UPDATE: After the story ran in KDKA News, the Port Authority has decided not to eliminate the bus stop by the Northside Common Ministries.
A sign posted at the bus stop says:
“Your voice matters. We listened — and learned.
After a reevaluation of this stop was triggered by feedback submitted by customers like you, Brighton Road opp Armandale Street will remain in service after November 24, 2019.
If you have any questions, or would like to request this information in an accessible format, please call Customer Service at 412-442-2000 or 412-231-7007 for TTY.”
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A cracked, uneven, and overgrown sidewalk stands between the current and future Port Authority bus stop along Brighton Road.
“It’s completely impossible for a wheelchair to make this successfully.” Jay Poliziani said most of the people who will make the trip are disabled and elderly. “You can see the parts of the sidewalk are completely gone, other parts are just gravel.”
We’re talking about a distance of 386 feet, from the current stop directly in front of Northside Common Ministries and Food Pantry to the updated stop across from the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police Zone 1 station.
Poliziani told KDKA he doesn’t think the Port Authority realizes just how important the stop in front of his ministry truly is for many.
“We provide services to over 850 food-insecure families and a large number of those are seniors so there’s many 70 or 80-year-old grandmothers hauling 60 pounds of groceries out of our food pantry,” said Poliziani.
Becky Coger is one of those people and also volunteers at the shelter.
“A bus stop is a convenience. It shouldn’t be a hazard to people who are using the services of an agency like Northside Common Ministries,” said Coger.
The ministry doesn’t just feed the hungry, its also the only men’s shelter in the area to take in the disabled, according to Poliziani.
“There’s three men in wheelchairs currently, two men on oxygen that they have to haul with them and two men on walkers.”
WATCH: Meghan Schiller reports on Northside Ministries disagreement on moving a bus stop from in front of their building
Port Authority told KDKA it believes feeding riders to the new stop by the police station will be a safer option, considering the stop boasts a shelter and seats. The Port Authority also said the street parking present at the current stop prevents the bus from closely hugging the curb.
The parking concern is something Poliziani told them would be an easy fix.
“We told them immediately just put a yellow line and no parking signs and we are totally happy with that- we’ll even purchase the paint,” he said.
Poliziani said he totally understands Port Authority’s desire to eliminate redundant or unsafe stops, but said the Port Authority never even walked into his building to find out what services it offers before making this decision.
The Port Authority will eliminate the stop, effective November 24.
Poliziani said that is the pantry’s busiest time, with more than 850 families stopping by to gather food for Thanksgiving dinner.