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Title: Pittsburgh Main Thoroughfares and the Down Town District - Improvements Necessary to Meet the City's Present and Future Needs
Author: Olmsted, Frederick Law
Language: English
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                      MAIN THOROUGHFARES AND THE
                          DOWN TOWN DISTRICT

  |                                                                  |
  |    [Illustration: East Ohio Street--a two-line thoroughfare]     |
  |                                                                  |
  |                                                                  |
  |      [Illustration: Fifth Avenue--a four-line thoroughfare]      |
  |                                                                  |
  |                                                                  |
  | Of the 530 miles of main thoroughfares within a radius of seven  |
  | miles of City Hall, less than one and one-half per cent have     |
  | room for passage between cars and vehicles, slow-moving or       |
  | standing at curb. See page 31.                                   |
  |                                                                  |
  |                                                                  |
  |     [Illustration: Liberty Avenue--a six-line thoroughfare]      |
  |                                                                  |

                     _PITTSBURGH CIVIC COMMISSION_


                      MAIN THOROUGHFARES AND THE
                          DOWN TOWN DISTRICT

                       IMPROVEMENTS NECESSARY TO
                      MEET THE CITY'S PRESENT AND
                             FUTURE NEEDS

                               A Report


                         FREDERICK LAW OLMSTED

    Prepared under the direction of The Committee on City Planning

                       ADOPTED BY THE COMMISSION
                            DECEMBER, 1910

 324 FOURTH AVENUE                                     FEBRUARY, 1911

                          _Publication No. 8_

                        PITTSBURGH CIVIC COMMISSION

  H. D. W. ENGLISH                President
  J. W. KINNEAR        First Vice-President
  JOHN W. BEATTY      Second Vice-President
  H. J. HEINZ          Third Vice-President
  J. J. DONNELL                   Treasurer
  ALLEN T. BURNS          General Secretary



  T. E. BILLQUIST, Chairman

          Copyright, 1911
  By Pittsburgh Civic Commission

                                                   Mount Pleasant Press
                                            J. Horace McFarland Company
                                               Harrisburg, Pennsylvania



                                             PITTSBURGH CIVIC COMMISSION



  LETTER OF TRANSMISSAL                                                 xi



  PART I. THE DOWN TOWN DISTRICT                                         5

  The Main Arteries                                                      5

  Eastward Arteries and Their Improvement                                6

  A New Traffic Center                                                   9

  Sixth Avenue                                                           9

  Try Street Grade Crossing                                             10

  Second Avenue Freight Yards                                           10

  The Hump Cut                                                          10

  Grant Boulevard Extension                                             11

  A Civic Center                                                        11

  Diamond Street Widening                                               17

  Market Street Widening                                                17

  The Market                                                            18

  The Water Front                                                       19

  The Improvement of The Point                                          29

  PART II. MAIN THOROUGHFARES                                           31

  Width of Thoroughfares                                                31

  Special Types of Thoroughfares                                        34

  Widening Old Streets                                                  37

  Unified Procedure for City, County and Borough                        43

  Specific Recommendations                                              44

  Penn Avenue Artery                                                    44

  Forbes Street Artery                                                  47

  South Hills Artery                                                    49

  Outlying Thoroughfare Improvements (with special indices)             59

  PART III. SURVEYS AND A CITY PLAN                                     93

  Pittsburgh's Need for Surveys                                         93

  Objects to be Secured                                                 94

  Technical Procedure                                                   95

  Maps                                                                  96

  Management and Cost                                                   98

  Sample Maps                                                           98

  Data from New York                                                    98

  Data from Baltimore                                                  100


  The Bellefield Improvement                                           101

  Grant Boulevard                                                      106

  Steep Hillsides                                                      109

  General Discussion of Parks                                          113

  Neighborhood Parks                                                   113

  Rural Parks                                                          116

  Special Park Opportunities                                           117

  PART V. SPECIAL REPORTS                                              123

  The Market                                                           123

  The Hump Cut                                                         128

  The City and the Allegheny River Bridges                             133

_Letter of Transmissal_

                                                       November 26, 1910.
  MR. T. E. BILLQUIST, Chairman,
      Committee on City Planning.
          Pittsburgh Civic Commission.

_Dear Sir_:--I have the honor to submit herewith a report upon
desirable improvements in the main thoroughfares and the down town
district of Pittsburgh, prepared in accordance with the instructions of
your Committee and in consultation with its members.

In submitting the report I wish to take the opportunity of expressing
my appreciation of the attitude of your Committee throughout the twelve
months during which the investigations and the preparation of the
report have continued, and of the part which the keen interest of its
members and their helpful criticism have had in making the report a
useful one.

The closeness of the connection between the problems discussed in this
report and those of the Traction System, which have been concurrently
studied by Mr. Bion J. Arnold, has involved frequent conferences with
Mr. Arnold and his assistant, Mr. George A. Damon, as well as with Mr.
John P. Fox, engaged by the Mayor for a study of the same problem; and
the information and suggestions furnished by them have been of great
assistance. In the preparation of the report on the Allegheny River
bridge problems, submitted jointly by Colonel T. W. Symons and myself
and printed in Part V of this report, information furnished by Colonel
H. C. Newcomer, in charge of the local office of U. S. Government
engineers, has been of the utmost value. I am also greatly indebted to
the Flood Commission, and especially to Mr. F. K. Morse, Chairman of
the Engineers' Committee of that Commission, for the use of maps and
other data gathered by them.

It would have been impossible to secure an intelligent basis for the
conclusions and suggestions presented in this report without the great
quantity of detailed information and other help furnished by the Board
of Assessors, the Departments of Public Safety, of Public Works and of
Law, especially through Mr. N. S. Sprague, Superintendent of the Bureau
of Construction, Mr. Chas. A. Finley, Superintendent of the Bureau of
City Property, and Mr. Lee C. Beatty, First Assistant City Solicitor.
Throughout the investigation and the preparation of this report I have
had the benefit of illuminating and stimulating conferences with Mayor

The actual gathering of necessary information from the above and other
sources, the field studies and the preparation of nearly all of the
drawings accompanying the report, were carried on under the direction
of my personal assistant, Mr. Edward C. Whiting, with the active help
of Mr. Allen T. Burns and Mr. Sherrard Ewing, General Secretary and
Assistant Secretary of the Commission, to all of whom my hearty thanks
are due.

My friend and colleague in the study of several city problems
elsewhere, Mr. Arnold W. Brunner, of New York, has given me valued
counsel in regard to the possible architectural treatment of the
proposed Civic Center, and has been good enough to contribute to the
report the interesting sketches on pages 13 and 14 for a possible
municipal building framing the east side of the proposed square.

As explained at length in the body of the report, the work has been
greatly handicapped and limited in its scope and effectiveness by the
entire lack of accurate detailed maps of the city and surrounding
country. This lack would have rendered the report almost wholly
impossible had it not been for the very useful topographical map
of this part of Pennsylvania prepared and published by the United
States Geological Survey. Not only have my studies of the outlying
thoroughfares been based almost wholly upon this map, but the Survey
has courteously permitted the use of transfer sheets from their
original plates for the thoroughfare map published in this report.

  Respectfully submitted,

             (Signed)      FREDERICK LAW OLMSTED.

_City Planning and the Cost of Living in Pittsburgh_


A factor in the cost of living in Pittsburgh is stated graphically in
the frontispiece of this report. These drawings also suggest, from
Pittsburgh's own provision for some of her needs, a method to decrease
this cost. All delays and congestion of traffic, such as illustrated on
Fifth Avenue and East Ohio Street in the frontispiece and as shown by
illustrations in this preface and the introduction, add to the expenses
of manufacturers, the costs borne by wholesale merchants, and the
prices charged consumers by retail dealers; in short inadequate traffic
facilities in Pittsburgh, as in other cities, add to the cost of doing
business and of living.

The map at the end of this preface portrays a second factor influencing
the cost of living. This map shows how much land Pittsburgh has, both
used and still unused, for business, manufacturing and residence
districts and for means of communication, i. e., streets between these
districts. A glance also indicates the almost unparalleled problems
of this city because of the large amount of territory 25 per cent or
over in grade. For land of this grade is not only unused for buildings
and streets, but also often erects barriers to the natural growth and
spread of business, manufacturing and residence sections. Consequently,
Pittsburgh must exercise greater ingenuity and foresight than other
cities to prevent such congestion of all these activities as would
increase rents of all kinds abnormally. This would mean again an added
burden to the ultimate consumer for all life's necessities.

In addition, tax rates are chronically assailed as a charge on the cost
of living. But taxes are spent largely for improvements to furnish
adequate streets, to provide for the city's spread and growth and to
carry out other improvements which alone can make life livable and
desirable in a modern city. In fact, "taxes may actually diminish
the cost of living, if the city's money is spent economically in the
performance of necessary co-operative service." But taxes are often
wasted because the improvements are made piecemeal, by patchwork, with
no reference to future needs. Taxes for such improvements should be
made only as a part of a far-sighted and comprehensive plan. Then,
without waste, work done at the present will fit into the work to be
done in the future.


Note: Vehicle traffic on Market Street, between Fifth and Liberty
Avenues, now discontinued]

By offering solutions for the above and many other similar problems
this report demonstrates that practical city planning--or better,
replanning--is part of the world-wide conservation movement. City
planning is municipal conservation. Pittsburgh, like other cities and
to a greater extent than most of them, faces the problem of using her
financial and territorial resources to the utmost. The "utmost" means
making these resources go the furthest in securing ample streets for
transportation and traffic, and easy communication between all parts
of the city; in providing for the cheap distribution of food, fuel
and clothing; in making all residence districts as nearly as possible
equally healthful, un-congested, and provided with trees and yards; in
establishing for all residents public accommodations for recreation
and leisure; and in maintaining and developing adequate districts for
retail and wholesale trade, manufacture and commerce.

The Pittsburgh Civic Commission has conducted its city planning with
the above ends in view, and purposes by this report to contribute
to the economy, convenience, practicability and attractiveness of
Pittsburgh's development and growth. The Commission began this work by
retaining Bion J. Arnold, John R. Freeman and Frederick Law Olmsted
to make a report on the outline and procedure of city planning for
Pittsburgh. This report stated the scope and methods for investigations
on the following subjects:

  Steam Railroads

  Water Transportation

  Electric Railroads

  Street Systems

  Public Lands and Buildings

  Water System

  Sewerage System

  Control over Developments on Private Property

  Smoke Abatement

  Building Code

Provision has been made by which several sections of this program
are already under way. The city administration has been foremost in
appreciating the necessity for just such investigations as the report
recommended. Expert advice at this period in our civic advance is
imperative if this city is to take its proper rank among American
cities. Upon completion of the preliminary report Mayor Magee undertook
to have studies made upon the electric and steam railroads, and
requested that the Commission release to the city Mr. Bion J. Arnold
for this purpose. This the Commission gladly did, and since then Mr.
Arnold has conducted these investigations for the city along the lines
laid down in this preliminary report. The preparation of a building
code as suggested in this report was authorized by the city councils
at the request of the Mayor, and the latter appointed a competent
building code commission, and an appropriation has been made for the
carrying out of this part of the City Plan. Mayor Magee also secured
the retention of Mr. Allen Hazen of New York, who is making such a
comprehensive study of an adequate sewerage system as was suggested in
this report. Likewise, the Mayor has planned to carry out the studies
for the water system.

The Commission itself continued the retention of Mr. Frederick Law
Olmsted to make a study of a comprehensive main thoroughfare system for
the center of the city and to the principal residence and manufacturing
districts and the surrounding boroughs. Mr. Olmsted was also asked to
report upon the locations of the main public buildings and grounds
of the down town district. This report was to cover both immediately
necessary improvements and a comprehensive improvement program for
the next twenty-five years. Thus could present improvements be made
economically because planned with reference to those of the future.

The Commission presents herewith Mr. Olmsted's report on these
subjects, made under the supervision of the Committee on City Planning.
The members of this Committee have given months of time from their
private business to the consideration of every detail of this report;
and this committee, with Mr. Olmsted, has given to the report its value
as a contribution to the movement for the Greater and Better Pittsburgh.

                                            PITTSBURGH CIVIC COMMISSION.



                        MAIN THOROUGHFARES AND
                        THE DOWN TOWN DISTRICT


There are two main divisions of City Planning. One looks to the
rearrangement and improvement of what has already been unwisely
done through lack of proper planning or through force of adverse
circumstances of any sort. The other looks to the wise and economical
layout of what still remains to be done, especially at the outskirts of
the city where the major part of the city's growth is bound to occur,
and where the city plan is daily taking shape out of nothing, whether
it is intelligently designed or not.

Prevention is cheaper than cure, and a moderate expenditure of effort
and money will accomplish far greater results in the long run if
applied to the wise control of the growing suburban districts, where
new streets are constantly coming into existence, than if applied to
costly remodeling of the older parts of the city; but the latter is
sometimes of the utmost importance, and is of direct interest to a
much larger number of citizens than the prosaic work of controlling
scattered suburban development. In accordance with the instructions of
the Commission this report deals primarily with certain problems of
remodeling in the down town district, and with the improvement of the
main thoroughfares between this, the heart of the city, and the more
important outlying districts.

To carry out at once all the recommendations of this report would,
even if it were possible, impose an altogether unreasonable financial
burden upon the City and the contiguous boroughs. Such procedure is
unnecessary and indeed impossible. But in many cases there is a crying
need for the improvement already, or it is of such a nature that any
delay is apt to involve a considerable increase in the cost and the
difficulty of carrying it out.

[Illustration: Suggestive treatment of street junctions in outlying
districts, Stuttgart]

The most urgent general improvement of this sort is the establishment
of new building lines on all main thoroughfares which it is proposed
to widen; this in order to anticipate, as far as possible, the
construction of new and costly buildings on the present street lines.

Of the specific recommendations made in this report it seems advisable
to give the earliest attention to the following:

  =In the Down Town District=                                         Page

    The cutting of the Hump and the widening of certain streets in the
      Hump District as recommended                                      10

    The extension of Grant Boulevard to Webster Avenue                  11

    The acquisition of land required for the proposed Civic Center      11

    The widening of Diamond Street                                      17

    The widening of Market Street                                       17

    The relocation of the Market                                        18

    The new connection between Penn and Liberty Avenues at Eleventh
      Street                                                             7

    The elimination of the Try Street grade crossing                    10

    The proposed bridge and tunnel to the South Hills                   49

  =Along Outlying Thoroughfares=                            Section

    Sixteenth Street bridge                                       1     56

    Twenty-eighth Street grade crossings                          2     57

    Thirty-third Street improvement                               3     57

    Forty-third Street bridge                                     6     59

  [1]Haights Run bridge                                           9     59

    Hazelwood grade crossing                                     18     64

  [1]Baum Street improvement                                     20     65

    Center Avenue improvement                                    21     65

  [1]Hamilton Avenue extension and connection with Kelly Street  22     65

    Larimer Avenue extension                                     24     66

    Batavia Street                                               33     71

    Wilkinsburg grade crossings                                  34     71

    Wilkinsburg-Edgewood connection                              35     71

    Rankin improvement                                           38     72

    Duquesne bridge                                              51     75

    California Avenue and Brighton Road extension                52     75

    Lowry's Lane                                                 56     77

    East Ohio Street paving                                      57     77

    Sycamore Street grade crossing and Bridge Street improvement
      in Etna                                                    60     78

    Allegheny River Boulevard as far as Main Street connection   61     79

    Main Street grade crossing in Sharpsburg                     62     79

    Carson Street                                                64_b_  80

    Chartiers Avenue grade crossing                              65     80

    Crafton-Carnegie connection                                  69     81

    Washington Avenue improvement                                72_a_  82

    Thoroughfare to Beechview                                    73_a_  83

    Carrick connection from South Hills tunnel, probably Climax
      Street route                                               75     84

    Twenty-second Street bridge approach--South Side             80     86

In the following cases the actual improvements are not so urgent,
but the new street locations should be established before expensive
developments, which are apt to occur at any time, shall interpose
serious new difficulties in the way of the proposed improvements:

                                                          Section   Page

  Penn-Liberty connection at Howley Street                      5     58

  Fifth Avenue--Center Avenue connection at Soho               12     61

  Ellsworth Avenue extension                                   13     62

  Forbes Street extension                                      39     72

  Etna improvement                                             59     78

For other specific thoroughfare improvements recommended in this
report there appear to be no very urgent demands at present. Generally
speaking they should be carried out only as some special opportunity
offers, or in anticipation of some obstructing development which cannot
now be foreseen, or as a growing traffic shall demand.

But a thing of greater consequence than any one of these specific
improvements, a thing of vital import to every taxpaying citizen of the
present and future City, is the making of comprehensive and accurate
topographical maps. It is only on the basis of such maps that all
municipal engineering, and indeed much other work, directly managed
by the City, can be planned and carried out with proper economy and
efficiency. It is only on the basis of such maps that improvements
in the city--details of city replanning--can be most economically
determined. And in the outlying districts, where the future city is
being built, such maps are absolutely essential to an intelligent
planning or control which will avoid the heavy penalties that follow
haphazard city growth, especially in such a hilly region.

[Illustration: Comparative diagram showing the volume and the estimated
gross tonnage of traffic on the thoroughfares leading into the Down
Town District]

[Illustration: GENERAL PLAN




[1] Already provided for, wholly or in part, in the current bond issue.


_The Down Town District_


The Main Arteries]

The down town district is substantially that part of the city
known as the Point District. It is bounded by the two rivers and
by the steep hills to the eastward, and within this section of
the city, as elsewhere, the basic problem is that of the means of
transportation--specifically the problem of the street plan. There
is a daily circulation of inward and outward travel to be borne by a
limited number of main arteries, of which those leading to most of the
tributary districts are bridges. It is clear that the bridges can be
enlarged or increased in number at any time when the volume of travel
justifies the expense of reconstruction.

[Illustration: A one-span bridge across the Danube at Budapest]

Considering the fact that Pittsburgh is a world capital in the steel
bridge industry, that its busiest quarters are sundered by three of
the world's big rivers, and that it is traversed in every direction
by ravines which demand the construction of mighty viaducts, it is a
striking and rather shameful thing that it does not possess a single
bridge over its rivers that is notable among the bridges of the
world either for its beauty, for its perfect engineering adaptation
to its purpose, for its size, strength or amplitude. In fact the
bridges of Pittsburgh, compared with those of other great cities, are
rather unusually limited in capacity and lacking in the qualities of
impressiveness and beauty.

It is a case of the cobbler's children going barefoot: when a man
sells shoes at wholesale in every quarter of the globe, it is time for
his own family to be well shod. Pittsburgh can afford to have, and owes
it to herself to have, the very best of bridges. No time or pains or
reasonable expense should be spared in planning future bridges, whether
they be on new locations or to replace existing structures, to get
the best designs that the highest engineering skill combined with the
highest artistic ability can produce. Bridge-builders everywhere should
be enabled to think of Pittsburgh not merely as a source of cheap raw
material for bridges, but as an all-round leader in the bridge-building

[Illustration: Bridge of distinctive character at Budapest]

To the eastward, where the most active growth of the city has been
taking place, the arteries consist not of bridges over open rivers,
but of streets, very limited in number by reason of the form of the
land, and so situated that the cost of securing greater capacity will
increase by leaps and bounds with the rise of land values and the
erection of new structures. The first step in planning improvements for
the heart of the city must therefore be to consider the possibilities
for improvement in the eastward arteries.


Eastward Arteries and Their Improvement]

There are only three places where such arteries could ever have been
laid out, even if the wisest foresight had been exercised in the early
planning of the city when all was free and open. These three places
are around the north edge of the hills along the Allegheny, around the
south edge of the hills along the Monongahela, and through the gap in
the hills followed by Fifth Avenue and Forbes Street.

The northerly route is followed by Penn and Liberty Avenues, by the
Pennsylvania Railroad, and by Grant Boulevard clinging to the hillside
above the railroad. The space between Penn Avenue and the river is
largely occupied by railroads and by business dependent upon the
railroads, and there seems to be no possibility of opening any new
line for relief, except in so far as a subway might reduce the number
of people inconvenienced by delays on the surface. On account of its
gradients and of the districts toward which it leads at both ends, the
usefulness of Grant Boulevard seems likely to remain confined to light
passenger traffic, chiefly automobiles. In any case all the teaming
and surface traffic of a very large region must be carried through
the throat on the lower level. It is important also to note that the
only street which passes through the down town district with more than
village dimensions--eighty-foot Liberty Avenue--leads directly to this
throat and then chokes down to a fifty-foot street.

