By Duke Staff
If there’s one place you’ll be sure to find Duquesne students any night of the week, it’s the South Side.
The area is known for its fun, always exciting bar scene. From the Works to the 10th Street Bridge, there’s no shortage of bars and restaurants, as well as small specialty shops and larger retailers.
All of the traffic brought to the South Side, by both bars and retailers, poses a huge problem for the many residents of the Flats. Parking is always scarce and the influx of people drives crime and makes the neighborhood unsafe at times.
Anytime of the day, East Carson Street is a nightmare for drivers and pedestrians alike. A recent report issued by PennDOT named the stretch of East and West Carson Street from the West End Bridge to Southside Works as the sixth most dangerous roadway in the state, based on vehicle and pedestrian accidents from 2007 to 2011.
PennDOT and Pittsburgh Public Works Department are reportedly working together to identify possible improvements.
“Whatever changes are implemented to improve the South Side
will be a compromise between business owners, visitors and residents.”
With a minimal amount of space on the South Side, widening roads or building structures on new sites is improbable. In an effort to fix part of the problem, the city recently instituted a permit-parking program for the area south of East Carson Street between 10th and 17th Streets.
This program runs from noon to midnight and is hurting a number of businesses in the area by prohibiting customers from parking for an extended period of time. According to an article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Monday, some business owners are looking to relocate because of the new program.
There are other possible alternatives that would accommodate the needs of everyone. The permit parking idea would be great, but would probably work better running from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. like it does in other areas of the city. Putting in multi-space meters on back streets, but allowing vehicles with permit stickers to park without paying is another alternative.
The city could prohibit parking along East Carson Street between 10th and 17th Streets to alleviate some of the congestion and use a more consistent system for which streets are one-way to not confuse drivers.
Safety is also another concern. Some sidewalks are in disrepair and pose hazards to pedestrians, intoxicated or not, and many areas off of East Carson are not very well lit. Adding additional streetlights and crosswalks at every intersection would be improvements pedestrians would welcome wholeheartedly.
Whatever changes are implemented to improve the South Side will be a compromise between business owners, visitors and residents.