PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - When the residents of the Hillcrest Senior high rise on Brownsville Road crossed the street to their inbound Stewart Avenue bus stop recently, they couldn't believe their eyes: a brand new blue and white sign saying the stop was being eliminated Nov. 17.
Shirley Green was outraged: "They're going to make us get off at Maytide and walk up that icy hill cause it'2s cold as hell up here in the wintertime."
Hillcrest, like most senior facilities, has a lot of residents who use canes, walkers and wheelchairs.
Eloise Coles uses a walker and the prospect of having to go to the stop at Maytide is intimidating.
She pointed at the Stewart Avenue stop saying, "If I can get there, I'm doing good. Two blocks down, forget about it. I can't make it."
Peggy Poland gets to the bus on a motorized wheelchair.
"That's a real distance to get down there, where if I'm right here I can get right on," she says.
She worries about her chair making it up the hill from Maytide in winter weather.
The Port Authority is in the midst of a system-wide evaluation of all its bus stops on all its routes.
Underused stops, and those too close to another stop are being eliminated.
Port Authority Spokesman Adam Brandoff says 22 percent of the stops on the 51 Carrick run are being eliminated.
But in the public reaction and comment phase of the process, the voices of the Hillcresters came through loud and clear.
Brandoff says, "We heard from the community and that triggered a reevaluation that we will be keeping that stop."
And despite neighbors' concerns, the outbound stop at Stewart Avenue was never slated for elimination. So both Stewart Avenue stops nearest Hillcrest will remain.
One stop on the south side of the high rise at Owendale is being eliminated but Brandoff says very few riders were using that stop.
Also involved in this current wave of bus stop reviews was the 16 Brighton route where 26 percent of the stops are being dropped.
The review process on both routes has been completed and the Port Authority announced Wednesday the following stops that were slated for elimination have been reviewed at the public's request and will remain.
The stops staying are:
- 16-Brighton (outbound) - North Avenue at Reddour Street (Stop # 1586)
- 16-Brighton (inbound) - Brighton Road at Highwood Street (Stop # 1540)
- 51-Carrick (outbound) - Brownsville Road opposite E Meyers Ave (Stop # 10019)
- 51-Carrick (inbound) - Brownsville Road at E Meyers Ave (Stop # 9990)
- 51-Carrick (inbound) - Brownsville Road opposite Stewart Ave (Stop # 9537)
Combined between the 16 Brighton and 51 Carrick, a total of 67 bus stops are going to be eliminated on Nov. 24. A complete list of the stops being eliminated is available online.
With those decisions made, the Port Authority is moving on to its next two routes up for review: the 48 Arlington and 88 Penn bus routes.
The bus stops proposed for elimination on those routes will be announced in early December and opened up for public comment.
for more features.