It may safely be said that increased capacity for east and west general
traffic north of the hills can be secured only by a radical widening of
Liberty Avenue or Penn Avenue. Upon the whole the latter seems the more
advantageous route. On the score of cost there seems to be but little
choice; on the score of value in the result Penn Avenue is the better.
To have one side of such an important avenue flanked by a railroad to
the exclusion of general business frontage would make it less agreeable
as a thoroughfare and less productive as a real estate proposition. On
the other hand if Penn Avenue is widened the narrow portion of Liberty,
above Eleventh Street and next the railroad, will be important almost
solely for local purposes; warehouses or factories could be erected
extending through from the principal, or Penn Avenue, frontage to
Liberty Avenue, and could be provided with sidings from the railroad
passing over Liberty.

Further details as to this suggested widening of Penn Avenue and its
connections eastward are given, along with other highway improvements,
in Part II of this report. But considering here only its relation to
the down town district, this widening will undoubtedly throw increased
emphasis upon Penn and Liberty Avenues as traffic lines within this
district; and it is obvious that a good cross-connection should be
provided so that eastbound traffic coming from Liberty Avenue and
from Grant Street, as well as from Penn Avenue, can freely reach
the widened portion of the latter. A traffic square at the angle in
front of the Union Station, where the broad part of Liberty Avenue
ends and the narrow part begins, would furnish the desired connection.
Fortunately such a square can now be formed with the destruction of but
few buildings and those of relatively little cost.[2]

[Illustration: Second Avenue between Try Street and the Tenth Street

The street along the Monongahela--Second Avenue--although it might
have been made of great importance and value by proper planning at the
start, cannot at the present time be greatly widened without the most
serious difficulties. For much of its length it is pinched between
railroads and industrial plants. It does not lead eastward into any
district comparable in population or importance with those tapped by
Penn and Liberty Avenues, and its connection westward through the Point
District is narrow, difficult to widen, and relatively unimportant. For
these reasons Second Avenue, although it must be recognized as a main
thoroughfare and should be improved as much as practicable, especially
as far east as the Tenth Street bridge, is not of such first-class
importance as to demand radical enlargement in spite of all obstacles.

The only remaining natural outlet to the east is that occupied by Fifth
Avenue and Forbes Street and the block between them. Neither street is
wide enough for the traffic it will be called upon to bear, but the
widening of Fifth Avenue would be so costly as to be almost out of
the question. For many reasons, discussed in detail in Part II, the
widening of Forbes Street into an ample main thoroughfare seems to be
the best solution of the problem here presented.

The importance of this route and of its future traffic burden will be
better realized when it is understood that at Soho a direct extension
can be made, on easy gradients, from the widened Forbes Street to
Fifth Avenue, the street which can more easily be widened beyond that
point; and further, that, a little to the east, a new and greatly
needed street might branch off to the right from Forbes Street where
the latter turns inland. This new street would continue along the side
hill above the river, and would provide the only possible convenient
outlet from the down town district to all the upland regions south and
southwest of Squirrel Hill. Thus the western portion of Forbes Street,
when widened, would carry the great bulk of all future street traffic
between the down town district and the whole district from East Liberty
to the Monongahela River as well as all the country east and southeast
of that triangle.


A New Traffic Center]

The intersection of Forbes Street, widened, with Sixth Avenue,
extended, is likely to become a traffic center of the utmost
consequence to Pittsburgh. The importance of the Forbes Street route
to the eastward has been indicated above; Sixth Avenue, crossing Fifth
Avenue and Grant Street, leads toward the Union Station and toward all
the northeast part of the business district, and to the North Side
bridges; a new bridge and tunnel are quite likely to lead from this
very intersection to the South Side and the South Hills; from this
center a good connection is readily obtainable with Fourth, Third, and
Second Avenues and with the southern water front; and Diamond Street
can be widened at moderate expense so as to continue Forbes Street
right through the heart of the business district.


Sixth Avenue]

The importance of Sixth Avenue between Forbes and Grant Streets has
been pointed out. It is the natural route from the Union Station and
the adjacent freight yards and from all the Allegheny bridges to the
districts fed by Fifth Avenue, Forbes Street, the proposed South Hills
bridge, and Second Avenue. It ought to be widened to the dimensions of
a main thoroughfare, and its grade ought to be lessened. Its stream
of travel splits at Grant Street, a portion turning to the left into
the other part of Sixth Avenue, and a portion turning to the right
along Grant Street to Liberty Avenue and the freight yards. The latter
obviously is a very important line, and the off-set which makes at
Seventh Avenue is so serious that the corner ought to be cut.


Try Street Grade Crossing]

The elimination of the grade crossing of Second Avenue with the
Panhandle Road at Try Street is a pressing improvement. The avenue now
descends toward the railroad from both directions, and the best plan
appears to be to carry it over the tracks. In this way Second Avenue
would connect directly (through the west side of the Civic Center) with
Forbes Street; with Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Avenues, and so with the
Union Station and the Allegheny Valley; with the main or upper deck of
the South Hills bridge rising across the river to the proposed tunnel;
and with the suggested lower deck of that bridge leading to the South
Side. In order to secure a good gradient, the westerly approach of
Second Avenue should start from Grant Street, rising on an incline
or viaduct through the so-called park and the street on one side of
it, in order to pass over Ross Street. In this way there would be no
interference with the teaming through Ross Street to the Baltimore and
Ohio freight yards.


Second Avenue Freight Yards]

Mention should here be made of a plan, which it is understood is
already being considered, to develop the area between Second Avenue
and the river, from Try Street to the Tenth Street bridge, for freight
purposes. Even now the connections from this region to the Tenth Street
and Smithfield Street bridges, and, via First and Second Avenues, to
the whole Point District, are good. But the street changes proposed
in connection with the traffic center at Sixth Avenue and Forbes
Street will provide greatly improved connections directly to the Point
District, the East End and the South Hills. First Avenue and Water
Street would enter the freight yard underneath the Panhandle and the
proposed Baltimore and Ohio local tracks; and if Second Avenue is
raised to go over the Panhandle tracks, as recommended above, direct
entrances can be secured to the second or third floor of a freight
house with car elevators such as those at St. Louis. On the whole this
seems like a good place for a large distributing freight station.


The "Hump Cut"]

The Sixth Avenue improvement, and others in the vicinity, are bound
up with the question of the "Hump Cut." Pushing to one side all
differences of opinion as to the _local_ effect of the proposed
cut,--its influence on land values, and the share of the cost which
ought to be borne by abutters,--the fact stands out that the City as
a whole needs the improvement in order to clear an obstruction from
some of its most important general highways. Another fact, seen clearly
from this larger point of view, is that the essential matter is to
secure a radical reduction of the maximum gradients on the three great
thoroughfare lines, Sixth Avenue, Fifth Avenue, and Diamond Street,
even though the minor streets on the margins of the Hump be skimped.
Detailed recommendations, as to gradients, etc., are discussed in Part
V and are embodied in the accompanying plans and profiles.


Grant Boulevard Extension]

[Illustration: Diagram showing the distribution of automobiles coming
in town on Grant Boulevard]

Only one other thoroughfare problem is involved with the "Hump Cut,"
that of Grant Boulevard extension. Since the grade of Webster Avenue
will be considerably lowered in connection with the "Hump Cut," and
the buildings along its lower end greatly damaged in any case, by far
the best plan for Grant Boulevard is to carry it straight through to
Webster Avenue and to widen the lower end of the latter to 60 feet, as
far as Grant Street. The widening of Oliver Avenue to 50 feet between
Grant and Smithfield Streets, and the possible widening of Strawberry
Way, would, together with existing streets, provide adequate means of
distribution for the large number of automobiles using the boulevard,
and would at the same time create a decided local improvement.


A Civic Center]

The location of a Civic Center, where the city offices can be grouped
in a convenient and dignified manner, ought to connect with the main
transportation lines. It ought, if possible, to embrace the county
buildings. It ought, if possible, to occupy land which is not of such
high cost as to preclude the setting apart of the open space which is
requisite to the highest dignity and beauty of public buildings. All
these advantages are embraced to a high degree in a locality now so
unpromising and unattractive that it is hard not to feel an unfair
prejudice against it.

[Illustration: County Buildings--the northwest side of the proposed
Civic Center]

[Illustration: Present appearance of the Civic Center site from the
rear of the County Buildings]

[Illustration: Princes Street in Edinburgh--an interesting example of a
public garden built over a railroad]

[Illustration: Suggestion for the Municipal Building in the Civic

The locality in question lies to the east and southeast of the present
county buildings. It embraces a bit of low ground occupied by the
little Panhandle station and local freight yard, surrounded, except
for the county buildings, by vacant lands and cheap buildings at
various higher levels, mounting on the east to the commanding ridge
that dominates all this part of the city. Through this locality the
Forbes and Diamond Street thoroughfare and the South Hills and Sixth
Avenue thoroughfare will pass. Fifth Avenue borders it on the north,
and Second Avenue on the south. It is flanked on the northwest by
the noble and distinguished architecture of the court house and the
jail--masterpieces of Richardson, priceless examples of the work of one
of the few great artists America has yet produced. To the west a new
county building is about to be erected. It is proposed that the central
area of low ground, occupied by the railroad, be decked over at about
the level of Fifth Avenue, and that a great public square with gardens
be laid out thereon somewhat after the manner of the celebrated public
gardens built over the railroad at Princes Street, Edinburgh, or, in
a much smaller way, at Park Avenue, New York. Below the structure
would simply be a first class station and freight sheds of permanent
construction, with skylights and ventilators, at suitable locations,
piercing a flat roof of adequate strength. The cost of construction
would be less than the cost of an equal area of land independently
acquired for an open space in connection with a Civic Center in any
other locality that could reasonably be considered.

[Illustration: Sketch of the proposed Civic Center for Pittsburgh,
looking south. The crossing of tracks in center of foreground is at the
present corner of Sixth Avenue and Forbes Street]

[Illustration: Retaining wall supporting a local park at Lyons--a
suggestion for the bluff between Second Avenue and the new City Hall.]

[Illustration: Hillside site of the proposed City Hall]

Along the east side of this square or garden, in the form of a
gradually rising terrace, would run the approach to the new South Hills
bridge ascending gently from Forbes Street; and on the east side of
this again, as though terraced on the hillside, would be the principal
municipal building culminating in a tower which would spring from the
highest level at Bluff Street, where the playground of the Holy Ghost
College could be utilized as a park. The group enclosing the square
would be completed by another building at the north with frontage on
Forbes Street, Fifth Avenue, and Sixth Avenue, and by a low building
on the south serving to screen the factories and freight yards south
of Second Avenue but leaving open the view of the opposite hills. The
plan and the sketch perspectives indicate in a general way the sort of
architectural development for which the situation appears to call. The
pronounced and unsymmetrical differences in elevation, the slanting
grade of the approach to the great South Hills bridge, the irregular
and picturesque form of the site and of the existing county buildings,
all seem to demand a certain informality and picturesqueness of design.
These peculiarities of the site ought to be welcomed because they are
eminently characteristic of the city and of the mountainous region
in which it is set. Throughout the city and its surroundings the one
preëminent quality of an agreeable sort is the bold picturesqueness
of the landscape--the deep ravines, the lofty hills, the precipitous
declivities, the plunging prospects from hilltops into the river
valleys--and a similar quality of forcefulness, activity, and bold,
irregular adaptation of means to ends, is to be felt in all the more
dominant and impressive works of man in the city--the steel works, the
bridges and viaducts, the jagged sky-line of office buildings. To build
a City Hall and Civic Center of scholastic formality, appropriate in
the placid surroundings of Paris, would be to lose a great esthetic

[Illustration: The Cathedral Terrace at Bern; a suggestion for
utilizing a high situation for public buildings and grounds]

[Illustration: The hillside of Ofen at Budapest, an interesting
treatment of the slope crowned by a public building]


Diamond Street Widening]

It would be difficult to overestimate the value, to the future
convenience prosperity and business efficiency of the city, of carrying
the Forbes Street improvement straight through to a junction with
Liberty Avenue on the line of Diamond Street; and it is deemed a
peculiarly fortunate thing that this is the only east and west line in
the midst of the business district where a wide street can still be put
through without destroying any considerable number of costly modern

When Diamond Alley was widened, in part, from 20 feet to 50 feet, not
long ago, the improvement was of much importance because it added one
more street large enough for general business in a locality where there
was a great demand for business frontage, and where the original lots
were of very excessive depth. But the improvement was a distinctly
local one and contributed little or nothing to the solution of the
general traffic problem. But the peculiar relation of Diamond Street to
the general system of main traffic lines demands a much more courageous
action for the benefit of the whole city. In connection with the
widening of Forbes Street, it should be converted into a thoroughfare
at least equal in width to Liberty Avenue. A glance at the map shows
the convenient and equitable location of Diamond Street, and its
importance as a thoroughfare to supplement Liberty Avenue in handling
the traffic of the Point District.


Market Street Widening]

Coming, as it does, directly opposite the Sixth Street bridge, Market
Street ought to be a very important cross-town connection; and because
the buildings are generally small and old, and most of the lots are
so deep as not to be seriously injured by curtailment, a widening is
suggested throughout its length.

The widening of Diamond and Market Streets makes clear that the
Diamond Square Market site should not be occupied in any way that
would perpetuate the obstruction offered by the present use of the
square to through travel. The need is not for a mere mitigation or
slight improvement of the present conditions by opening little archways
through a new building on the Market site, but for a radical and
effective clearance. The space was originally set apart as an open
public square, and the complete occupation of it by revenue-producing
buildings was a diversion of the square from its original purpose--an
act in general accordance with the unfortunately short-sighted policy
which has done much to bring about the notably congested conditions
prevailing in the city today.


The Market]

[Illustration: A bridge and water front at Pittsburgh--Monongahela

It may be necessary to provide elsewhere for the Market, and a site
is suggested in the block between Third and Fourth Streets on Liberty
Avenue, having the great advantage of rail connections. On account
of the character of the surrounding country, an exceptionally large
proportion of market supplies comes to Pittsburgh by rail and must
continue to do so. It is highly uneconomical, and adds needlessly and
considerably to the congestion of the streets, to unload the market
supplies from the railroad a full mile away (as is now done) and to
then haul them by team through the heart of the retail district.[3]

Within the interior of the Point District, Diamond and Market Streets
widened, supplemented by the existing Liberty Avenue, appear to be the
only thoroughfares of Metropolitan dimensions which it is reasonable to
provide for. But around the borders of the district there is much that
ought to be done.


The Water Front]

In its water front Pittsburgh has a great public asset which now lies
undeveloped both from the point of view of transportation and from that
of recreation and civic beauty.

[Illustration: Primitive commercial quay at Pittsburgh--Allegheny River]

As a transportation factor, its primary use is for the transshipment of
water-born commodities. As discussed elsewhere,[4] the actual amount
of river freight is at present relatively small; but it is potentially
important, and one of the reasons for its lack of growth is the
neglect of Pittsburgh and other river ports to provide for the quick,
convenient, and economical handling of river-born traffic at the public

[Illustration: Berlin water front, both useful and attractive]

At river ports throughout the world, the first primitive step, beyond
the mere dumping of stuff and passengers on the natural shelving
bank or river bed of mud or gravel, is the paving of the slope, as
at Pittsburgh, still leaving the goods to be dragged up and down the
bank by main force. But among the live modern river cities of Europe,
wherever a real water competition with rail service has been desired,
even though such competition be limited in its range, the day of the
primitive or mud-bank type of shore has long gone by; and the public
wharf has been reconstructed into one of the many well-recognized types
of commercial embankment providing an up-to-date equipment for handling
freight, and decent, attractive conditions for passengers. This
development of the public wharf properties in Europe has kept pace with
the activities of the railroads, making for the steady and intelligent
improvement of terminal facilities. Indeed in many European river ports
the improvement of the water terminals has rather forced the pace for
the railroads.

[Illustration: Frankfurt's double use of its river front, for business
and for pleasure]

In contrast to this active aggressive spirit, Pittsburgh, like most
American river towns, where she has not actually turned her water
front over bodily to the railroads, has left it in a most inefficient
primitive condition.

[Illustration: Shaded promenade upon the embankment that protects Lyons
from the floods of the Rhone]

But the value of Pittsburgh's water front lies not merely in its use
as a wharf, however much improved. Another use, shown by the varied
experiences of other river cities, is that, in a commercial water
front on modern lines, there is generally opportunity for a wide
marginal thoroughfare for the relief of traffic congestion in the
adjacent streets. Sometimes such a water-front thoroughfare becomes a
busy avenue of retail trade and general travel; but more usually its
peculiar value lies in diverting some of the main streams of heavy
teaming from the older interior streets where the retail trade and
office business tend to concentrate, and where the passenger travel is
most dense. Especially with an isolated and limited business district
like that of Pittsburgh, made up almost wholly of narrow streets and
connected with the rest of the city by a series of bridges and of
bridge-like gaps in the hills which wall it in, it becomes of the
utmost importance to secure the formation of a wide circuit street
connecting these outlets together, so that not all the travel is forced
to filter slowly through the midst of the business district.

[Illustration: View of the same water front at Lyons, showing the
commercial quay]

A third undeveloped asset of the Pittsburgh water front is its value
for recreation and as an element of civic comeliness and self-respect.
One of the deplorable consequences of the short-sighted and wasteful
commercialism of the later nineteenth century lay in its disregard of
what might have been the esthetic by-products of economic improvement;
in the false impression spread abroad that economical and useful things
were normally ugly; and in the vicious idea which followed, that beauty
and the higher pleasures of civilized life were to be sought only in
things otherwise useless. Thus the pursuit of beauty was confounded
with extravagance.

Among the most significant illustrations of the fallacy of such ideas
are the comeliness and the incidental recreation value which attach to
many of the commercial water fronts of European river ports, and it is
along such lines that Pittsburgh still has opportunity for redeeming
the sordid aspect of its business center.

[Illustration: How Paris appreciates the value of its river frontage]

[Illustration: The outlook from The Point, Pittsburgh]

Wherever in the world, as an incident of the highways and wharves along
its riverbanks, a city has provided opportunity for the people to walk
and sit under pleasant conditions where they can watch the water and
the life upon it, where they can enjoy the breadth of outlook and the
sight of the open sky and the opposite bank and the reflections in the
stream, the result has added to the comeliness of the city itself, the
health and happiness of the people and their loyalty and local pride.
This has been true in the case of a bare, paved promenade, running
along like an elevated railroad over the sheds and tracks and derricks
of a busy ocean port, as at Antwerp; in the case of a tree-shaded
sidewalk along a commercial street with the river quays below it, as
at Paris and Lyons and hundreds of lesser cities; and in the case of a
broad embankment garden won from the mud-banks by dredging and filling,
as at London. Pittsburgh has an unusual opportunity to secure this
incidental value for recreation in the treatment of its river front.
Immediately across the Monongahela are the high and rugged hillsides of
Mt. Washington and Duquesne Heights, and below these are the lesser but
still striking hills along the Ohio River from the West End to McKees
Rocks. The outlook over the river with its varied activities to these
hills immediately beyond, would be notable in any part of the world.
Furthermore, the rivers and the hills are the two big fundamental
natural elements characteristic of the Pittsburgh District. Thus, any
provision close to the heart of the city, whereby the people can have
the enjoyment of these mighty landscapes, is of peculiar importance.

[Illustration: Mt. Washington hillside from the Monongahela water front]

It does not diminish the essential grandeur of the situation that
the river swarms with barges and steamers; that it is spanned by
busy bridges; that the flat lands along the rivers are crowded with
railroads, buildings and smoking factories; and that the hillsides are
crowned with houses. It is a spacious and impressive landscape in any
case. But for the people to get the good of it two things are needful.
A locally agreeable place must be provided from which the scene can
be enjoyed; and the landscape must be treated with the respect which
it deserves, by the elimination of certain features which are merely
indicative of neglect, waste, and abuse, and which have no economic
justification. Especially is it desirable that the precipitous hillside
rising to Mt. Washington, now largely an unfruitful waste, a place of
raw gulleys and slides mingled with some painful advertising signs,
should be treated with respect as a vital part of the great landscape
of the city. It should be protected from defacement and its earthy
portions should be reclothed with the beauty of foliage.

