Sidewalk Space Vs. Parking Spots: Liberty Avenue Facing Major Changes

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The 900 block of Liberty Avenue downtown and the blocks nearby could soon have a different look.

“Everybody likes outdoor seating when the weather is nice,” said the Umbrella Cafe owner Steve Bland.

Wider sidewalks, outdoor cafes make the area feel different, but changes like that could mean no street parking in the area.

“Foot traffic is slow, there’s no place to park down here. People call up and say ‘I want to come down but where do I park?'” Army Navy Store owner David Abrams said.

Envision Downtown and The Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership are holding a meeting Thursday to find out what businesses in this area want and need to move into the future.

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“We need parking down here. Penn Avenue is ruined now with the bike lane they have over there. There’s no room to park over there. Now there’s no place to park on Liberty Avenue and its definitely hurting our business,” Abrams said.

“As far as the parking we have plenty of garages, to me it’s about having access to the sidewalk and access to outdoor seating,” Bland said.

Parking, wider sidewalks, and much more are on the table for Thursday night, but a consensus?  That’s probably not going to happen.

“This is not progress. We are going to have a ghost city here with wide sidewalks,” Abrams said.

“We want more foot traffic along Liberty Avenue where people come out and enjoy the atmosphere here,” Bland said.

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