UPDATE: We have received word from PNC that they intend to restore seating for riders, closer to the bus stop itself. This is good news, and we will be in touch with them about how to create a space that is most amenable to the folks who use the stop each day.
December 5, 2016
Dear PNC Chairman William Demchak,
Pittsburghers for Public Transit is writing to express our grave concern that the public seating on the northeast corner of Forbes Ave and Wood St, right by the bus stop and the new PNC tower, has been removed. When the building was first completed, we were pleased to see the seating available for bus riders, pedestrians, employees, and patrons at the nearby restaurants. Removing public seating from such a valuable space downtown, without a transparent approval process from the city, is unacceptable. Today, riders are resorting to sitting on the mounds of dirt while waiting for the bus. We are asking for you to take swift action to restore the seating.
70% of people who are on the sidewalks in downtown on an average day are waiting for a bus. The presence of the seating outside the PNC tower was an important acknowledgement that transit riders’ needs were being prioritized, and it served as a model for other locations. The seating should not have been taken away, especially if we consider the impact on senior riders and those with mobility challenges.
We understand there is a commitment from PNC to improve public space in downtown Pittsburgh, especially for pedestrians and transit riders through the Envision Downtown project. We expect you to consult with the City, and transit riders who use this bus stop each day, to immediately restore the seating at this location.
on behalf of Pittsburghers for Public Transit
Cc: Mayor Bill Peduto, City Planning Director Ray Gastil