The accompanying illustrations are suggestive of the sort of thing
which might be done by Pittsburgh with its remaining public water
front, and in time, let us hope, with portions of the water front
which have passed into private hands. But the actual details of the
treatment to be adopted can be properly worked out only in connection
with the comprehensive plans for flood protection with which the Flood
Commission is now grappling.

[Illustration: Water front and hillside at Lyons]

The great majority of river cities which have undertaken modern
improvements on their water fronts have had to deal with more or less
serious flood problems, and the complex and varying conditions of each
river have had an important influence on the design of the embankment.
The technical problems involved in the control of rivers are among
the most complex and baffling with which the engineering profession
has to deal, and any attempt to forestall the investigations of the
Flood Commission, by definite plans for permanent improvements on the
water front, would be folly. Nevertheless, the experience of hundreds
of cities and the work of thousands of engineers have developed
certain types of treatment, one or more of which, with suitable local
modifications, will pretty surely appear in the final solution of the
Pittsburgh problem. Subject, therefore, to the conclusions of the Flood
Commission, a satisfactory development of the Pittsburgh wharf may be
expected to include the following features.

First, there should be an amply wide water-front street, presumably
formed by extending Water Street and Duquesne Way over the upper part
of the present sloping bank. Second, the outer sidewalk of this street
should become at most points a tree-shaded promenade, of such width and
with such equipment of benches and other features for public recreation
as the circumstances permit, so arranged that the people using it will
neither be in the way of the transportation activities nor be annoyed
or endangered by them, and so designed that the people can enjoy to the
full the natural beauty of the river valley and the always interesting
activities of which it is the stage. Third, there should be next the
water a commercial quay, substantially level, of adequate but not
unnecessary width, and accessible from the streets by inclined roads of
reasonable gradient, parallel with the river, in place of the present
excessive slopes.

In the first typical section here given is shown one such arrangement.
Here, the level of the promenade is such that its solid parapet rises
above the maximum flood level. This is of a type adopted for rivers
that are subject to occasional excessive floods, as at Pittsburgh. It
assumes the embankment to be made water-tight; the sewers and drains
to be provided with proper back-pressure gates, and the openings from
the streets, through the promenade and its parapet to the commercial
quay, to be arranged for prompt damming on the rise of the water above
the danger level. Thus would the entire business district be protected
from floods, not only on the surface but also in the basements. The
quay shown on this section is supposed to be at a level just above
ordinary navigable stages, and to be equipped with power cranes for
direct loading and unloading between steamers or barges, tied up at the
quay, and wagons upon it. Provision could also be made for a freight
track running in alongside the cranes for transfer between cars and
vessels (if thought desirable), in addition to the facilities provided
on railroad property. Alongside the quay, floating landing-stages for
packets and so forth, reached by gang-planks or bridges, would be
provided as at present, but in a more decent and commodious style.

[Illustration: Typical section for the water front. The parapet along
the promenade would be above extreme flood height; the commercial quay
would be at a lower level, flooded at very high water, but above all
ordinary river stages.]

[Illustration: Alternative section for the water front, suggesting
a floating commercial quay that would rise and fall with the river.
Large cranes could transfer freight directly from the boats to trucks
at the street level. At certain places roadways would cut through the
promenade to provide access to ramps leading down to the quays and
to provide places for freight trucks to stand while being loaded and

This section is of a type tested by practical experience and is clearly
a great improvement upon the present primitive conditions. But it is
open to two objections: first, that the quay is flooded at intervals,
although so designed as to suffer no injury and to be put out of
commission only when the river is practically closed to navigation by
the height of the flood; and, second, that at low water, that is to say
"pool full," it is not at the most convenient height.

An alternative section is therefore suggested, which has less precedent
behind it, but which might prove better adapted to the Pittsburgh
conditions. In this the fixed level of the commercial quay is replaced
by a continuous landing stage formed of long floats or barges, of
permanent construction, moored against the wall and free to rise and
fall with the changing level of the river. The approaches to the
floating quay for wagons would be, as in the case of the fixed quay,
by descending inclines parallel with the river just outside the main
wall; but in this case the roadway would be formed by a line of barges
which would rest on a fixed incline during low water. The rising water
would lift the barges off the incline successively, beginning with
the lowest, so that at all stages of the water they would maintain an
uninterrupted roadway to the quay on a proper gradient. Successful
precedents for such use of permanent floating quays, and of alternately
floating and grounded driveways to the landing stage, are to be found
in Italy and in the recent harbor developments at Manaos, Brazil.

A great advantage of the floating quay is that in this type of
construction the bed of the river may be excavated to its full depth
back to the face of the flood wall itself, and that the space necessary
for the commercial quay is secured on the floating structure outside
of this line without materially reducing the prism, or section, of the
flood discharge. It would therefore be possible, with this design, to
secure more ample width for street, for promenade, and for commercial
quay, and at the same time have more space in the river for the passage
of the floods.

Whatever may prove to be the best details of the river-front treatment,
it is clear that it can and should provide an ample thoroughfare, a
clean, pleasant, tree-shaded promenade, and a convenient, up-to-date
wharf with easy access to and from the streets. There is no serious
difficulty in providing for such an improvement from the junction of
the two bridges at The Point to Ninth Street, on the Allegheny, and to
Smithfield Street, on the Monongahela.

East of Smithfield Street the passenger station of the Baltimore &
Ohio now blocks the way. But it is not unreasonable to expect that
the main Baltimore & Ohio station will, before long, be moved to some
point in Junction Hollow in order to avoid the long delay, to all
through trains, caused by the run down to Smithfield Street and back
again. The suburban business of the Baltimore & Ohio could then be
turned in, parallel with the Panhandle tracks, to a new joint suburban
station in connection with the important future center of traffic near
the junction of Forbes and Diamond Streets with Sixth Avenue and the
proposed South Hill bridge.

When the Baltimore & Ohio passenger station is removed from Smithfield
Street it would be possible to continue the new water-front street and
promenade east of Smithfield on a viaduct just outside of the present
Water Street; this viaduct would rise over the Baltimore & Ohio freight
yard and the grade entrances thereto at Grant and Ross Streets, and so
connect along the line of the Panhandle (Try Street) with the proposed
Second Avenue bridge over the railroad, and thence with Forbes Street
and Sixth Avenue.

Any better connection than now exists from Ninth Street and Duquesne
Way to Liberty Avenue would be so costly as to seem hardly worth while,
although it would be a much-desired link in the circuit thoroughfare.

It is probably impossible for Pittsburghers, who are familiar with
the present neglected aspect of the water front and are not familiar
with the finer European quays, to form any conception of how fine a
situation will be created for public or private buildings, especially
on the southern water front when thus improved. If it were not so much
to one side of the main streams of passenger travel, the river frontage
between Smithfield and Ferry Streets would offer a most admirable site
for public buildings in the down town district.


The Improvement of The Point]

At the opposite end of the business district from the proposed Civic
Center is another spot where the civic pride of Pittsburgh should lead
the City to make liberal expenditures for other than the economic ends
which justify those Street improvements which are the main burden of
this report.

[Illustration: Water front park and an interesting bridge at Bonn,

At the end of The Point, where the two lines of water-front improvement
would join, is a considerable area of public open space. Here is the
spot where the Ohio River has its birth: here was built the fort
which broke the peace of Europe and around which turned the frontier
struggles of the war that gave America to the English speaking race.
It is here that all the most inspiring associations of the city are
chiefly concentrated. Poetically, this spot, at the meeting of the
rivers, stands for Pittsburgh.

Because the eastward drift of the business center has followed the
eastward drift of residences, and the growth of business has not
yet expanded back to fill the void; and because The Point is left
pocketed beyond the freight yards, and is visited only by the throngs
who use the old Point bridge, it seems to be rather forgotten and
disregarded by most Pittsburghers. But its historical and topographical
significance can never be altered, and it is to be hoped that the City
will rise to its opportunity and nobly form The Point into a great

The North Point bridge is about to be rebuilt; the South Point bridge
is very narrow and some day must be rebuilt in its own turn. In the
placing of these bridges, in every feature of their design and of the
design and decoration of their approaches, the monumental element ought
always to control. The plan shown herewith in outline is an attempt
to solve, in a dignified and monumental way, the obvious problems
presented by the bridges and the means of approach to them. Whether
just this plan or some better one be adopted, it is essential that
the whole Point be regarded as one single monument, that no pains be
spared in bringing the best artistic skill to bear in working out the
details of the plan, and that the general plan, when thus worked out,
shall really determine the construction of all the parts. At any time
conditions may arise, as in regard to one of the bridges, for which the
general plan does not exactly provide; but, if so, the plan should be
adapted as a _whole_ to meet the new conditions, so that work may still
proceed in accordance with a complete plan. Never can a single feature
of The Point safely be designed independent of the rest, if worthy
results are to be obtained. And what is true of this great monumental
feature is true in large measure of all public improvements in relation
to a comprehensive city plan.


[2] See Plan of the Down Town District.

[3] A general discussion of the Market problem is included in Part V.

[4] The City and the Allegheny River Bridges, Part V.


_Main Thoroughfares_


Width of Thoroughfares]

In considering the economical widths for the main thoroughfares
of a city, so many complex factors are involved that no exact and
indisputable conclusions can be reached; but there are certain facts
and principles that ought to remove such decisions from the realm
of purely arbitrary whim and custom by which they are now generally
settled. Practically every normal main thoroughfare, even of the most
compact type, must provide for car tracks in the middle. On straight
runs, according to the present practice and with the new cars in
Pittsburgh, the width occupied from the outside of one car to the
outside of the other is 17 feet 8½ inches. At that, the cars are
narrower than the modern standard in some other American cities, and
the clearance between the cars is reduced to less than a reasonable
requirement for safety. On curving roads, such as the Pittsburgh
topography often imposes, the space occupied is greater. Without
allowing any clearance on the outside, a space not less than 18 feet,
and preferably more, should be allowed for the actual cars on straight

In Pittsburgh, the gauge of the car tracks was originally made to
conform to the prevailing local gauge of other vehicles, on the
mistaken theory that it was desirable to have the smooth tracks used
by wagons; and this has resulted in the almost invariable conformity
of the wagon gauge to that of the tracks, regardless of the size or
character of the vehicle. With the added fact that Pittsburgh pavements
are prevailingly bad, and that the form of rail is such that it is
very difficult for a wagon to turn out when it has once got into the
track, the teamsters in Pittsburgh are more inveterate in the habit of
driving in the car tracks, and less ready to turn aside for cars or
other vehicles, than in most cities. The severe and constantly repeated
strain of the horses, which is required to wrench heavily-loaded wagons
free from the tracks, is, in the aggregate, a serious economic loss;
and the delays not only to the street cars but to all forms of wheeled
traffic, caused by the conditions described, are incalculably great.
But even good pavements and the use of a grooved rail would not cure
the trouble in Pittsburgh streets as now laid out, because, almost
universally, there is not sufficient room for a vehicle to pass between
the cars and another vehicle standing or slowly moving next the curb.

In every street, vehicles must be free to stop for loading and
unloading, and on a busy thoroughfare the space next the curb is so
much used in this manner as to become merely a series of sidings into
which slow-moving vehicles can turn from time to time in order to clear
the main passageway. The result of the conditions above described is
that practically the whole wheeled traffic in Pittsburgh streets is
inevitably concentrated on the eighteen-foot width where the cars run.
The extent to which this reduces the average speed of travel and the
total capacity of the thoroughfare has been strikingly illustrated
for Pittsburghers by the contrast of the former sluggish congestion
of traffic on Smithfield Street with the sparse appearance and rapid
movement of the same traffic since the "one-way" regulations have made
it possible to get one free line in each direction for moving vehicles
separate from the cars. The same striking increase in capacity is to be
secured, without the grave inconveniences and drawbacks of the "one-way
street" regulations, where the space between the cars and the curb can
be made wide enough for two lines of vehicles, instead of just enough
for one or for one and a half, as is usual in Pittsburgh.

It is very difficult to determine just what is the most economical
allowance of width. There is much variation in the widths of the
vehicles themselves, and the necessary amount of clearance varies with
the average skill of the drivers and with the effectiveness of the
police control. The width of the line is plainly determined by the
widest vehicles in it rather than by the narrowest. In Pittsburgh the
customary width of the heavier and wider wagons is now controlled by
the practical necessity of fitting the wheels to the railway gauge of
5 feet 2½ inches, and the widths are considerably less than prevail
in New York, Boston, and other reasonably well-paved cities where the
wagons are not fitted to the car tracks. About 7 feet over all is now
the ordinary maximum in Pittsburgh, a few auto trucks and delivery vans
exceeding that figure slightly, and an occasional three-horse team
occupying over 8 feet. In New York and Boston, wagons measuring from 7
to 8 feet from hub to hub are common, and they sometimes considerably
exceed 8 feet.

Just as in the case of steam and electric railway equipment, the
tendency is constantly in the direction of heavier, longer, wider
vehicles, for the sake of the operating economy due to large units;
and, with the steady increase in the use of motor vehicles for business
purposes, this tendency is likely to be greatly accelerated. There
is every reason to expect that motor trucks will gradually increase
in size until a limit is fixed by the public authorities in order to
protect the pavements, and for the sake of standardizing the lines
of travel in relation to the street widths. But, in the interests of
economy of operation, the limit should be as high as practicable,
probably not less than 8 feet.

If 8 feet be allowed for each vehicle, plus only a foot of clearance,
the cars and one row of vehicles on each side, between them and the
vehicles standing at the curb, would require 54 feet between curbs.
A wagon _backed_ up to the curb on a busy street will seriously
discommode travel at that, and the clearance allowed is very small. A
width of 54 to 60 feet between curbs is, therefore, highly desirable in
the main thoroughfares.

As a matter of fact, with the widths of vehicles which now prevail
in Pittsburgh, if standing and slow-moving vehicles are compelled to
keep in contact with the curb, it is possible to keep open a line of
travel on each side of the car tracks, with only occasional blockades,
where the width between curbs is 50 feet, or, at a pinch, even 48 or
47 feet. That is to say, the difference in traffic capacity between a
thoroughfare 50 feet from curb to curb and one 45 feet is enormous;
while the difference between 45 feet and 40 feet is very slight.

Since a main thoroughfare is apt in time to become a retail trading
street, wide sidewalk space is important. It is a common rule to make
the distance of the curb from the property line one-third the width of
the roadway.

A total width of 90 feet, with a 54-foot roadway and 18-foot sidewalks,
is a satisfactory minimum for meeting the practical requirements of an
ordinary main traffic street; a width of 100 feet is preferable, and 80
feet may be regarded as a rather niggardly irreducible minimum.

In this connection it is interesting to note the standard widths
adopted in European cities. The standard in London is 48 feet[5]
between curbs and 80 feet between buildings for secondary avenues, and
100 feet over all for principal arteries; and 140 feet over all is
proposed for two great main arteries, the cutting of which, through
the midst of the city, is being considered. In German cities of the
second size, such as Leipzig, Frankfort and Hanover, the standards are
as follows: for strictly local streets, 33 to 47 feet; for secondary
thoroughfares, 50 to 80 feet, and for main thoroughfares, 85 to 118
feet. A Prussian law, in force since 1875, and apparently drawn up to
meet the requirements of Berlin with its heavier traffic, requires
the following dimensions for the laying out of new streets and for
the alteration of old ones: local streets, 40 to 65 feet; secondary
thoroughfares, 65 to 95 feet; main thoroughfares, over 95 feet.[6]


Special Types of Thoroughfares]

[Illustration: Park treatment of hillside street junction at Stuttgart]

The above considerations apply only to the ordinary main thoroughfares
of normal character. In most of the great cities of the world, there
has been a considerable development of special thoroughfares of much
greater width, including, for example, locations for transportation
lines (surface or elevated), on separate rights of way decorated with
trees; and including tree-shaded promenades and garden strips. These
have usually been laid out in suburban sections before they were much
built up; or, if within the built-up districts, on the sites of old
fortifications, canals, or other abandoned engineering works. The
latter opportunities are lacking at Pittsburgh, except in connection
with the river banks. In the suburban localities of Pittsburgh, so
much of the available building land is topographically divided into
narrow strips that it would be cut to pieces in an exceptionally
uneconomical manner by any boulevards, of the type usual in flatter
cities, where a substantially uniform width of 150, or 200, or 300
feet is not infrequently carried through for considerable distances.
As a general rule, any width to be secured for esthetic purposes in
connection with Pittsburgh suburban thoroughfares, over and above that
needed for handling the expectable future street traffic, must not be
in the form of a general and continuous widening. But occasional pieces
here and there may be taken for park purposes, as, for instance, a
steep sidehill adjacent to the line and unavailable or difficult for
building. Or a narrow ridge, on which the thoroughfare runs, may have
at some point so little available building land fronting upon it that
the whole can reasonably be parked for a short distance, thus keeping
open the distant views.

[Illustration: Public resting place and outlook spot on a one-sided
hillside street in Heidelberg]

[Illustration: Section showing one type of hillside street]

There are two special forms of street, developed here and there in
hilly cities all over the world, of which Pittsburgh needs to take
account in its suburban development. In many instances, and for long
distances, existing suburban thoroughfares that must be enlarged and
improved, and others that must be laid out, are compelled to run along
the face of hills so steep that a street of level cross section,
even though limited to 80 feet, would leave the land on one or both
sides so far above or below the grade as to destroy its value for
building purposes. In such cases it is often practicable to make use of
one-sided streets or two-level streets. The former are designed to give
accessible frontage on one side only, usually the uphill side. The
property on the opposite side is reached by the next street, which is
laid out correspondingly nearer in order not to make the lots too deep.
The width of such a one-sided street may be curtailed without reducing
its thoroughfare capacity because it is freed from local business
all along one side. Bluff Street, though not a thoroughfare, is an
excellent Pittsburgh example of the one-sided street, and illustrates
the great attractiveness which such streets often possess. In a
two-level street a longitudinal bank, or retaining wall, is introduced
in the middle so as to adapt it to the topography and bring each
half of it nearer to the natural surface where the abutting property
fronts upon it. Such a street must normally be wider than a single
thoroughfare of the same capacity, the saving in construction and in
the development of abutting land more than counterbalancing the cost of
extra width.

[Illustration: Section of a two-level street at Zurich, Switzerland.]

Widths for outlying thoroughfares in a district like Pittsburgh,
therefore, cannot be determined by any general rule. Each must be laid
out as a problem by itself, the principal objects in each problem being
to select a tolerably direct line on reasonable gradient, and so to
fix the side lines of the location that it shall be possible to meet
the immediate needs by constructing an economical suburban road, where
it does not already exist, and ultimately to convert it into an ample
urban thoroughfare with the minimum of cost and inconvenience.


Widening Old Streets]

Whatever radical changes may be made to improve the present or
safeguard the future condition of the thoroughfare system in regions
that are now rural, there remains a huge problem within the district
where the street system has already crystallized into substantially its
final form. Here increased capacity can, for the most part, be secured
only by local improvements and widenings of existing thoroughfares.

Fortunately, the building up of the street frontage with solid blocks
of stores, apartments, and business structures, has at most points
followed rather slowly after the earlier wave of detached dwelling
houses, and a large proportion of the streets which are destined to be
the main arteries of the huge future city are still lined by buildings
which are set back at various distances from the street, leaving
front dooryards between them and the sidewalk. Outside of the down
town district, and a limited area in East Liberty, it is possible,
therefore, to provide for the ultimate widening of these streets
without the destruction of many valuable structures, _provided the
preliminary steps are promptly taken_.

As traffic increases and the lots come to be used for business
purposes, such a set-back becomes inconvenient and undesirable, and
one by one the buildings are either extended to the sidewalk by new
additions, or new buildings are erected on the sidewalk line. The
reason for this change is not usually that additional lot depth is
required, for often considerable yards are left unoccupied at the rear,
but is simply that on a commercial street the buildings need to be as
close to the stream of traffic as possible; and since the individual
lot owner cannot move the street as a whole up to his building, he has
to extend or move his building to the street. His immediate purpose is
thus served, and ultimately the whole row of buildings is similarly
advanced in response to changed conditions. But at just about the
time when this process is fully completed, the volume of traffic
flowing over the street is apt to have become so great that everybody
recognizes the street to be too narrow for the increased traffic it
has now to carry. If the case is a bad one, the inconvenience due to
overcrowding the traveled way will in time reach a point where, in
spite of the great cost of such an operation, the buildings all along
one or both sides of the street have to be destroyed and a new building
line established--it may be on the very line where most of the original
buildings stood before increasing traffic began to offer inducements to
move them forward to the sidewalk. Indeed, it may be said as a general
rule that on any street where the buildings are set back from the
sidewalk line the very advancement of a few buildings to the sidewalk
line is a sign which points directly to the growth of travel and
indicates that ample width will soon be needed in that thoroughfare.

