At the final meeting for the Mon Oakland Connector, residents made it clear: investment needs to go to transit, sidewalks, and affordable housing – not the profits of investors.
On October 20th, During the city’s first attempt at a “Final Public Meeting” on the Mon Oakland Connector, the room was full to its 100-person capacity before the meeting even started. The City doubled the capacity and started the meeting late, but capacity was reached again. The city then organized a second meeting on October 29th. This added even more frustration to a project that residents have been organizing against for over 5 years.
See coverage from these meetings here:
- “Nearly 200 voice concerns at hearing for Mon-Oakland Mobility Project” from the Post Gazette
- “Residents Speak Out Against Proposed Free Shuttle Between Hazelwood Green And Oakland” from WESA
- “Shuttle Road Slammed at Packed Meeting” from the Junction Coalition blog
- “10/21/20: Little love for planned Hazelwood-to-Oakland shuttle” from Public Source
You can watch recordings of the meeting and give your feedback on the Mon Oakland Connector plan until Thursday, November 5th:
Instead of the Mon Oakland Connector shuttle roadway – which primarily benefits CMU & the foundations that own the Hazelwood Green development site – residents want to see investment in the Our Money. Our Solutions. alternative community-driven transportation plan.
The City is proposing to spend well over $20-million of public money to build The Mon Oakland Connector shuttle road that is estimated to move 180 people/day. This would make the MOC the City’s single most expensive “transportation” project. More costly even than the City’s share of the Oakland-Downtown BRT which is proposed to move 37,000-50,000 passenger trips a day!
When you look even closer at the project budgets and travel times you see that the primary beneficiaries of this public investment are Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh, and ALMONO Partners LLC (a foundation investor partnership of the Heinz Endowments, the Benedum Foundation, and the RK Mellon Foundation) – not the residents of Hazelwood who need true transportation improvements. You also see that the same travel times between these locations are possible by utilizing Port Authority public transit and/or combining the university shuttle systems.
Instead of sinking millions of public dollars into the Mon Oakland Connector shuttle road, more than 1000 residents and 23 community groups in Hazelwood have endorsed the “Our Money. Our Solutions” transportation plan which calls on the city to direct public funds to:
- Extension of the 75 across the Hot Metal Bridge into Hazelwood
- Irvine/Second Avenue sidewalk audit and replacement/install
- Building sidewalks and pedestrian connections along Second Ave.
- Improve street lighting on Irvine.
- Expand electric buses
- Build safe bicycle connections
- and more – read the full Our Money. Our Solutions. community transportation plan and sign in support here.
For more ways that you can learn about the Our Money. Our Solutions. transportation plan, the Mon Oakland Connector, and the resident-led fight for transit equity to connect Hazelwood & Oakland:
- Read the People’s Audit of the Mon Oakland Connector published by Tech4Society & Pittsburghers for Public Transit
- Get up to speed with this WESA article,‘A Moving Target’: Getting To The Heart Of Pittsburgh’s Mon-Oakland Connector Plan and this City Paper article, Report says traditional buses would serve Hazelwood corridor better than autonomous shuttles
- Watch Dean Bog video on The Run in his Neighborhoods series
- Scan through Junction Coalition’s website to read right-to-know requests and an in-depth history of the project and its proponents.