County Unveils Plans To Renovate Former Fairgrounds

SOUTH PARK (KDKA) — Allegheny County has unveiled plans to improve the former county fairgrounds and surrounding areas of South Park.

The park has fallen into states of disrepair and now officials have a plan to bring it back to life.

From unsightly buildings to deteriorating bleachers to a lack of maintenance, there’s a laundry list of complaints from patrons of South Park. Now, Allegheny County has a plan to improve it.

“We are starting to chip away at this very large mountain of things that have piled up over the last 30 years,” said Jeaneen Zappa, the Allegheny County sustainability manager.

Allegheny County has been working since last fall to get public input on needed changes for South Park, compiling an action plan. Park-goers say it’s about time.

“They used to have the county fair down here and that was very fun. So, it’s nice to see they’re [going to] fix that up,” said Nancy Maceil, a local resident.

“With minimum upkeep, these buildings would have lasted 200 years, but they weren’t maintained,” added Ken Sharo, a park-goer.

The target area will be the fair grounds and surrounding area. Some buildings will be torn down, bleachers remove and catfish run will also see some maintenance to become a better fishing spot. Another big area to tackle is pedestrian and cyclist safety.

“Very high visibility kinds of paving; not particularly expensive measures, but physically separating pedestrians, who walk at one speed from cyclists who travel at another from automobiles that move at another,” said Zappa.

The one big road block that still remains though is funding. Allegheny County needs about $15 million to complete the three phases of renovations.

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One Comment

  1. Not ONARATO says:

    How about getting rid of the county police horses and set up a Marcellus rig?

  2. jus sayin' says:

    30 years’ of decline and all of a sudden, in the worst economy in a century, $15 million has been allotted for fix-up? Am I the only one who thinks the amount is staggering?

  3. swin says:

    I have two suggestions:
    1. How about some well defined and well marked hiking trails on the hills overlooking and on both sides of Corrigan Drive. No mountain bikes permitted.
    This would have the possibility of high usage but also low maintenance – well used trails almost maintain themselves.

    2. Long long overdue – a separate trail for bicycles. Few people may be old enough to remember how the Corrigan trail got started. It started as a BICYCLE ONLY trail utilizing the outside lanes of Corrigan Drive, with the middle two lanes for automobiles. When this was deemed unacceptable, the bicycle trail was moved to a paved trail along side Corrigan, using the right-of-way of the old Skybus for part of the route. Then the walkers took over, although the trail was never meant for them.

    I have walked the trail and used to cycle the trail (I gave up). It was my experience that the cyclists were much more considerate of the walkers than vice versa. The walkers never seemed to comprehend, or care, that they were on a trail that carried moving vehicles. They acted like they were in their back yard, when they should have acted like they were crossing the street. This is true on any trail involving both walkers and cyclists – the Arrowhead trail in Peterrs Twp. is another example. You need two trails, one dedicated to walking and jogging and one dedicated to bicycling, and you need enforcement, meaning fines given out to anyone involved in improper use of the trail.

    Incidentally, about 15 years ago the County paved the berm along the west side of Corrigan Drive, which I believe was intended to be for the cyclists so that the walkers could have the old east side trail. What happened – well the walkers crossed the road and took over that trail also. My suggestion – put guard rails along both sides of the road, designate one side for walkers and the other for cyclists, and fine anybody who doesn’t cooperate. Either that, or give permission to the cyclists on their trail to run over the pedestrians.

    1. buceye says:

      You cyclists just can’t catch a BRAKE.1st Driver on the road near Highland park are inconsiderate now the walkers.

  4. Kor A Gan says:

    Bring back the pony rides

  5. Doc Runner says:

    Maybe the walkers are sometimes to blame and are unaware that they aren’t the only people out there. For example, they walk three or four abreast and block everyone else. But my long, long experience is that the cyclists are the bigger hazard. Either they are inexperienced and don’t know common courtesy–is it so hard to let a walker or runner know you are passing well before you are right next to them?–or they fancy themselves Lance Armstrongs and ride much faster than is appropriate on these trails–and they too don’t warn pedestrians the right way or at all. Cyclists are going faster and have more weight and so can cause more harm, so lots of responsibility for safety belongs to them, though of course the pedestrians should be more aware that they are sharing a trail.

    1. Doc Runner says:

      This was actually a reply to swin; my mistake.

  6. dean says:

    Bring back the Sky Bus.

Comments are closed.

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