As soon as these conditions appear, it is time to act. As already
noted, it is not, in most cases, the desire to utilize a greater depth
of lot which leads to the change, but the desire to get next to the
sidewalk and to do away with a front yard which has served its purpose
and is not wanted under the new conditions. If the street is one likely
to have a considerable amount of through travel, it would be reasonable
_at once_ to lay it out wide enough to handle such travel; and the cost
of the land taken for the widening would be charged, at least in part,
to the abutters, for they get, by the change, what many of them already
want and what the rest will soon be wanting--direct frontage on a busy

A still wiser course of procedure would be to determine on the widening
of these future main thoroughfares before any buildings have been
advanced to the sidewalk line, and to establish building lines far
enough apart to leave room for all probable future requirements;
but to make no physical widening of the street until the growth of
travel--or the demands of the abutters--call for shifting the sidewalks
over to the established building line and enlarging the roadway to
correspond. This is the invariable practice in Washington and in most
well-conducted European cities. It is the plan to some extent in New
York, where just recently the sidewalks of Fifth Avenue have been
moved back against the building line on the space formerly occupied
by stoops, areaways, and dooryards. Pennsylvania Avenue and Sixteenth
Street, in Washington, are both laid out 160 feet wide from building
line to building line, although Pennsylvania Avenue is an important
business artery and Sixteenth Street is a residence street without
heavy traffic and with no commercial business. On the former, the wide
sidewalks are in immediate contact with the fronts of the buildings,
as is proper for a business street, and the roadway, with car tracks
in the middle, is more than wide enough to carry all traffic that
can ever be concentrated upon it. Whereas, on Sixteenth Street, the
traveled portion of the street, including sidewalks and the space for
sidewalk trees, is only 80 feet wide; and the remainder is occupied by
front dooryards 40 feet deep, which the householders are at liberty to
fence and use almost as freely as if they owned them in fee simple. At
the same time all the householders are protected against the premature
action of any individual lot owner who might see a possible advantage
in being among the first to bid for a commercial business by building
a flat-house with stores under it out upon the sidewalk line 40 feet
in advance of the other houses. This is the sort of thing that is
happening every now and then in Pittsburgh on streets where the great
majority of the owners would prefer to have the set-back continued for
some years longer. In Washington this crowding forward cannot be done;
but when a reasonably large proportion of the owners on any street,
or any block of a street, are ready for the change, the front yards
are abolished and the sidewalk is moved over into contact with the
buildings. If a single owner wants to put in a store long before his
neighbors are ready to give up their front yards and long before the
City is ready to widen the street to increase its traffic capacity, he
is of course at liberty to do so; but he must not move forward of the
general building line. What he usually does is to abolish his own front
dooryard and substitute an extra wide piece of sidewalk paving in place
of it, sometimes using the space for outdoor stands, or show cases,
to attract trade. He may even be permitted to erect light temporary
structures, such as awnings, on the space between his main building and
the present sidewalk line, under which, in good weather, he can do a
very good business.

There is, then, one course of action which overshadows, in permanent
importance and in urgency, all other things that Pittsburgh could do at
the present time for the improvement of its main thoroughfare system.
That is to establish new building lines, at a suitable distance apart,
along all of its present and prospective main thoroughfares which there
is any prospect of being able to widen.

Pittsburgh, in common with other cities in Pennsylvania, has a
remarkable power, which is of the utmost importance in connection
with the intelligent control of its street development, but of which
it has not hitherto taken adequate advantage; a power that appears to
be denied to the cities of every other state in the Union, although
effectively used in some other countries. Pittsburgh may legally
lay out a street in anticipation of a future need, and yet postpone
entering upon the land for construction or for opening it to the
public. Until the city legally enters on the street, the owner of the
land has the free use thereof, and he receives payment only when the
opening takes place; but if, in the interim, he shall have erected any
structure within the limits of the proposed street, he will receive no
compensation therefor when the street is opened. Although similar laws
have been declared unconstitutional in other states, this provision
has been sustained in Pennsylvania, and the power has been effectively
exercised in numberless cases since the middle of the last century.

Philadelphia has applied the same principle to street widenings, as for
example in the case of Chestnut Street. The procedure is to define a
building line, set back a certain distance from the street line, and to
permit no new buildings to be erected in front of that line, but to pay
damages only when the power to prevent the erection of a new building
is actually exercised.

The Chestnut Street widening was authorized by legislation which
provided merely that the street should be widened ten feet, without
specifying the procedure or method of awarding damages.[7]

The procedure used in the widening, as above described, had apparently
no other authority than the general acts under which Pittsburgh has
proceeded in laying out new streets.[8] This application of those
acts has been sustained by the courts. If it is held that a specific
extension of the principle of the Act of 1871 to the widening of
Chestnut Street was implied in the ordinance of 1874, under authority
of the Act of April, 1870, and that it is not generally applicable to
widenings, a general act so intending ought to be secured from the

In the Chestnut Street case existing buildings covered most of the
space between the building line and the street line, and the exercise
of the power, with the consequent accruement of damages, occurred in
each case only when the original building was torn down by the owner
and he was required to set the new building back to the new building

The same principle is equally applicable to those cases where the
existing buildings are mostly or wholly back of the new building line;
the damages becoming due in such a case only when a building permit
for the erection of a new structure encroaching on the designated open
space is actually withheld.

The advantages of such a method of procedure, in the case of those
highways where all, or nearly all, of the buildings are now set back
from the street and where a widening will ultimately be needed, are
obvious and very great. In a large percentage of cases, where the
street is still mainly residential, the majority of the abutters would
welcome the establishment of a building line for their own protection
from inconsiderate neighbors; just as the majority of people will pay
higher prices for lots in a neighborhood that is protected by properly
drawn restrictions for setbacks, etc., imposed by a land company. In
a great many such cases abutters could be induced to waive any claims
for damages on condition that the building line should be applied to
the whole street. Furthermore, the actual net damages to be paid would
be distributed over a long period, and a considerable proportion of
them, in many cases, could properly be assessed on adjacent benefited
property owners.

When the actual physical widening of the street takes place, through
absorbing the restricted zones on each side of it, the damages for land
taking will be comparatively small, because at that time most of the
abutters will want nothing so much as that very widening, if only to
bring the sidewalks in contact with the fronts of their buildings. But
regardless of its clear financial advantages to the City, in reducing
its total payments for street widening and especially in distributing
the burden of that cost over a long period without running up a large
bonded indebtedness and interest charges, the fundamental argument
for this method of procedure is that it avoids the absolute dead loss
to the whole community resulting from the destruction of valuable
buildings. It is not practicable to avoid this in any other way and
still accomplish the result of widened thoroughfares. Theoretically, it
could be done by a direct widening of all the highways in the ordinary
manner, if it were to be done promptly; but there are comparatively
few cases in which there would be enough immediate advantage in the
increased width to make the proposition attractive; and it is obvious
that any such wholesale immediate action would involve a sudden and
enormous financial burden which it is utterly impracticable for the
City to assume.

If, after the gradual piecemeal process of widening at moderate and
distributed expense has been begun, the City thinks it would prefer
to have the process over and done with promptly, it is just as able
to complete the widening immediately, by wholesale condemnation,
as if the gradual process had never been entered upon. If the City
begins on the gradual process, it can always change to the other when
it feels rich enough, or when the buildings on the old lines have
become few enough; and in the meantime the erection of new and costly
buildings, obstructive to the proposed widening, has been prevented at
comparatively slight expense. If the City does nothing, pending such
time as it can afford to make the widening at a single operation, the
cost of the operation is liable to mount at least as fast as the City's
ability to pay for it.

While the method proposed is peculiarly adapted to handling the
problem of a thoroughfare along which the majority of the frontage is
not yet occupied by buildings standing on the street line, it may be
objected that it is not suitable for widening one that is built up,
like Forbes Street. It is true that the patchwork appearance of such
a street during the process of gradual reconstruction is somewhat
unsightly,--with here and there a wide place where new buildings have
gone up, and between them narrow parts, thus exposing the blank side
walls of old buildings projecting beyond the new ones. Yet in cities
where the sense of civic beauty is far more acute than it generally is
in America, this temporarily ragged condition is accepted as a small
price to pay for the economical and certain accomplishment of a great
permanent improvement.


Unified Procedure For City, County and Borough]

It is obvious that the flow of traffic moves regardless of the
artificial boundaries of the city and the surrounding boroughs, and
that if an efficient system of thoroughfares is to be involved for
the Pittsburgh Industrial District it will be necessary to disregard
those boundaries in planning it. This has been done in the preliminary
studies which have resulted in this report, and the necessity for it
must control the form of any permanent organization for preparing
final plans and executing them. If these duties are to be entrusted
to officers of the City, and the city boundaries remain unchanged,
those officers must have authority from the legislature to deal with
territory beyond the boundaries of the city, as is the case in a
limited way in Wisconsin cities.[9]

The simplest and most logical procedure, if the boundaries of the city
and of the boroughs are to remain substantially unchanged, would be to
establish a common agency for dealing with the general problems of city
planning for all of the municipalities and the related parts of the
country outside of them. The Constitution of Pennsylvania apparently
prevents the formation of a special metropolitan board for the
Pittsburgh Industrial District, but general authority might be obtained
under which the County could establish such a board. If the difficulty
should be met simply by extending the boundaries of the city, it is
important that the new boundaries should include not merely those areas
which are now seen to have close physical relations with the city, but
a great extent of territory within which the beginnings of urban or
suburban growth have started, or are likely to start, during the next

Whether the duty of planning and providing for the main transportation
lines is made a city affair or a county affair, those who are charged
with it should be free to go as far in any given direction as the
demands of the traffic lead them. They should neither be limited by
arbitrary boundaries in those directions where scattering but connected
urban development may reach out furthest from the center, nor
compelled to extend their operations to an arbitrary boundary in those
directions where such development falls short.




Penn Avenue Artery]

As noted earlier in this report, one of the two main eastward
thoroughfare routes, from the Point District, must lie along the
flat land between the Allegheny River and the bluff southeast of the
Pennsylvania tracks. Through this bottle-neck must pass the trunk line
(or lines) of one of the largest thoroughfare systems leading from the
down town district of Pittsburgh. At the foot of the Lawrenceville hill
the system branches into two main lines of extension. On the one hand
are Penn and Liberty Avenues, extending, by different routes, through
the Garfield, Bloomfield, Friendship and Shadyside Districts to East
Liberty; and from there connecting directly to Squirrel Hill, Highland
Park, Homewood, Brushton, Wilkinsburg and all points further east.
On the other hand is Butler Street, following the low land along the
river through Lawrenceville to Morningside and Highland Park. Via the
Forty-third Street bridge, this line reaches Millvale and the country
north thereof; via the Sharpsburg and Aspinwall bridges it reaches
Etna, Sharpsburg, Aspinwall, and Shaler and O'Hara townships, and
connects directly with the Freeport Road, the only thoroughfare leading
up the Allegheny River. The trunk line of this system is composed of
two narrow streets, Penn Avenue and Liberty Avenue, the one 60 and the
other 50 feet in width. Even now this accommodation is inadequate,
and, considering the extent of territory served and the increase of
through traffic to be expected as the city grows and the outlying lands
develop, a much greater capacity for general traffic through this
throat will very soon be needed.

There are four different ways in which this greater capacity might be

In the first place, a new street might be cut through north of Penn
Avenue. Smallman Street, from Twenty-first to Thirty-sixth Street,
already forms a good sized piece of such a thoroughfare. Pike
Street would be its normal extension in town to Eleventh Street,
but, like Try Street near Second Avenue, it has been surrendered to
the Pennsylvania Railroad for a connecting line and spur tracks.
Furthermore, it is very narrow (not over 40 feet) and is difficult to
widen on account of the many industrial plants abutting thereon. The
connections from such a thoroughfare with Penn Avenue, Liberty Avenue
and Butler Street at one end, and with the down town thoroughfares at
the other, are quite indirect; and they could be improved only at great

The only other place for a new thoroughfare is along Spring Alley,
between Penn and Liberty Avenues. As this whole block is only 220 feet
wide, including the alley, it is obvious that a broad avenue through
the middle of it would leave the abutting property in very uneconomical

As a modification of this plan, the widening of Spring Alley entirely
on the south side was considered. As this would leave lots 40 feet
or less in depth between the new street and Liberty Avenue, it would
mean the practical destruction of the half-block from Spring Alley to
Liberty Avenue. The remaining strip could be taken as a central parking
space in a wide boulevard thoroughfare, extending from Spring Alley to
the railroad; or Liberty Avenue could be abandoned, and the space, left
between the new street and the railroad, could be used for warehouses
or for business wanting direct railroad connections; or it might be
sold in whole or in part to the Pennsylvania Railroad, for additional
track space. It is obvious that each of these plans cuts up the
property undesirably: the first is not only costly but is extravagantly
wasteful of land in a region where available land is strictly limited
and should therefore be put to its most efficient use: and the other
plans both involve an entire redistribution of the land south of the
new street. They could hardly be executed without powers of "excess
condemnation" for which constitutional authority is lacking.

A third plan would be to widen Liberty Avenue on the north side. There
is no special difficulty in the way of this scheme, and it could
certainly be more easily carried out, and at less cost, than any of the
Spring Alley plans. Merely as a traffic way between two points, Liberty
Avenue widened would be perfectly satisfactory, but several incidental
considerations must be borne in mind. First, the lots on the north side
of the street would be cut at least to 70 and probably to 50 feet,
neither of which is a desirable depth for lots on a main thoroughfare;
and second, the street would have business frontage on one side only.
The latter is an uneconomic arrangement from the point of view both of
the real estate owner and of the City, and the street would be much
less agreeable than if it were separated from the railroad.

The fourth plan would be to widen Penn Avenue. This street is now 60
feet in width, and most of the lots on each side are 100 feet deep,
except for several blocks on the north side where they are about 120
feet. The street is built up solidly on both sides, but scarcely any
of the buildings are new or costly. The property values are almost
uniformly a little higher than on Liberty Avenue. If Penn Avenue were
widened 10 feet on each side, making an 80-foot thoroughfare, the
abutting lots would still be 90 feet or over in depth; and if the
street were made 100 feet wide, the lots would still be 80 feet deep.
Though it might cost somewhat more to widen Penn Avenue than Liberty
Avenue, it is evident that the abutting property would be left in far
better shape, and the benefit to be had from increased frontage value
would be much greater.

After due consideration of each of the above plans, bearing in mind
the cost, the difficulty of carrying it out, and the value of the
result, both as an important main thoroughfare artery and as a local
improvement, it is recommended that Penn Avenue be widened to 100 feet.
If the widening is to be accomplished by the gradual process,[10]
that is by merely establishing the new building lines at the present
time, and by paying damages only when new buildings are set back to
this line, the widening should probably be made on both sides: for
in this way the minimum set-back will be required for individual new
developments and the lots will be left of a good depth on both sides
of the street. But if the widening is all to be made at once, it will
be less costly to make it entirely on the south side. In either case,
the lots remaining will be none too deep, and it is suggested that
ultimately Spring Alley may be abandoned and the opportunity furnished
for deep lots for warehouses and similar purposes, fronting on a large
thoroughfare and having direct railroad connections over Liberty Avenue
in the rear.


Forbes Street Artery]

The other eastward thoroughfare system lies south of the Hill District.
From Soho eastward there are two main branches to the system: on the
one hand are Forbes Street and Fifth Avenue, leading through Oakland
to Bellefield, Shadyside, East Liberty, Squirrel Hill, and all points
east; on the other hand is a possible and much-needed thoroughfare
reaching Greenfield, Hazelwood, Glenwood, and Hays, and from there, by
branches and extensions, connecting to Homestead, Duquesne, McKeesport,
and points up the Monongahela and Youghiogheny Rivers, as well as to
the country south in Baldwin, Mifflin, Snowden, and Jefferson townships.

At present the trunk-line of this system (from the Point District past
Soho hill) is composed of three narrow streets, Second Avenue, Forbes
Street, and Fifth Avenue, which all together are no more than adequate
to accommodate the present surface travel. Future developments in the
East End, up the Monongahela, and in the country south of Homestead,
and improved thoroughfare connections with the two latter regions, will
undoubtedly increase the through traffic on these streets to such an
extent that their capacity will soon be taxed beyond its limit. There
can be no doubt that more accommodations will be needed in the near

[Illustration: Section of Second Avenue between Try Street and Tenth
Street Bridge]

At first thought it was hoped that Second Avenue might be improved to
accommodate a reasonable increase in east and west traffic; but the
Baltimore & Ohio Railroad on one side, and several large industrial
plants on the other, present serious obstacles to widening it. A plan
to exchange locations with the railroad was considered, but it did not
appear to offer sufficient advantage to the railroad to tempt them to
cooperate in the matter.

Incidentally, Second Avenue can and should be widened to 80 feet, from
Ross Street to the Tenth Street bridge, thus making a good connection
between the Point District and the South Side.

It remained then to secure the desired street capacity, in some way,
through the valley now occupied by Forbes Street and Fifth Avenue. To
avoid the higher land values on these streets, various schemes were
tried to get a third thoroughfare in this valley, first on the south
and then on the north side, but without success. The indirectness of
line and the seriousness of grade difficulties, coupled with cost
of cutting new connections at either end, more than outweighed the
advantages offered by the cheaper land.

One proposition, however, is worthy of special remark. That was to
cut a new street from Fifth Avenue, near Sixth Avenue, to the end of
Colwell Street, widen the latter, carry it over the Moultrie Street
valley on a high viaduct, skirt around Soho hill, partly above and
partly below Beelen Street, and either join Fifth Avenue at Robinson
Street, or, going over this street, follow along the hillside and meet
the southerly end of Bayard Street. The cost of constructing this line,
the complication of grades with cross-streets (owing to the width of
the new street), and the difficulty of getting good connections with
any thoroughfares leading up the Monongahela, practically put it out
of the question as a solution of the main problem in hand. But it
offers many advantages as a specialized thoroughfare for fast-moving
automobiles for the East End. It is well up on the hill, furnishing,
at times, fine outlooks over the river; the gradient need nowhere be
over 4 per cent, and the line could be easily laid out so as to have
very few grade crossings with other important streets. It is urged that
this route be borne in mind when the demand is felt for another "Grant
Boulevard," south of the Hill.

It remained, then, to consider adequate widenings of Fifth Avenue or
Forbes Street. The former is now 60 feet wide throughout; it is by
far the more important thoroughfare at present, land values are much
higher than on Forbes Street, and new and somewhat costly buildings are
already crowding out the cheap houses of an older generation. Forbes
Street is also 60 feet in width, except near its westerly end where
it is only 50 feet, but the buildings, on the whole, are much less
valuable than those on Fifth Avenue. Lot depths are practically the
same, and so are the street gradients. It is evident, therefore, that
the widening of Forbes Street should be a far less costly undertaking
than the widening of Fifth Avenue.

A thorough study of the possible eastward extensions of Forbes Street
has developed no obstacles to using it as the principal thoroughfare.
By referring to "Outlying Thoroughfare Improvements" below (Sections
11, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 19), it will be seen that a cross connection can
easily be secured at Brady Street to Fifth Avenue--the latter being
the easier street to widen beyond this point, as well as offering
somewhat better gradients. It will also be seen that the thoroughfare
extension to Greenfield, Hazelwood, Glenwood, and eastward, can branch
from Forbes Street (just east of Brady) more easily and cheaply than
it could from Fifth Avenue. Forbes Street, moreover, enters the down
town district at a slightly more central, and, considering the proposed
improvements in the down town district, a more advantageous point.

It is recommended, therefore, that Forbes Street be made the main
artery of this eastbound thoroughfare system, and that it be widened to
100 feet. As in the case of Penn Avenue, the widening should be made on
both sides if done by the gradual process; but if done all at one time,
it should be made entirely on the south side.


