety initiative is designed to engage, inform, and build partnerships with businesses, and to create a climate of cooperation between the borough police and the businesses in the district.
“Together we can build a safer business district, discourage criminal activity, and create a strong partnership to the betterment of our community.” -Chief Ophelia “Cookie” Coleman
Safety Contacts – In any emergency, dial 911
Wilkinsburg Police Department – 412-244-2913
Wilkinsburg Fire Department – 412-244-2931
Wilkinsburg Code Enforcement – 412-244-2923
Wilkinsburg Department of Public Works – 412-244-2934
Wilkinsburg Borough Manager – 412-244-2906