South Hills Artery]

Between the Point District and the South Hills there is now urgent need
for a thoroughfare connection of adequate capacity and on reasonable
gradients. At present the only access for surface traffic--except
electric cars--is via the Brownsville Road, or South Eighteenth Street,
or the inclines. The two roads are steep, from 7 to 8 per cent, and the
inclines are expensive and of very limited capacity. The South Hills
country is sparsely developed as yet, but, being comparatively free
from smoke and very near to the business district, it offers unusually
desirable opportunities for homes, and it must soon be thickly settled.
The need for a good thoroughfare to this region will then be of far
greater importance even than now.

Only two reasonable ways of securing such a thoroughfare appear. One is
by a new slanting road up the hillside south of the river, much longer,
and so on an easier gradient, than Brownsville Road; the other is by
some high-level bridge and tunnel scheme, such as that proposed by
residents of the South Hills.

The opportunities for a hillside road have been studied with some care,
but the excessive length required to get a reasonable gradient, and
the difficulties and high cost of constructing a wide thoroughfare on
the steep hillside, have proved to be serious drawbacks to all possible
plans for such a street.

[Illustration: Entrance to a thoroughfare tunnel, Stuttgart]

In any thoroughfare scheme to the South Hills, it is reasonably clear
that the end to be attained is the _most direct_ access possible on
_easy gradients_ to the _higher levels_ of the South Hills country. For
it is on the upper levels, the hilltops and the upper slopes, that most
of the present development has taken place; and there can be little
doubt that in the future, even when building space is at a much higher
premium than it is now, the overwhelming majority of the population
will be found on the hills rather than in the narrow valleys.

[Illustration: Thoroughfare tunnel at Budapest]

[Illustration: Panther Hollow bridge--a good-looking viaduct in

There are certain general tendencies which are observable, both in
America and in Europe, in cities which have a large area of hilltop
land separated by deep valleys. The hills are generally preferred for
residential purposes, and the earliest roads or trails often follow the
ridges, plunging down and climbing up again steeply to get from one
ridge to another. The main roads in the second stage of development
are apt to seek the valleys for the sake of good gradients, with a
corresponding development of the most active urban growth in the
valleys and on the lower slopes; the hilltop development being retarded
by lack of transportation facilities. Nevertheless the continued
attractiveness of the uplands slowly builds them up, and as the wealth
of the community grows there is an inevitable tendency to reduce the
obstacles to ready connection between one hill district and another by
raising the levels of the bridges which cross the intervening valleys.
Bolder and bolder viaducts are built, until finally there is a complete
and more or less independent highway system on the upper levels, and
the major part of the residential district comes to be there too.

Obviously, therefore, every opportunity should be utilized to gain
grade, in the approach to the South Hills District, by starting at a
high elevation and wasting no distance in level stretches, if the most
efficient thoroughfare artery to this district is to be secured.

[Illustration: A viaduct in Lausanne, showing how the valleys are
spanned by the main traffic ways]

The bridge and tunnel plan, proposed by residents of the South Hills,
is briefly as follows: to start from Forbes Street, at Sixth Avenue,
and rise steadily to the bluff north of Second Avenue; from here to
rise on a bridge over the river, at a uniform gradient, to the opposite
hill; to pierce the hill by a tunnel, at the same gradient, and reach
the level of the present highways at the junction of Washington Avenue
and Haberman Street. It is proposed also to have a lower deck on the
bridge, which would connect East Carson Street with Second Avenue and
an extension of Sixth Avenue.

This plan has the obvious advantage of starting some 40 feet higher
than any of the present bridge approaches in the down town district,
and at a point from 500 to 1000 feet north of any other feasible
point of departure. Considerable gain is thus made at the very start.
A uniform, uninterrupted gradient is proposed, from Forbes Street
to Washington Avenue, in order to climb the maximum amount possible
with a given distance and gradient. Information furnished us through
the office of Edwin K. Morse shows that the horizontal distance from
Forbes Street to Washington Avenue is 6800 feet and the difference
in elevation between the two points is 260 feet. It follows that a
uniform gradient, from one end to the other would be 3.82 per cent;
this could be reduced to 3.74 per cent by raising the grade of Forbes
Street about 6 feet, a change which is to be desired in connection
with the down town thoroughfare improvements and the Civic Center. At
first sight this gradient seems good for Pittsburgh; but bearing in
mind the distance--over a mile and a quarter--for which this gradient
is maintained without a break, considerable hesitancy is felt about
recommending it for the main artery of a large thoroughfare system. A
gradient of 3.5 per cent should probably be considered a maximum for
such a long climb on a main thoroughfare, and 3 per cent would be far
better. The former gradient could be secured by dropping the southern
end of the tunnel about 16 feet, the latter by dropping it about 50
feet. In either case, the southern end of the tunnel, or its approach,
would be bent westward and extended a little down the valley, north
of Washington Avenue, toward the mouth of the street car tunnel. The
exact amount of reduction to be desired in the tunnel gradient must
be finally determined in conjunction with a careful study of its
southerly extensions based on complete and accurate surveys of the
possible routes. There is no advantage in lengthening one portion of a
thoroughfare to get a 3 per cent gradient if nothing better than 3.5 or
4 per cent can be secured on the rest of the route. The surveys made
for the County Commissioners, under the direction of E. M. Bigelow,
and courteously shown to representatives of the Civic Commission,
unfortunately fail to furnish the needful data, as they do not extend
to the upland districts which are the ultimate objective of the
proposed route.


The high-level tunnel reaches existing streets at Washington Avenue.
From this point is planned a system of thoroughfares, which, if
constructed, would reach all parts of the South Hills. These
thoroughfares are indicated by dashes beyond the junction of the tunnel
with Washington Avenue.

The Bell House, or low-level tunnel is indicated by a dotted line. It
is an approach to the West Liberty Road and would give easy access only
to the territory reached by that road and to other territory in the
nearby valley bottoms.]

[Illustration: The above diagrams show the areas that can be reached
via the low-level and high-level tunnel routes to the South Hills, on a
maximum gradient of 3½ per cent, by hauls of various lengths from City
Hall. The areas are given in the following table:

           |                     |Amount of land sloping|  Remaining land
           | Total area reached  |   over 25 per cent   |  available for use
  Length of|                     |                      |
  haul from|                     |                      |
  City Hall|                     |                      |
           |Low-level |High-level|Low-level |High-level |Low-level |High-level
           |   route  |  route   |  route   |  route    |  route   |  route
  2½ miles | 156 acres|1091 acres|  86 acres| 373 acres |  70 acres| 718 acres
  3 miles  | 672   "  |2710   "  | 293   "  | 848   "   | 379   "  |1862   "
  3½ miles |2763   "  |4877   "  |1053   "  |1617   "   |1710   "  |3260   "
  4 miles  |6329   "  |7408   "  |1935   "  |2449   "   |4394   "  |4959   "

But even without precise data, it is clear that the best permanent
means of reaching those upland districts, whether on one side of
Sawmill Run or on the other, is not by a tunnel debouching in the
bottom of the valley--say at the Bell Tavern. This follows from the
fact that the tunnel _can_ reach a much higher level at a good gradient
and with a shorter distance. And from this higher outlet point a
viaduct high in the air above the Bell Tavern would give direct access
to the uplands of Beechview and Mt. Lebanon and southward, while
streets of easy gradient would reach the uplands east of Sawmill Run.
The high level tunnel, furthermore, will reach all the areas served by
the low level, or Bell Tavern, route, and in addition can reach the
other and more important lands on the hills which _cannot_ be reached
via the Bell Tavern route within a reasonable distance.

The thoroughfare extensions from the southern end of the tunnel are
briefly discussed under "Outlying Thoroughfare Improvements" below. At
its northern end the new bridge would fit admirably into the proposed
thoroughfare system of the Down Town District, main wide streets
extending directly from the end of the bridge approach to the north,
south, east, and west.

Owing to the importance of the South Side as a point for the delivery
of freight, a reasonably direct and easy approach from there to the
new tunnel seems desirable. Freight to be teamed to the South Hills
District seems likely to originate either near the Smithfield Street
bridge, or east of South Seventeenth Street. From the former point, it
is almost out of the question to get an approach of easy gradient to
the mouth of the tunnel, on account of the lack of distance; but it
must be remembered that the inclines will still be available, greatly
relieved by the new tunnel from their present congestion, and further
that freight for the South Hills could easily be shipped to points
from which access to the new tunnel would be easy and direct. From
the latter point, the connection can be secured by climbing over the
railroad on a viaduct, probably along South Twelfth Street, and thence
following the hillside westward on a more or less uniform gradient
to the mouth of the tunnel. An examination of the hillside below the
Brownsville Road indicates that such a street, though somewhat costly,
is not in the least impracticable. It might be best to construct
it with a minimum of cutting by the use of a sidehill viaduct of
reinforced concrete.

With the modifications above suggested the plan proposed by the
residents of the South Hills, for a bridge and tunnel to the South
Hills District, is eminently desirable. It is, therefore, urgently
recommended as the best method of securing an adequate main
thoroughfare artery to this region.


The following recommendations are in no sense the result of an
exhaustive study of the main thoroughfare system of the Pittsburgh
District. They comprise only the most desirable improvements noted
during a general study of the outlying branches and connections of
those thoroughfares which concentrate upon the down town district. The
fact that a study undertaken with such a point of view has led so far
afield that it has compelled the investigation of existing and probable
connections so remote as some of those noted below, is, in itself,
evidence of the complexity of the highway problem, and of the fact that
it cannot be dealt with locally, in a piecemeal manner, without great
sacrifice of opportunity.

The improvements are designated in the following text by numbers which
correspond with those on the accompanying folded map of the Pittsburgh

1. _Sixteenth Street Bridge._--The first thoroughfare branch of the
Penn Avenue artery is the Sixteenth Street bridge. Because of its
physical unfitness, and because it is, at present, an unreasonable
interference to navigation, it must soon be rebuilt.[12]

At the time of reconstruction, the railroad grade crossing on each
approach should be eliminated, probably by carrying the street over the
tracks. At the southern end, the grades make such a change very simple.
At the northern end, the separation of grades will be facilitated if
the tracks of the Pittsburgh and Western Division of the Pennsylvania
Railroad can be lowered a few feet. No physical objection to such a
change of track grade is apparent.

[Illustration: Diagram No. 1. Thirty-third Street improvement. Profile
of Liberty Avenue]

2. _Twenty-eighth Street Grade Crossings._--Near Twenty-eighth Street
the tracks of the Allegheny Valley Railroad cross both Liberty and
Penn Avenues at grade. These grade crossings should be eliminated, the
railroad tracks being raised to go over both streets.

[Illustration: Diagram No. 2. Penn-Liberty connection at Thirty-first

3. _Thirty-third Street Improvement._--At Thirty-third Street on
Liberty Avenue there is a railroad grade crossing. The street should be
lifted over the tracks and the filling extended west to Thirty-first
Street and east to Thirty-seventh Street; in this way the gradient of
the steep portion of the Lawrenceville hill can be reduced from 5.6 per
cent to 4 per cent, which is the present gradient on the rest of the
hill. (Diagram No. 1.) An easy connection should be made with the Penn
Avenue artery at about Thirty-first Street. (Diagram No. 2.) With these
changes the Penn-Liberty line would provide a thoroughfare from the
down town district to the East End with a 4 per cent maximum gradient,
which is easier than can be reasonably obtained on any other line.
The northern end of the Thirty-third Street bridge and the west end
of Ligonier Streets should be raised to meet the new grade of Liberty
Avenue; the bridge will then be about level, and Ligonier Street will
slope between 6 and 7 per cent down to Thirty-fourth Street.

[Illustration: Diagram No. 3. Penn-Liberty Connection at Howley Street.]

4. _Sassafras Street Outlet._--Raising the grade on Liberty Avenue will
seriously interfere with the western outlet of Sassafras Street. But
if this street becomes of sufficient importance--and its location in
the valley close to the railroads suggests a considerable development
of its frontage for freight houses, warehouses or manufacturing--it
will be simple and satisfactory to bring the western outlet to the
junction of Penn Avenue and Butler Street by means of a short tunnel
under Thirty-fourth Street from the south side of Liberty Avenue to the
northwest side of Ligonier Street.

5. _Penn-Liberty Connection at Howley Street._--A connection northeast
from the junction of Liberty Avenue and Main Street to Penn Avenue
will be needed. (Diagram No. 3). This can be secured by widening
and extending Howley Street. Thereby traffic bound for the Garfield
District and east thereof can climb the Lawrenceville hill by the
comparatively easy gradient (4 per cent) on Liberty Avenue, avoiding
the steeper hill (about 5 per cent) on Penn Avenue. This will also
connect with the proposed Bloomfield bridge to Grant Boulevard.

6. _Forty-third Street Bridge._--Butler Street is the main extension
of the Penn Avenue artery up the Allegheny River, and its first branch
thoroughfare is at Forty-third Street. The Forty-third Street bridge,
like the one at Sixteenth Street, must soon be rebuilt.[13] This bridge
connects Millvale and large sections of Shaler and Ross townships with
the Point District via the Penn Avenue artery. The new bridge should be
of ample width and should be high enough so that the approaches can be
carried over the railroad tracks at either end.

7. _Sharpsburg Bridge._--The Sharpsburg bridge is the next important
branch of the Butler Street thoroughfare. It forms the most direct
connection from Pittsburgh proper to the boroughs of Sharpsburg and
Etna and to large portions of Shaler and O'Hara townships. The bridge
should be widened--the present roadway being only 21 feet including car
tracks--and the northern approaches should be improved. (Sections 60
and 61 following.)

8. _Butler Street Improvement._--From a point nearly opposite the
western end of Baker Street east to Haights Run, there is no property
of value for manufacturing, or for dwellings, or stores, between
Butler Street and the railroad which runs below it on the river bank.
The same is true east of Haights Run as far as the Brilliant pumping
station or the present beginning of Beechwood Boulevard. It seems
very desirable that these portions of Butler Street, instead of being
widened merely enough for traffic accommodation, be developed as a
picturesque riverside parkway--a fitting approach to Highland Park and
a continuation of Beechwood Boulevard. This involves the control of the
narrow strip of property between Butler Street and the railroad; though
occasional houses might be allowed to remain therein without detriment
to the effect as a whole. The Bureau of Parks is working along these
general lines, and has already bought many parcels of the land north of
Highland Park between Butler Street and the railroad.

9. _Haights Run Bridge._--The present Butler Street bridge over Haights
Run is of light construction and has a total width of only 17 feet;
this should be rebuilt of ample strength and capacity.

10. _The Aspinwall Bridge._--The Aspinwall bridge, crossing the
river at Six Mile Island from Butler Street to the eastern portion of
Sharpsburg, is narrow (36 feet over all) and is of light construction.
It is so important that it will some day need to be rebuilt of ample
width and strength for main thoroughfare use. At its southern end it
connects (1) with the Butler Street thoroughfare, of which it forms
the northeastern extension, and (2) with a proposed cross-town line
(Section 25 following) up the Haights Run Valley to East Liberty. On
the north it connects directly with Guyasuta and Aspinwall, with most
of the country in O'Hara township, and with the Freeport Road leading
to Claremont, Montrose, Oakmont and all points up the Allegheny River.
This Freeport Road is destined to become _the_ main thoroughfare up
the Allegheny because the precipitous character of the south bank of
the river, and the consequent almost total absence of land suited
to residential or commercial development between Highland Park and
Verona, make the direct extension of Butler Street, as a riverside
thoroughfare, both expensive and impracticable.

[Illustration: Diagram No 4. Forbes Street--Fifth Avenue connection at

[Illustration: Diagram No. 5. Fifth Avenue--Center Avenue connection at

11. _Forbes Street--Fifth Avenue Connection at Soho._--At Soho the
connection between the Forbes Street artery and Fifth Avenue--the
principal thoroughfare to Bellefield and all points to the east
thereof--is most simply accomplished by splitting the Forbes Street
artery at Seneca Street into two levels, the upper, on the north side,
running on nearly a straight line and gradient to Fifth Avenue, joining
it just west of the school house. (Diagram No. 4.) The lower portion
would become the continuation of Forbes Street, and should be raised
at Brady Street about 17 feet, or so much that the gradient on Brady
Street, up from Forbes Street under the proposed high-level street
to Fifth Avenue, will not be over 6 or 7 per cent. A good gradient
will still be possible on the approach from Forbes Street to the
Twenty-second Street bridge; and the Forbes Street gradient, down from
Seneca Street, will be much reduced. These changes will greatly improve
the means of access to the Twenty-second Street bridge.

On Forbes Street, just west of Craft Avenue, there is a bad gradient
for a main thoroughfare (about 6½ per cent) which is not easy to
improve; but the above cross connection at Brady Street will give a
through line to the East End via the Forbes Street artery and Fifth
Avenue, with a maximum gradient of about 4½ per cent (on the Soho hill).

[Illustration: Diagram No. 6. Ellsworth Avenue extension]

12. _Fifth Avenue--Center Avenue Connection at Soho._--As a main
thoroughfare feeding Minersville and the northern part of the Hill
District, either from the South Side via the Twenty-second Street
bridge, or from the Point District via Fifth Avenue or Forbes Street,
a connection is needed on a reasonable gradient from Fifth Avenue to
Center Avenue through the valley south of Soho hill. Such a street
(Diagram No. 5) could leave Fifth Avenue at Jumonville Street, start
along the location of Wyandotte Street, then curve around the nose
of the hill and follow the hillside on the west of the valley; thus,
by cutting away some of the recent filling at the upper end of the
valley, it could reach Center Avenue at the corner of Soho Street with
a uniform gradient of about 3 per cent. At present there is no way of
reaching this high land on a gradient less than 7 per cent.

The new street shown on the diagram is preferred to the improvement and
extension of Moultrie Street because (1) it gives a better gradient,
(2) it is a more direct approach from the down town district, and (3)
it leaves the bottom of the valley available for enlarging the Moultrie
Street playground.[14]

[Illustration: A one-sided hill-street in Geneva, possessing an
incidental recreative value]

13. _Ellsworth Avenue Extension._--As Fifth Avenue is the principal
thoroughfare to Bellefield, so Ellsworth Avenue becomes its main branch
or extension from Bellefield to East Liberty. This street should not
end at Neville Street, as at present, but should be extended to the
corner of Craig Street and Fifth Avenue. (Diagram No. 6.)

[Illustration: Diagram No. 7. Monongahela hillside thoroughfare--a
typical section]

14. _Monongahela Hillside Thoroughfare._--The thoroughfare requirements
from the Forbes Street artery up the Monongahela River can best be
met by a hillside street, partly new and partly following existing
streets, running substantially parallel to Second Avenue but along
the hillside above the railroad tracks. This thoroughfare would leave
Forbes Street at the bend about 1200 feet east of Brady Street, cross
the little valley (which should be filled north of the new street) and
extend eastward, crossing Bates Run on a viaduct, and using, where
possible, parts of Lawn and Frazier Streets, to the mouth of Four Mile
Run. Thence, by another viaduct, it would connect with Sylvan Avenue,
on the north side of the valley, and follow this street widened to
Hazelwood Avenue; by another viaduct it would cross the Flowers Avenue
valley to Glenwood Avenue and follow the latter widened and partially
regraded to Mansion Street. There it would bend to the northeast, cut
through the plateau land to the next ravine, cross this on a viaduct
and, bending southward again, descend around the nose of the hill to
the Glenwood bridge. So easy a gradient can be obtained on this new
street that it may reasonably be expected to carry nearly all the
through traffic. With proper connections (the most important of which
are described below), it will also take most of the travel to and from
the residential districts lying above it to the northeast.

The location of this street, high on the hillside above the Monongahela
River, presents unusual opportunities incidental to serving its primary
purpose as a main thoroughfare. With an ample roadway for all kinds of
traffic, with trees for shade and decoration, with a broad promenade
overlooking the river and the hills to the south, it would furnish rare
and much-needed facilities for recreation; and, further, it would have
a distinctive character most appropriate to the rugged topography of
the Pittsburgh District. (Diagram No. 7.)

15. _Bates Run Connection._--Starting from the western end of this new
street, the first important transverse street connection would be at
Bates Run. Here a street should be run up the east side of the valley,
not far from the present location of Romeo Street, to the intersection
of Wilmot and Bates Streets, thus reaching the Oakland District.

16. _Greenfield Avenue Connection._--On the southeast side of Four
Mile Run the new thoroughfare will pass over Greenfield Avenue. But
a connection should be made therewith by running a practically level
street, from about the junction point of Sylvan Avenue and the new
thoroughfare, northeast along the hillside adjacent to Greenfield
Avenue until it meets the Greenfield Avenue grade.

17. _Greenfield and Squirrel Hill Extension._--From this point
on Greenfield Avenue a new street should be built running to the
northeast. It would cross the first little ravine on a viaduct, thence
follow the south bank of the Four Mile Run valley, climbing at a
uniform gradient, and join Beechwood Boulevard at the southern end of
the bridge into Schenley Park. This will furnish a direct connection
from the new hillside thoroughfare to the eastern portion of the
Greenfield District and to Squirrel Hill; the maximum gradient will be
only about 3½ per cent instead of about 7 per cent as at present on
Greenfield Avenue.

This new street could be extended, from the point where it joins the
boulevard, underneath the Greenfield Avenue viaduct, along the side of
the valley to the south and up to the higher portions of the Greenfield
District. The gradient of such a street need not exceed 5 per cent.

18. _Hazelwood Grade Crossing._--Although the construction of the
hillside thoroughfare (Section 14 above) does away with the necessity
for widening Second Avenue east of the Tenth Street bridge, Second
Avenue is still an important main line, and all feasible improvements
should be made thereon. One of these is the elimination of the grade
crossing at Hazelwood, and here Second Avenue should probably be
carried under the tracks.

19. _Glenwood Bridge._--The Glenwood bridge becomes a most important
link in the thoroughfare system; it connects Second Avenue and the
proposed hillside line at one end, with Eighth Avenue in West Homestead
and with the mouth of Streets Run at the other. Eighth Avenue leads
up the Monongahela to Homestead, Munhall, Rankin, Braddock, Bessemer,
Duquesne and McKeesport; Streets Run is the starting point of several
important thoroughfare lines into the country south and east. One of
these thoroughfares will undoubtedly be a main line from the city
proper to Dravosburg and points above on the Monongahela River. The
bridge should certainly be widened and the gradients of the approaches
improved, especially that from Second Avenue.

20. _Baum Street Improvement._--Grant Boulevard will always be an
important line to the East End, especially for fast-moving travel. To
improve its outlet eastward from Herron Hill, Baum Street and South
Atlantic Avenue should be connected and extended west to Craig Street.
The connection between the two streets is easily made by cutting
through the corner between Liberty Avenue and Rebecca Street, leaving
a small triangular park. The extension of South Atlantic Avenue will
require a bridge over the Pennsylvania Railroad just east of Morewood
Avenue, a bridge over the Baltimore & Ohio tracks, and the grading and
paving of the street already located west to Melwood Avenue and Craig

At its eastern end the outlet into Penn Avenue should be improved by
widening Whitfield Street on the east side and by rounding back the
corner of Baum Street and South Highland Avenue.

21. _Center Avenue Improvement._--The junction of Center, Ellsworth and
South Highland Avenues at East Liberty is certain to become a congested
point and to require more ample outlet into Penn Avenue. Several
possible solutions have been considered, but the simplest plan, and
probably in the end the most economical and satisfactory, is to widen
Center Avenue on the south side from South Highland Avenue to Penn
Avenue, cutting off the jog at the latter end. This improvement will
give ample connection with Penn Avenue and the more important streets
radiating from East Liberty. (Diagram No. 9.)

22. _Hamilton Avenue Extension._--The proposed extension of Hamilton
Avenue from Fifth Avenue west to Penn Avenue is certainly desirable.
The western end, however, should not be located adjacent to the
Pennsylvania Railroad tracks (as planned by the Bureau of Surveys)
but should join Frankstown Avenue at Station Street. (Diagram No.
9.) This location provides a more economical arrangement of streets
and lots because it avoids (1) constructing a main thoroughfare
with business frontage on only one side, and (2) leaving a building
block only 100 feet in total depth between two main streets. The
plan necessitates widening Frankstown Avenue, but this street is an
important thoroughfare much in need of widening on its own account and
a few additional feet to accommodate Hamilton Avenue traffic will not
materially affect the cost.

At its eastern end the Hamilton Avenue extension should connect more
directly with Kelly Street. This connection can be secured by widening
and constructing Kelly Street, as located, from Fifth Avenue to Julius
Street, and from there building a short diagonal to Hamilton Avenue.
(Diagram No. 8.)

[Illustration: Diagram No. 8. Hamilton Avenue extension]

23. _Negley Run Boulevard._--East Liberty is so important a junction
point of main thoroughfares, a distributing point as it were, that
good connections to all localities are important. One of these is a
boulevard, or street, chiefly for pleasure vehicles, down Negley Run to
Beechwood Boulevard. It could practically follow the lines of Princeton
Place and Butler Street. By widening and regrading these streets and by
acquiring and controlling the ravine and its banks a very attractive
boulevard may easily be secured. Incidentally an extremely unattractive
and undesirable Negro and Italian settlement, in this valley, will be
cleared out.

24. _Larimer Avenue Extension._--Princeton Place, or the boulevard just
proposed, and Larimer Avenue, a thoroughfare leading into the Lincoln
District, both dead-end at Broad Street. A connection for both should
be made through to Penn Avenue. (Diagram No. 9.)

When this change is made and Frankstown Avenue is widened (Section 22)
the eastern corner of Frankstown and Penn Avenue should be cut back to
aid general traffic circulation.

[Illustration: Diagram No. 9. East Liberty Improvement]

25. _Haights Run Thoroughfare._--Another connection to be desired is
from the East Liberty center to the Aspinwall bridge. The needed link
is from Stanton Avenue to Butler Street. Following Haights Avenue for
two blocks the new street should extend down the west bank of the
Haights Run valley, with a maximum gradient of about 3½ per cent, to
Butler Street. This new street would be used for both business and
pleasure traffic, and its location on the steep side of a beautiful
valley, much of which is already park land, will greatly enhance
its value as a pleasure drive.[16] West frontage on this street,
where the bank is not too high for use, will have a peculiar value
for residential purposes owing to the permanence and beauty of an
unobstructed outlook toward the park.

A branch connection might easily be secured (at a somewhat steeper
gradient) between this new street and the table land of the Morningside
District by winding up the side of the branch valley and joining
Chislett Street four or five hundred feet south of Martha Street.

26. _Meadow Street Connections._--Stanton Avenue is already an
important thoroughfare feeding the high sections of Morningside and
cross-connecting many radial streets especially in the Highland Park
District. Meadow Street is its logical extension to the southeast, and
by an approach from Stanton Avenue to the new Meadow Street bridge
over Negley Run these two streets can and should be connected. It is
understood that this connection is already being made.

Unfortunately on the east Meadow Street comes almost to a dead-end
a block or so before reaching the junction of Frankstown and Fifth
Avenues. Owing to the location of the Pittsburgh Hospital, the
direct extension of Meadow Street is impracticable and the outlet to
Frankstown Avenue can best be secured by widening Finley Street.

27. _Stanton Avenue Connection to the Lincoln District._--A viaduct
should be built from Stanton Avenue, at substantially the point where
it enters Highland Park, running over Beechwood Boulevard and the
Brillant Cutoff tracks to that portion of Highland Park lying east of
the railroad and now practically unused because of its inaccessibility.

Furthermore, if it shall be possible to acquire a considerable portion
of the Highland Cemetery property (still vacant) for residential or
other taxpaying use, or if simply a right-of-way can be secured through
the cemetery property, a combined thoroughfare and boulevard should be
built from the viaduct above proposed, running about as shown on the
map and connecting with Lincoln Avenue at the top of the hill. By this
line the steep gradients on Lincoln Avenue can be avoided and the high
country to the east reached on a gradient of not over 4¾ per cent.

28. _Beechwood Boulevard Connection._--Chiefly for pleasure traffic
more street accommodation is needed between the ends of Beechwood
Boulevard, at Frankstown Avenue and at Fifth Avenue. As the
Pennsylvania Railroad freight yards practically prevent linking the
ends of the Boulevard by a new street west of Fifth Avenue, the best
plan would be to widen Fifth Avenue, from boulevard to boulevard,
enough for two roadways, one for pleasure vehicles and the other for
business traffic. (Diagram No. 10.) The west roadway would be best
suited for pleasure travel because more than half of the west frontage
is occupied by freight yards requiring access at only one or two fixed

[Illustration: Diagram No. 10. Beechwood Boulevard connection. A
possible section]

29. _Boundary Street Improvement._--The plan to relocate and lower the
Baltimore & Ohio Railroad tracks in Junction Hollow and to construct a
cross-town thoroughfare on the present railroad site, is advantageous
to all concerned and, it is hoped, will soon be carried out. The
new street (Boundary Street relocated), at its southern end, should
connect both with Second Avenue and the proposed hillside thoroughfare
(Section 14); with the former by following the present line of Forward
Avenue south to Greenfield Avenue, and with the latter by going over
the Baltimore & Ohio tracks just north of the present Sylvan Avenue
viaduct, and extending west along the bank up to the new hillside
street. At its northern end the new Boundary Street would bend to
the east, after passing under Forbes Street, and, following the side
of the ravine to get an easy gradient, curve westward again and join
Fifth Avenue at Clyde Street. A branch to the west could connect with
Boquet Street at Joncaire and with Forbes Street at the Schenley Park
entrance. (See Bellefield Improvement, Plans A and B, Part IV, pages
102 to 104.)

The new Boundary Street line should further be extended from Clyde
Street north to Millvale Avenue at Center Avenue. This will give a
continuous cross-town thoroughfare--the first one on a good gradient
east of the down town district--from Second Avenue on the south to Penn
Avenue on the north, tapping, en route, practically all the radial
thoroughfares in the East End.

30. _Murray Avenue Extension._--Murray Avenue, in Squirrel Hill, is of
secondary importance as a thoroughfare, owing to its steep gradients:
but its usefulness can and should be increased by extending the street
south along the line of the street railway from Forward Avenue, over
Beechwood Boulevard on a viaduct or bridge, to Hazelwood Avenue.

Practically as a continuation of this line and of the Boulevard,
the present roadway to Brown's bridge, now maintained by the Street
Railways Company, should be widened and improved as a city street.

31. _Beechwood Boulevard Re-alignment._--Beechwood Boulevard at Monitor
Street makes two uncomfortably sharp bends to skirt a ravine. The
ravine should be filled out two or three hundred feet from the upper
end, and the Boulevard should be carried across on an easy curve at the
eastern edge of the fill.

32. _Second Avenue Extension._--From the Glenwood bridge to the
mouth of Nine Mile Run, the old location of Second Avenue, between
the Baltimore & Ohio tracks and the river, presents a first-rate
opportunity for a riverside street or boulevard. There are practically
no buildings or industries requiring river frontage for commercial
purposes, and yet there is sufficient room for a riverside thoroughfare
of ample width without encroaching too much upon the flood section
of the river. In a city where rivers play so vital a part in the
commercial development, and form a most telling and characteristic
element in the landscape, every opportunity should be seized to enjoy
as well as utilize them.

To be well above a maximum flood line, a boulevard along the water's
edge would have to be nearly as high as the railroad grade; but
to avoid the large cost for river walls and filling, which such a
construction would imply, the road could be built at a level only
rarely flooded without sacrificing an appreciable amount of its
essential value for recreative purposes. At its southern end it would
rise over the Baltimore & Ohio tracks, a short distance east of the
Glenwood bridge, to connect with the proposed hillside thoroughfare
(Section 14); and at its northern end it would rise to connect with
Brown's bridge, and from there could extend into the Nine Mile Run
valley. A parallel location for this street, on the hillside above
the railroad, has been suggested and carefully considered; but it is
believed that, owing to the large amount of retaining wall required,
the cost of construction would be almost, if not fully, as great as in
the other location, and, other things being equal, it is a very real
disadvantage to have a railroad between the river and a road which
would otherwise have so much value as a pleasure drive. In either
location, however, this street would form an attractive and important
link in a hoped-for park and parkway development.[17]

33. _Batavia Street._--Frankstown Road is the principal thoroughfare
feeding large portions of Penn township and country to the east. The
importance of this line means inevitably the concentration of much
traffic at the junction of Frankstown Avenue and Oakwood Street where
the Frankstown Road begins. Some relief can and should be afforded by
improving portions of Batavia Street and extending it to Frankstown
Road at Blackadore Avenue. Batavia Street should also be extended
across Oakwood Street to Kelly Street, thus encouraging the use of the
latter as an approach to the Frankstown Road thoroughfare.

34. _Wilkinsburg Grade Crossings._--In Wilkinsburg three important
streets,--Rebecca Avenue, South Avenue and Penn Avenue,--cross the
Pennsylvania Railroad tracks at grade. Although plans for separating
these grades must depend on the general plan of the Railroad for
improvements in this region, it seems that the best solution, both for
the Railroad and for the people, will probably be to raise the tracks
as much as possible and to carry them over the streets. It is supposed
that a plan to raise their tracks is now under consideration by the

35. _Wilkinsburg-Edgewood Connection._--Improved thoroughfare
connections from Wilkinsburg through Edgewood to Swissvale, Rankin and
beyond are much needed. Pennwood and Edgewood Avenues offer perhaps the
most promising route. By sufficiently widening the former from Hampton
Avenue to Hutchinson Avenue it can be divided, the east half remaining
as at present, and the west half rising gradually to an overhead
railroad crossing at Hutchinson Avenue. East of the tracks the street
would descend gradually to the south over Race Street to the junction
of Swissvale and Edgewood Avenues, forming practically an extension of
the latter.

Pennwood Avenue should also be extended along the railroad from Rebecca
Avenue to Penn Avenue. If possible, the small freight yard now in the
way should be removed, perhaps to the other side of Penn Avenue, but if
this proves to be impracticable it will not be unreasonably indirect to
carry Pennwood Avenue around and simply cut back the southerly corner
of the freight yard.

36. _Braddock Avenue--Northerly End._--Braddock Avenue should be an
important thoroughfare, cross-town from Frankstown Avenue to Forbes
Street, and radial from Forbes Street southeast. North of Penn Avenue
it is only located; this portion should be constructed and the railroad
grade crossing eliminated.

37. _Braddock Avenue Viaduct._--To avoid the two, long, bad gradients
on Braddock Avenue, crossing the Nine Mile Run valley, a diagonal
connection should be made from Henrietta Street and Braddock Avenue
to Hutchinson and Laclaire Streets. From the southern end of Laclaire
Street a viaduct should be built across the valley, and connections
should be made to South Braddock Avenue at the top of the hill and to
Monongahela Street at Euclaire Street.

38. _Rankin Improvement._--Miller Avenue and Fifth Avenue extension
continue the Monongahela Street thoroughfare in Rankin. The sharp
cramped corners at Harriet Street should be eliminated by cutting a
diagonal from Miller Avenue at Gas Alley to Fifth Avenue extension at
Harriet Street.

The steep gradients and cramped turns from Hawkins Avenue to Braddock
Avenue, at the Braddock borough line, should be short-circuited by
extending Fifth Avenue eastward from Hawkins Avenue to Kenmawr Avenue,
lowering the grade of the latter or even running under it if necessary
to get an easy gradient, and thence running southward along the side of
the valley to Braddock Avenue.

The portion of Braddock Avenue north of the Pennsylvania Railroad
should connect with this new street by bending sharply to the west,
after crossing the tracks, descending on a gradient of 4 or 4½ per
cent, and joining the Fifth Avenue extension at about Antisbury Street.

39. _Forbes Street Extension._--Kelly Avenue is the best extension of
Forbes Street from East End Avenue, under the Pennsylvania tracks, to
the eastern portion of Wilkinsburg. The two streets do not connect
easily at Peebles Street, and a diagonal should be run through the
Pittsburgh Field Club grounds from East End Avenue to Kelly Avenue.

From Trenton Street to West Street, Kelly Avenue is quite steep; but
the gradient can easily be reduced by filling 10 or 12 feet at West

40. _Woodstock Avenue Extension._--Woodstock Avenue is probably
the most important thoroughfare from Swissvale to Braddock, East
Pittsburgh, and points up Turtle Creek; but it connects very indirectly
at Swissvale with Edgewood and Braddock Avenues, its main feeders.
From Rosslyn Street it should be extended to Center Street at the end
of the Washington Avenue bridge over the railroad, and from there
curve around parallel to the railroad, descending gradually past the
Swissvale station to Braddock Avenue. The corner of Noble and Orchid
Streets could be lowered to meet the grade of the new street, and
the connection with Edgewood Avenue would be via Orchid Street as at

41. _Bell Avenue Extension._--Hawkins and Bell Avenues form the natural
extension of the Woodstock Avenue thoroughfare through North Braddock.
The connection between these two, however (west of Jones Avenue), is
indirect and cramped. Fortunately it can easily be improved; Bell
Avenue should be extended northwest along High Street (by widening the
latter on the south side), thence, by a viaduct or filling, across the
ravine to join Hawkins Avenue at the bend by Penn Street.

42. _Ardmore Thoroughfare._--The route of the Ardmore car line offers
a first-rate opportunity for a direct thoroughfare from Wilkinsburg
to East Pittsburgh and thence up Turtle Creek. Such a thoroughfare
is much needed, partly because it will open up for development large
areas of the back country in Wilkins and Braddock townships and partly
because, owing to the already dense development in Rankin, Braddock
and Bessemer, efficient thoroughfare widenings between the steep
hills and the river would be so expensive as to be hardly justified
and very difficult of attainment. The need for extensive street
widenings through these districts will be practically eliminated by a
thoroughfare of easy gradient along the Ardmore route. It is understood
that the County has already begun the construction of this street.

43. _Wilkins Township Thoroughfares._--From Wilkinsburg, Penn Avenue
is the chief thoroughfare approach to most of the hilltop country
in Wilkins township, feeding it via the Greensburg Pike and another
highway to the east. Its gradient is very bad. A new approach can be
made to the high land on an easy gradient by branching to the north
from the proposed Ardmore thoroughfare (Section 42 above) about 3,000
feet east of Franklin Avenue, crossing the mouth of the first valley
and following up the side of the eastern valley to the hilltop roads.

As a further improvement, opening up this high land and connecting the
important radial thoroughfares, this new street should be extended
north along the hilltop to Frankstown Road.

44. _Greensburg Pike._--From the northwest the Greensburg Pike (or Penn
Avenue) descends into Turtle Creek with many sharp angles and a very
steep gradient. A new hillside street descending the west side of the
hill, rounding the nose thereof, and thence extending northward down to
the valley level at Turtle Creek, is not an impossible solution of the
present difficulties.

45. _Greensburg Pike South of Turtle Creek._--South of Turtle Creek
the Greensburg Pike again ascends the hill on a pretty steep gradient.
In part at least this gradient can be improved by making the route
somewhat more circuitous.

46. _Streets Run._--From the Glenwood bridge one thoroughfare, destined
to be of importance, follows the valley of Streets Run to Miller's
Grove, branching there into lines feeding Snowden, Jefferson and the
southern portions of Baldwin and Mifflin townships. The street needs,
in addition to widening, some re-alignment and regrading. At several
points where it crosses the Run, the fords should be replaced by

47. _Dravosburg and Mifflin Township Thoroughfares._--Going south
from the Glenwood bridge the first valley branching eastward from
Streets Run leads to the high land at Lincoln Place. Irwin Street is
the present thoroughfare in this valley, but towards its upper end it
becomes rather steep for main thoroughfare purposes. The most feasible
plan to reach the southern highlands of Mifflin township and to connect
with Dravosburg and thence up the Monongahela, is probably to follow
up the south fork of the Irwin Street valley, climbing gradually but
steadily along the hillside, and reaching the high land above the head
of Thompson Run. From this point branch roads can tap much of the
hilltop land of the township. Extending southeast the main road would
cross the ridge south of Thompson Run, and descend gradually along the
south side of the ridge to Dravosburg; there it would connect with
lines up the Monongahela River.

The high land between Streets Run and Whitaker Run can probably be best
served by a hillside road following up the valley between Homestead and
West Homestead.

48. _Eighth Avenue Improvement._--The Eighth Avenue extension, from
Munhall to Duquesne, has for the most part a satisfactory gradient for
a main thoroughfare; but just south of Green Spring it is unnecessarily
steep. The road can easily be shifted a little down the hill, and the
climb lengthened enough to get a very easy gradient.

The location of this thoroughfare high on a precipitous hillside
overlooking the river and the enormous industrial plants at Braddock
and Bessemer, vital elements in the development of the Pittsburgh
District, presents an opportunity for scenic value which should not
be overlooked. The natural beauty of the hillside and the interesting
outlook over the river should be preserved.

49. _Eighth Avenue Branch Westward._--The best way to reach the
high land west and northwest of Duquesne is from the Eighth Avenue
thoroughfare. A branch could easily wind up the hill from the vicinity
of Kennywood Park, and thence cross the hilltops forming a main east
and west thoroughfare.

50. _Eighth Avenue Branch to Dravosburg._--From the next plateau south
of Kennywood Park a branch could be extended southwest across Thompson
Run (on a viaduct) and along the high land south of the Run. By
branches, very little steeper than the main road, good connections can
be secured with Duquesne and Dravosburg.

51. _Duquesne Bridge._--The bridge from Duquesne to McKeesport has
cramped and dangerous approaches at both ends. The northern approach
should be widened and made less abrupt. The southern end of the bridge
should be lifted and the bridge extended over all the railroad tracks.

[Illustration: Diagram No. 11. Connection from West Park, north side to
California Avenue and Brighton Road.]

52. _California Avenue and Brighton Road Extension._--Coming now to
the North Side, one of the most important thoroughfare routes runs
northwest through Bellevue, Avalon, Ben Avon, Emsworth and down the
Ohio River to Sewickley, Leetsdale and points beyond. California
Avenue in Allegheny, Lincoln Avenue in Bellevue, California Avenue
again in Avalon, then either Brighton Road in Ben Avone, and the old
Beaver Road in Emsworth, or the route followed by the street-car
line through these two boroughs, and the Beaver Road again beyond,
practically comprise this thoroughfare.

Connecting with Stockton and Marion Avenues, a street should be cut
through West Park, North Side, adjacent to the east side of the
railroad from Ohio Street, to the junction of Irwin and North Avenues.
Thence a diagonal should be cut through to the corner of Pennsylvania
Avenue and Fremont Street. (Diagram No. 11.) These changes, together
with the widening of Fremont Street and Washington Avenue, will give a
proper and sufficient outlet (and inlet) for both the California Avenue
and the Brighton Road thoroughfares.

California Avenue should also be cut through, adjacent to the railroad,
from the corner of Sedgwick and Kirkpatrick Streets to Wolf Alley.

53. _Brighton Road Viaduct._--In Ben Avon, Brighton Road makes a steep
and circuitous dip into the Spruce Run valley. This may be avoided by
carrying the street across the ravine on a viaduct from about Park
Street on one side nearly to Dickson Avenue on the other.

54. _East Street._--On account of its steepness, and the difficulty
of improving the gradient, Perrysville Avenue will never be a main
thoroughfare except to the high country immediately north of the down
town North Side. East Street, therefore, must eventually become the
principal thoroughfare leading north. Its gradient is easy and it
needs only widening. Throughout much of its length (except at the
southern end) the widening can now be done, mostly on the east side,
with comparatively little expense for building damage. The physical
widening, however is most urgently needed from Third Street to Madison
Avenue, where the thoroughfare is only 40 feet wide and is closely
built up.

Spring Garden Avenue is a thoroughfare; but as practically all the
territory which might be reached thereby, except the narrow valley in
which the street runs, can be served perfectly well from East Street
and from other lines, the expense of widening Spring Garden Avenue and
its approaches seems scarcely justifiable.

55. _Troy Hill Road._--Troy Hill Road is the thoroughfare to Troy Hill
and the ridge to the north in Reserve township. From Ohio Street up
to the plateau level it is quite steep, about 8 per cent. The only
feasible improvement is to run a new hillside street from Vinial Street
at Wooster around the west nose of the hill and up the north side to
Lowry at Gardener Street. The gradient can thus be reduced to about 5
per cent. But because of the somewhat limited area to be served by this
thoroughfare, and the considerable expense of constructing such a road,
this improvement is not urged as of special importance.

56. _Lowry's Lane._--From Ravine Street north to the county road,
Lowry's Lane, a link in the Troy Hill Road thoroughfare, is very steep
(about 10 per cent). From the foot of the hill a street can easily be
run around the west side of the hill, reaching the county road at its
southern end. By this short detour the gradient will be reduced at
least one half. It is understood that the County has already started an
improvement of this nature.

57. _East Ohio Street._--East Ohio Street with its extensions--Butler
Street, Main Street, Freeport Street and the Freeport Road--forms
the only thoroughfare from the North Side through Millvale, Etna,
Sharpsburg and Aspinwall up the Allegheny River. Most of the way
from Troy Hill Road to Etna, the street is in sore need of widening
and paving. Where it is adjacent to the railroad one sidewalk can be
omitted and that much width saved.

At Millvale the grade must be raised to meet a new approach over the
railroad to the Forty-third Street bridge. (Section 6.)

58. _Millvale Thoroughfare._--Girty Run valley, at the mouth of which
is Millvale, must inevitably be the route of the trunk line for a most
important northern thoroughfare system. Thoroughfares following Girty
Run and its numerous branches can reach Westview, Perrysville and all
parts of Ross and McCandless townships and points north, on reasonable

From the mouth of the valley up to Evergreen, the present thoroughfare,
comprising Grant Street, North Avenue, Klopfer Street, and the
Evergreen Hamlet Road, is narrow and in some cases very crooked, and is
more or less closely lined with buildings. Improvements on this line
have not been studied in detail but much widening and some re-alignment
is urgently needed. Probably the widening of Grant Street will be more
satisfactory than paralleling it with a new street.

59. _Etna Improvement._--Etna is at the mouth of the Pine Creek valley,
the route of another very important thoroughfare system. Butler Pike,
the Middle Road, Kittanning Pike and the three valley roads following
Pine Creek and the two Little Pine Creeks, reaching all available
country to the north on easy gradients, converge at Etna.

To avoid the bottle neck at the Spang-Chalfant mills a new street
should be run west of the mills from Bridge and Butler Streets over the
creek and the railroad, joining Butler Street again a little west of
the Kittanning Pike. A branch should descend from this overhead street
westerly to the street which parallels the railroad tracks on the south
and connects directly with the Butler Pike and the line up Little Pine
Creek west.

Further improvements on these thoroughfares have not been studied in
detail, but numerous widenings and re-alignments are needed, especially
in the Pine Creek thoroughfare.

60. _Sycamore Street Grade Crossing and Bridge Street
Improvement._--Bridge, Freeport and Main Streets should be lifted over
the Baltimore & Ohio tracks at Sycamore Street. Bridge Street had best
be kept up, probably on a viaduct, clear to the Sharpsburg bridge. The
South Main Street approach to this bridge will thus be cut off, but
another eastern approach will be provided. (Section 61 below.)

61. _Allegheny River Boulevard._--From the Sharpsburg bridge up the
river to Hoboken and possibly to Montrose, a first-rate opportunity is
presented for a riverside thoroughfare or boulevard. Such a line will
have rare scenic value and will also take much traffic from Main Street
and the Freeport Road. It is understood that the Pennsylvania Railroad
owns all the land from the Sharpsburg bridge to Aspinwall between the
river and Main Street, but as no railroad development has yet taken
place it seems not unlikely that sufficient land can be obtained next
the river for the boulevard.

At its western end this new street would connect by a viaduct directly
with the Sharpsburg bridge.

62. _Main Street Grade Crossing._--The railroad grade crossing on
Main Street (Sharpsburg), near North Canal Street, is peculiarly
dangerous because the sudden angles in the street interrupt all view
of the crossing until one is almost upon the tracks. No better way of
separating the grades appears than to raise Main Street and carry it
over the railroad. The railroad grade might be lowered somewhat but
probably not enough to materially reduce the grade damages for filling
on Main Street.

A connection should be made from the bend just east of this crossing
out to the riverside boulevard proposed above. (Section 61.)

63. _Squaw Run Thoroughfare._--North from Claremont is the valley of
Squaw Run with its branch Stonycamp Run. The thoroughfare in this
valley should be extended south to the Freeport Road and the proposed
riverside boulevard. (Section 61.)

64. _Carson Street._--South of the Ohio and Monongahela Rivers, Carson
Street is a continuous thoroughfare from Ormsby, on the east, to McKees
Rocks and points down the Ohio River, on the west. All thoroughfare
lines from the south and west feed into Carson Street and are thence
distributed to the bridges leading into the city proper. This street
is of varying width, nowhere (except for ten blocks east of South
Seventeenth Street) more than 50 feet and often much less.

_(a)_ From Brownsville Avenue to South Seventh Street the vehicle
capacity of the street can be somewhat increased by removing the south
sidewalk which is next to the railroad. This improvement, however,
would not obviate the need for a general widening of the whole street.
The gradient from South First to South Fourth Street should be reduced
by filling at the former end and cutting slightly at the latter.

_(b)_ From the Point bridge to Main Street (West End) West Carson
Street is most in need of improvement and is at the same time most
difficult to improve. Though much study has been put upon this
problem, no plan has been hit upon less expensive or less difficult
of accomplishment than a generous widening accompanied by slight
re-alignment. By widening entirely on the south side most of the
property between the street and the Panhandle Railroad would be taken
and what is left could be used for warehouses, coal pockets and the
like. The manufacturing property north of Carson Street would thus be

_(c)_ From the West End to Corliss Street, Carson Street is confined
between two railroads. As there is no abutting property available for
buildings, one sidewalk is sufficient and that could be reduced to a
minimum width of 8 or 10 feet. Furthermore, as the street is for the
most part well above the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie tracks the sidewalk
might be bracketed out over the tracks, thus leaving a clear roadway of
at least 48 feet.

_(d)_ From Corliss Street to McKees Rocks, West Carson Street can
readily be widened on the southwest side. One sidewalk will still be

65. _Chartiers Avenue Grade Crossing._--Chartiers and Island Avenues
are the main connections from West Carson Street through McKees Rocks.
Close to the junction of these streets, where the Pittsburgh, Chartiers
& Youghiogheny Railroad crosses Chartiers Avenue at grade, the street
should be raised and the tracks somewhat lowered to separate the grades.

66. _Wind Gap Road._--The Wind Gap Road is the present thoroughfare
from McKees Rocks to Ingram and Crafton. The connection with Chartiers
Avenue should be improved by carrying the street on a viaduct over
the creek and both the railroads in the valley, and then cutting an
approach through, running about north, from Caughey Street to Chartiers

67. _Corliss Street._--With the improvement of West Carson Street, its
connection with Corliss Street becomes important. Corliss Street should
be carried underneath both the Panhandle and the Pittsburgh, Chartiers
& Youghiogheny tracks to West Carson Street. Charters Avenue and
Corliss Street will thus form a short line of fair gradient to the high
portions of Sheraden and Esplen.[18]

68. _Crafton Hillside Thoroughfare._--From Main Street (West End) the
Noblestown Road is a main thoroughfare on reasonable gradients to
Carnegie and points south and east. From the sharp turn near Stratford
Avenue (Chartiers township) a main branch into Crafton should follow
the present street railway line. On the steep hillside it should be
constructed as a three-level street, cars in the middle and a roadway
on either side.

69. _Crafton-Carnegie Connection._--There is no direct connecting
highway between Crafton and Carnegie. A street should be constructed
from Ridge Avenue to Idlewood Avenue along the street car line just
north of the Panhandle Railroad.

70. _Washington Road._--Washington Road through Greentree borough is
an important hilltop thoroughfare feeding into West Carson Street
through the West End. From the hilltop down to Woodville Avenue it is
undesirably steep. A new road should be built from the top of the hill
running northward down the west bank of the valley, rounding the nose
of the hill and running west about a thousand feet, then crossing the
ravine on a viaduct and joining the Noblestown Road just west of West
End Park. The gradient on such a road would not be over five per cent.

71. _Sawmill Run Thoroughfare._--Sawmill Run valley offers a splendid
opportunity for a connecting and radial thoroughfare from the West
End to Bell Tavern and thence south to Fairhaven, Castle Shannon, and
points beyond in Bethel, Snowden and Jefferson townships. Branching to
the southwest would be at least two important valley thoroughfares, the
Banksville and West Liberty Roads. Woodville Avenue, from the West End
through Shalerville, is the start of such a thoroughfare. It should
be improved and extended up the valley, past the Bell Tavern, to Oak
Station and the Library Road. Such a thoroughfare should be designed as
part of a boulevard system.[19]

The proposed traffic tunnel to the South Hills will come out in the
valley between Mt. Washington and Beltzhoover, probably a little east
of the south portal of the present street car tunnel. To serve its
best purpose this traffic tunnel must have thoroughfare connections
on reasonable gradients to all available land south of Mt. Washington
and Allentown and east of Little Sawmill Run. The more important
thoroughfare extensions from the tunnel are noted below, Sections 72 to
75 inclusive.

[Illustration: A plan showing the thoroughfare extensions from
the proposed South Hills tunnel. Figures refer to the descriptive
paragraphs in the text]

72. _(a)_ _Washington Avenue Improvement._--Washington Avenue forms
too steep a line up to the tunnel from the valley thoroughfares--the
West Liberty Road and the Sawmill Run Road proposed above (Section
71). A reasonable gradient can be secured by raising the grade of the
West Liberty Road north from the West Side Belt railroad bridge to
Kaiser Avenue, thence running a bridge north across the valley, then
climbing gradually northward along the hillside and joining Washington
Avenue just below the Castle Shannon railroad bridge. Above this point
Washington Avenue should be regraded by cutting at the top of the steep
portion, thus getting an easy gradient to the new tunnel.

_(b)_ _Southern Avenue Connection._--From a point just below the
Castle Shannon railroad bridge a branch connection should be run west
across the valley to Boggs Avenue, about at Minsinger Street, thus
connecting the new tunnel with Boggs and Southern Avenues leading to
Mt. Washington.

73. _(a)_ _Beechview Thoroughfare._--The higher lands to the south,
upon which most of the future development will take place, can best be
reached by a street around the west end of the Beltzhoover ridge at,
or slightly above, the level of the Castle Shannon railroad, about the
location of the present Boggstown Avenue. From a point two or three
hundred feet east of Sylvania Street a sloping viaduct should be run
southwest up over the street railway bridge and the West Side Belt
tracks to the nose of the opposite hill. From here a new street should
be run west climbing gradually along the north slope of the hill to
the high land at the northern end of Beechview. An extension of this
line should then be made from Crane Street and Center Avenue southerly
along the west side of the Beechview ridge joining Seventh Avenue
just south of South Sharon Avenue. Beechview and the West Broadway
thoroughfare, running south along the ridge, can thus be reached on a
gradient under 4 per cent instead of 6½ or 7 per cent along the present
street car right-of-way, or considerably more than that on the present
streets. The viaduct from Southern Avenue to Price's Hill, proposed in
the recent bond issue program, has been studied with some care, but
the steep gradients it would require--6 per cent or over--to reach the
hilltop land have led to its abandonment in favor of the plan just

_(b)_ _West Broadway Extension._--West Broadway should be extended
along the present street car route from Snyder Street south to the
junction of the Banksville and West Liberty Roads.

_(c)_ _Lang Avenue Connection._--Starting again from the southerly
end of the above proposed viaduct over Sawmill Run, a street should
be built running south over the West Liberty road and striking the
opposite hillside at or just above Lang Avenue. Southwest from here,
nearly to Summerhill Street, Lang Avenue should be shifted slightly
down the hillside to reduce its gradient from about 12 to 4 or 5 per

_(d)_ _Sawmill Run Hillside Thoroughfare._--Returning now to
the northerly end of the proposed viaduct over Sawmill Run, the
thoroughfare from Washington Avenue should be extended south along
the Castle Shannon railroad to the Library Road at Oak Station. The
road should be built on the uphill side of the tracks to facilitate
running branch roads to the high country east thereof. If the Sawmill
Run valley shall become park land[20] this new street will be a border
drive with a commanding location overlooking the park.

74. _Fairhaven County Road._--Just south of Fairhaven the county road
climbs the hill to the Brownsville Road on a 10 per cent gradient. This
can easily be reduced one half by shifting the road a little west, down
the hillside, and reaching the high land twelve hundred feet farther

75. _Carrick Connection from the South Hills Tunnel._--Perhaps the
most important district to be reached, via the proposed South Hills
tunnel, is that tapped by the Brownsville Road, i. e. Mount Oliver,
Lower Saint Clair, Carrick and most of Baldwin township. To serve this
district requires a thoroughfare connection past the bad gradients of
the Beltzhoover ridge, to Brownsville Road at or beyond Charles Street.

There appear to be two possible routes for such a connection.

The shorter is as follows: along Washington Avenue east to Curtin
Avenue, thence diagonally southeast to Climax Street, along Climax
Street widened to a point about 200 feet east of Allen Street and
thence diagonally southeast and through a short tunnel under the ridge
to the corner of Charles and Amanda Streets. Amanda Street connects
south to the Brownsville Road; and Charles Street, if widened straight
through to the Brownsville Road, would furnish a reasonably direct
connection with Arlington Avenue leading along the ridge to the east.
This route could probably be brought to a very reasonable gradient, say
3½ per cent as a maximum.

The other route is by a new street rising around the northerly end of
the Beltzhoover ridge and connecting with Michigan Street. The latter
would be widened and regraded, cutting through the two narrow ridges
over which it now humps at Gearing Street and Estella Avenue. These
streets would be carried over it by bridges at the present grade. The
improved Michigan Street would be connected with Charles Street; and
the latter would be widened and improved in gradient, with another
separation of grades at Knox Avenue where there is now a sharp hump in
the Charles Street profile. Instead of following Charles Street through
to a right-angle corner at Amanda, the thoroughfare might curve at the
end so as to join Amanda Street a block or two farther south. This
route is at least two thousand feet longer than the other, but if the
mouth of the tunnel is not dropped too low, it can probably be brought
to a maximum gradient of not over 3¼ per cent.

In the absence of complete and accurate information as to grades and
distances throughout these two routes, it is impossible to say which
is to be preferred. If, upon further study on the basis of reliable
topographical data, it should develop that a materially better
gradient can be secured by the longer route, that line would be the
more desirable. But if the saving in gradient should prove to be very
slight, perhaps not more than a third or a half of one percent, it is
believed that the shorter route, that via Climax Street, should be

76. _Arlington Avenue and Washington Avenue Connection._--Arlington
Avenue is the direct road east from the junction of Washington Avenue
and the Brownsville Road, but between this point and South Eighteenth
Street it has two bad gradients, 7 per cent and over. To get a good
cross-town connection without such gradients and at the same time to
give better access to the Mount Oliver incline, Washington Avenue
should be widened east from the Knoxville incline to Amanda Street,[21]
and thence cut through on a curve to the corner of Angelo and Mount
Oliver Streets. By widening Mount Oliver and Freeland Streets, by
rounding off the east corner of Amanda and Freeland Streets and by
cutting back the southwest corner of Freeland and South Eighteenth
Streets, a nearly level, though somewhat circuitous, connection can be
secured between Washington Avenue on the west and Arlington Avenue on
the east.

77. _South Eighteenth Street._--Plans have been proposed, by the Bureau
of Surveys, to widen, pave and otherwise improve South Eighteenth
Street from the South Side up the hill to Arlington Avenue. The
gradient, which is now about 7 per cent, cannot be improved without
very radical and costly changes in the street location; and since the
proposed South Hills tunnel will reach, on easy gradients, practically
all the hilltop territory now served by South Eighteenth Street, the
trouble and cost of materially reducing the South Eighteenth Street
gradient seems hardly justified.

[Illustration: Diagram No. 13. Twenty-second Street bridge
approach--South Side]

The plans of the Bureau of Surveys propose a roadway width of 40 feet
with two sidewalks each 10 feet wide in some places and in others
7½ feet. This means a widening of from 5 to 20 feet. As this entire
section of South Eighteenth Street is on a hillside mostly steeper than
one in three, such widening will require from 2 to 7 feet of additional
retaining wall, or excessive cutting and filling, which means large
damage to property in the vicinity. Furthermore, the adjacent hillsides
are so steep that no extensive development of abutting property is
likely to take place.

In consideration of all these points it is urged that a width of not
less than 45 feet nor more than 50 feet be adopted in the improvement
plans. This will give a roadway 35 feet and one sidewalk 10 feet or
more in width.

78. _Brownsville Road._--The Brownsville Road, climbing the hill from
Carson Street, is similarly situated. Any improvements which may be
contemplated therein should be governed by the same considerations as
those cited above in connection with South Eighteenth Street.

79. _South Tenth Street._--From the south end of the Tenth Street
bridge to Muriel Street, South Tenth Street is cramped down to a
total width of 45 feet, with a roadway only 26½ feet wide, because of
a freight area 10 or 12 feet wide next to the Oliver Iron and Steel
Company building. This area should be covered and the street widened.

80. _Twenty-Second Street Bridge Approach--South Side._--The approach
from East Carson Street to the Twenty-second Street bridge is cramped
and crooked. The corner from the bridge into Wharton Street should be
rounded back and an additional approach should be run along the east
side of the playground. Some additional playground space can be secured
by closing Sidney Street, between South Twenty-second Street and South
Twenty-third Street, except for pedestrians. (Diagram No. 12.)

Several other changes in the outlying thoroughfares are marked in red
on the accompanying plan but are not specifically noted in this report.
They are suggested changes to improve certain steep gradients but have
not been thoroughly studied on the ground.


                                                            SECTION   PAGE

  Allegheny River Boulevard                                      61     79

  Ardmore Thoroughfare                                           42     73

  Arlington Avenue and Washington Avenue Connection              76     85

  Aspinwall Bridge                                               10     59

  Batavia Street                                                 33     71

  Bates Run Connection                                           15     63

  Baum Street Improvement                                        20     65

  Beechview Thoroughfare                                         73_a_  83

  Beechwood Boulevard Connection                                 28     68

  Beechwood Boulevard Re-alignment                               31     70

  Bell Avenue Extension                                          41     73

  Boundary Street Improvement                                    29     69

  Braddock Avenue--Northerly End                                 36     72

  Braddock Avenue Viaduct                                        37     72

  Brighton Road Viaduct                                          53     76

  Brownsville Road                                               78     86

  Butler Street Improvement                                       8     59

  California Avenue and Brighton Road Extension                  52     75

  Carrick Connection from the South Hills Tunnel                 75     84

  Carson Street                                                  64     79

  Center Avenue Improvement                                      21     65

  Chartiers Avenue Grade Crossing                                65     80

  Corliss Street                                                 67     80

  Crafton-Carnegie Connection                                    69     81

  Crafton Hillside Thoroughfare                                  68     81

  Dravosburg and Mifflin Township Thoroughfare                   47     74

  Duquesne Bridge                                                51     75

  East Ohio Street                                               57     77

  East Street                                                    54     76

  Eighth Avenue Branch to Dravosburg                             50     75

  Eighth Avenue Branch Westward                                  49     75

  Eighth Avenue Improvement                                      48     75

  Ellsworth Avenue Extension                                     13     62

  Etna Improvement                                               59     78

  Fairhaven County Road                                          74     84

  Fifth Avenue--Center Avenue Connection at Soho                 12     61

  Forbes Street Extension                                        39     72

  Forbes Street--Fifth Avenue Connection at Soho                 11     60

  Forty-third Street Bridge                                       6     59

  Glenwood Bridge                                                19     64

  Greenfield and Squirrel Hill Extension                         17     64

  Greenfield Avenue Connection                                   16     64

  Greensburg Pike                                                44     74

  Greensburg Pike South of Turtle Creek                          45     74

  Haights Run Bridge                                              9     59

  Haights Run Thoroughfare                                       25     67

  Hamilton Avenue Extension                                      22     65

  Hazelwood Grade Crossing                                       18     64

  Lang Avenue Connection                                         73_c_  83

  Larimer Avenue Extension                                       24     66

  Lowry's Lane                                                   56     77

  Main Street Grade Crossing                                     62     79

  Meadow Street Connections                                      26     68

  Millvale Thoroughfare                                          58     78

  Monongahela Hillside Thoroughfare                              14     62

  Murray Avenue Extension                                        30     69

  Negley Run Boulevard                                           23     66

  Penn-Liberty Connection at Howley Street                        5     58

  Rankin Improvement                                             38     72

  Sassafras Street Outlet                                         4     58

  Sawmill Run Hillside Thoroughfare                              73_d_  83

  Sawmill Run Thoroughfare                                       71     81

  Second Avenue Extension                                        32     70

  Sharpsburg Bridge                                               7     59

  Sixteenth Street Bridge                                         1     56

  South Eighteenth Street                                        77     85

  Southern Avenue Connection                                     72_b_  82

  South Tenth Street                                             79     86

  Squaw Run Thoroughfare                                         63     79

  Stanton Avenue Connection to the Lincoln District              27     68

  Streets Run                                                    46     74

  Sycamore Street Grade Crossing and Bridge Street Improvement   60     78

  Thirty-third Street Improvement                                 3     57

  Troy Hill Road                                                 55     77

  Twenty-eighth Street Grade Crossings                            2     57

  Twenty-second Street Bridge Approach--South Side               80     86

  Washington Avenue Improvement                                  72_a_  82

  Washington Road                                                70     81

  West Broadway Extension                                        73_b_  83

  Wilkinsburg-Edgewood Connection                                35     71

  Wilkinsburg Grade Crossings                                    34     71

  Wilkins Township Thoroughfares                                 43     73

  Wind Gap Road                                                  66     80

  Woodstock Avenue Extension                                     40     73


  SECTION                                                             PAGE

   1  Sixteenth Street Bridge                                           56

   2  Twenty-eighth Street Grade Crossings                              57

   3  Thirty-third Street Improvement                                   57

   4  Sassafras Street Outlet                                           58

   5  Penn-Liberty Connection at Howley Street                          58

   6  Forty-third Street Bridge                                         59

   7  Sharpsburg Bridge                                                 59

   8  Butler Street Improvement                                         59

   9  Haights Run Bridge                                                59

  10  Aspinwall Bridge                                                  59

  11  Forbes Street--Fifth Avenue Connection at Soho                    60

  12  Fifth Avenue--Center Avenue Connection at Soho                    61

  13  Ellsworth Avenue Extension                                        62

  14  Monongahela Hillside Thoroughfare                                 62

  15  Bates Run Connection                                              63

  16  Greenfield Avenue Connection                                      64

  17  Greenfield and Squirrel Hill Extension                            64

  18  Hazelwood Grade Crossing                                          64

  19  Glenwood Bridge                                                   64

  20  Baum Street Improvement                                           65

  21  Center Avenue Improvement                                         65

  22  Hamilton Avenue Extension                                         65

  23  Negley Run Boulevard                                              66

  24  Larimer Avenue Extension                                          66

  25  Haights Run Thoroughfare                                          67

  26  Meadow Street Connections                                         68

  27  Stanton Avenue Connection to the Lincoln District                 68

  28  Beechwood Boulevard Connection                                    68

  29  Boundary Street Improvement                                       69

  30  Murray Avenue Extension                                           69

  31  Beechwood Boulevard Re-alignment                                  70

  32  Second Avenue Extension                                           70

  33  Batavia Street                                                    71

  34  Wilkinsburg Grade Crossings                                       71

  35  Wilkinsburg-Edgewood Connection                                   71

  36  Braddock Avenue--Northerly End                                    72

  37  Braddock Avenue Viaduct                                           72

  38  Rankin Improvement                                                72

  39  Forbes Street Extension                                           72

  40  Woodstock Avenue Extension                                        73

  41  Bell Avenue Extension                                             73

  42  Ardmore Thoroughfare                                              73

  43  Wilkins Township Thoroughfares                                    73

  44  Greensburg Pike                                                   74

  45  Greensburg Pike South of Turtle Creek                             74

  46  Streets Run                                                       74

  47  Dravosburg and Mifflin Township Thoroughfare                      74

  48  Eighth Avenue Improvement                                         75

  49  Eighth Avenue Branch Westward                                     75

  50  Eighth Avenue Branch to Dravosburg                                75

  51  Duquesne Bridge                                                   75

  52  California Avenue and Brighton Road Extension                     75

  53  Brighton Road Viaduct                                             76

  54  East Street                                                       76

  55  Troy Hill Road                                                    77

  56  Lowry's Lane                                                      77

  57  East Ohio Street                                                  77

  58  Millvale Thoroughfare                                             78

  59  Etna Improvement                                                  78

  60  Sycamore Street Grade Crossing and Bridge Street Improvement      78

  61  Allegheny River Boulevard                                         79

  62  Main Street Grade Crossing                                        79

  63  Squaw Run Thoroughfare                                            79

  64  Carson Street                                                     79

  65  Chartiers Avenue Grade Crossing                                   80

  66  Wind Gap Road                                                     80

  67  Corliss Street                                                    80

  68  Crafton Hillside Thoroughfare                                     81

  69  Crafton-Carnegie Connection                                       81

  70  Washington Road                                                   81

  71  Sawmill Run Thoroughfare                                          81

  72_a_ Washington Avenue Improvement                                   82

  72_b_ Southern Avenue Connection                                      82

  73_a_ Beechview Thoroughfare                                          83

  73_b_ West Broadway Extension                                         83

  73_c_ Lang Avenue Connection                                          83

  73_d_ Sawmill Run Hillside Thoroughfare                               83

  74  Fairhaven County Road                                             84

  75  Carrick Connection from the South Hills Tunnel                    84

  76  Arlington Avenue and Washington Avenue Connection                 85

  77  South Eighteenth Street                                           85

  78  Brownsville Road                                                  86

  79  South Tenth Street                                                86

  80  Twenty-second Street Bridge Approach--South Side                  86

               | THE OUTLYING THOROUGHFARES           |
               |                                      |
               |   (ATTACHED OPPOSITE THIS PAGE 92)   |



[5] English street cars are narrower than American cars.

[6] Dr. Stübben's "Der Stadtebau," pp. 69 and 622.

[7] "AN ACT.--Defining the line of Chestnut Street in the City of
Philadelphia. Section 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of
Representatives of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in General
Assembly met, and it is thereby enacted by the authority of the
same, That the south line of Chestnut Street, between the rivers
Delaware and Schuylkill, shall be at the distance of (539) five
hundred and thirty-nine feet southward of the south side of Market
Street: Provided, That this act shall not interfere with any buildings
now erected on the south side of Chestnut Street. Approved the
twenty-eighth day of April, Anno Domini 1870.

"AN ORDINANCE.--To provide for the widening of Chestnut Street on the
City Plan: Section 1. The Select and Common Council of the city of
Philadelphia do ordain that the Department of Surveys be and is hereby
authorized to revise the City plan so as to make Chestnut Street from
the Delaware River to the Schuylkill River of the width of sixty (60)
feet, widening equally on both sides from the old center line. Section
2. After confirmation and establishment of said lines it shall not be
lawful for any owner or builder to erect any new building or to rebuild
or alter the front of any building now erected, without making it
recede so as to conform to the lines established for a width of sixty
(60) feet. Approved the thirty-first day of March, A. D. 1884.

                                SAMUEL G. KING, Mayor of Philadelphia."

[8] Act of December 20, 1871, Pamphlet Laws of 1872, p. 1390; and Act
of May 16, 1891.

[9] Public Statutes, Sec. 2261 m.

[10] Methods of widening are fully discussed on pages 37 to 42.

[11] Map at the end of Part II.

[12] See Part V, Special Report on the Allegheny River Bridges.

[13] See Part V, Special Report on the Allegheny River Bridges.

[14] See Part IV Section 1, page 117.

[15] This improvement is provided for in the current bond issue.

[16] See Part IV, Section 15, page 121.

[17] Part IV, Section 8, page 119.

[18] This improvement is provided for in the current bond issue.

[19] Part IV, Section 7, page 119.

[20] Part IV, Section 7, page 119.

[21] Improvement to this point is provided in the current bond issue.


_Surveys and a City Plan_


Pittsburgh's Need for Surveys]

No city of equal size in America, or perhaps in the world, is compelled
to adapt its growth to such a difficult complication of high ridges,
deep valleys, and precipitous slopes, as Pittsburgh. By consequence
no other city has such imperative need of accurate and comprehensive
surveys, as a basis for the layout of streets, sewers, and all public
works, for the purpose of avoiding the extravagant mistakes, misfits,
and reconstructions that are bound to result from groping, piecemeal
work done amidst such obstacles.

New York, Baltimore, Washington and other American cities, where the
need is far less crying than in Pittsburgh, have awakened to the
importance of modern, accurate and comprehensive topographical maps
as a basis for the intelligent and economical planning of public
improvements, and have provided themselves therewith. But Pittsburgh,
having less excuse for the omission and paying a heavier penalty for
the blunders to which it gives rise, lags in the same class with too
many unprogressive cities in this country where the official surveys
are merely incomplete and casual records of streets, properties and
public works, gradually accumulated through a long series of years.
These records consist, for the most part, of independent piecemeal
surveys of all degrees of accuracy and inaccuracy, made for all sorts
of purposes, and of compilations and transcripts of these piecemeal
records patched together in attempts to reconcile irreconcilable data.

It is not necessary to give a long list of examples of the
incompleteness and the inaccuracy of much of the old data of which
the Bureau of Surveys is the official repository in Pittsburgh. Every
surveyor and engineer in Pittsburgh with whom I have talked, whose
work has given him occasion to use this data, is familiar with the
conditions; with the fact that the tapes used in the original surveys
of different parts of the city differed in length and that the errors
were never compensated, so that today, measurements in different
parts of the city have to be made with special tapes of particular
degrees of inaccuracy in order to conform to the records; with the
fact that independent bench marks are used in different parts of the
city and that discrepancies of several feet, and sometimes of unknown
amount, in elevation occur in the records of adjacent or intersecting
streets; with the fact that an extraordinarily large proportion of
the streets are not marked by any permanent monuments, and that there
is no adequate system for protecting the monuments that do exist, so
that the City often has no sure recourse against abutting owners who
have encroached upon a street; and finally, that no general official
surveys whatever exist of the complicated topography of the undeveloped
areas. And yet through these undeveloped areas, streets and sewers and
other public works are almost daily being extended without knowledge of
what lies beyond, although from the back regions soon to be developed,
_somehow, sometime, outlets must be provided_.

The city charter places upon the Bureau of Surveys the onerous and
important duty of reporting favorably or unfavorably to Councils
upon the plan of every new street proposed to be laid out by any one
whomsoever within the city; yet the Bureau, presumably through lack of
funds, has never had the data in hand upon which _alone_ such a report
could be intelligently based.

No criticism of the present Bureau, or indeed of its predecessors,
is intended in these remarks. The blame falls upon the whole system
of penny-wise, pound-foolish, hand-to-mouth procedure in regard to
city surveys that has been characteristic of a large proportion of
American cities in the past, and of Pittsburgh with the rest. It is
earnestly recommended that Pittsburgh should take example from the
cities of Europe and from such American cities as New York, Baltimore
and Washington. And because its peculiar topography is bound to make
the evil results of unprogressive medieval methods more serious than in
other cities, it should take the pains to surpass, rather than to lag
far behind, in this respect.


Objects To Be Secured]

In outline the objects to be secured are these: _(a)_ An accurate
framework of reference points needs to be established, including:
1. The gradual systematic setting of permanent street monuments
throughout the city to serve as reference points for the definite
determination of street locations and for all public and private local
surveys. 2. The accurate determination of the locations and elevations
of these and other monuments and bench marks in reference to a single
general system of coördinates and in reference to the United States
Government bench. 3. As a means of accomplishing these ends, an
accurate geodetic triangulation of the district, supplemented by the
necessary precise traverse work and precise leveling, all fully checked
and compensated for errors.

_(b)_ The existing local surveys and records need to be tied into
the accurate framework thus established, and in cases which show
deficiencies or discrepancies beyond a reasonable and carefully
defined standard of accuracy, they need to be gradually, in due turn,
re-surveyed and re-plotted.

_(c)_ Complete topographical maps, based upon the framework first
described, should be prepared upon some uniform system beginning in
those sections where public works are immediately contemplated and
gradually extended so as to cover the whole area into which the city's
growth is likely to spread.

In the facts which would be gathered in the above process, and only in
such facts, can a safe basis be found for plans that will provide the
most economical and effective layout of new streets, sewers, parks,
water system--in short for a city plan that will minimize the total
draft on the taxpayers for public works and give the maximum results
for money expended.


Technical Procedure]

The actual steps of technical procedure called for, in addition to
the present routine work of the Bureau of Surveys, appear to be about
as listed below. I omit at this point any consideration of the method
of deciding on the plans for future improvements--the city planning
proper, which would be based on the surveys--or of the procedure for
enforcing any part of a city plan when adopted, and consider only the
work of recording and mapping.

The steps that are mentioned last are more or less dependent upon
those mentioned first, for any given area of the city, but the several
steps of the work would be carried on more or less simultaneously,
and some of the results would become available for use at once. 1.
The establishment of reference points by triangulation and precise
traversing and leveling throughout the district, and the reduction
of these points to a general coördinate system. 2. The surveying, in
relation to the new coördinate system, of existing street monuments
and reference points, and of existing buildings, fences, bound-stones,
and other evidences of ownership; and the preparation of general
topographical maps. 3. The determination of the correct location of the
legal boundaries of streets and public properties, and the translation
of the old descriptions, running lines, etc., into terms of correct
descriptions related to the new coördinate system. 4. The verification
or correction of the legally established street profiles in terms
consistent with the real distances and levels. 5. The setting of
additional street monuments. 6. The draughting and publication of maps.



The maps might ultimately include the following features, every one of
which is to be found in the maps of one or another of the progressive
cities of this country and Europe, and many of them in all.

_(a)_ A general one-sheet map of the city and vicinity, showing the
streets, the boundaries of civil divisions, the coördinate system, and
the locations of primary reference points and bench marks. This will
serve as an index to the maps on a larger scale.

_(b)_ A general topographical map in sections, to be published by
lithography, one sheet at a time as completed, on a scale of (say) 200
feet to the inch, showing all existing streets and roads, buildings,
property lines, surface grades (by contours and points) and other
topographical features, and all monuments and benches. This might
be, and should be, so arranged that new and corrected editions of
individual sheets could be gotten out at reasonably frequent intervals
so as to keep it permanently up to date. Moreover it could well be
made to serve all the purposes of the inaccurate but useful real
estate atlases now gotten out by private enterprise. A charge of (say)
twenty-five cents a sheet would cover the cost of printing, and, if
some form of loose-leaf atlas cover were gotten out into which new
editions of single sheets could be inserted, the public could obtain,
at no extra cost to the city, and for a price about equal to that
charged for the ordinary real estate atlas, a much more useful and
accurate and up-to-date volume. Of course this map would serve all the
purposes of the assessors' maps far better than anything they have now,
and, if experience in other cities is any criterion, would lead to the
discovery of a good deal of untaxed property.

To accomplish the above purposes the best method of reproduction would
probably be to have the maps engraved on aluminum sheets, from which
transfers can be quickly and cheaply made at any time to a lithographic
stone for printing. Such sheets can be readily and indefinitely

_(c)_ Record sheets at a much larger scale, showing all the information
contained on the small scale sheets and also construction details
relating to public properties, especially streets, such as pipes,
sewers, conduits, etc.; to be prepared at first for limited areas only
but gradually extended.

_(d)_ A system of indexing and filing, to include, to keep track of,
and to keep up to date, the records of existing physical conditions
in areas covered by the surveys. This would include keeping track of
the legal instruments affecting the physical conditions within streets
and other public properties, or affecting the control over them; such
as deeds, ordinances, and other instruments relating to the layout
and grades of streets, permits and franchises for the construction
or maintenance of anything within them, executive orders for new
constructions or changes, and inspectors' reports of new constructions
and changes actually made. As a part of this indexing and correcting
system, provision could readily be made for periodical transmission of
information as to changes in property ownership from the Assessors'
Office (originally from the Registry of Deeds) to the Bureau of
Surveys, so as to permit keeping the record maps always up to date
and accurate. By means of similar transmission of records from the
office of the Building Inspector, the record maps could be kept up to
date with respect to new buildings. A typewritten multigraph notice of
changes and corrections from all sources, made on the record sheets,
could be mailed monthly to all the city Bureaus and others having sets
of prints, and at longer intervals new and corrected prints of certain
sheets would be offered. This would be the same general plan that is
followed in regard to changes and corrections on the charts of the
Coast Survey and the official Coast Pilot books, where the Notices to
Mariners are issued periodically from the Hydrographic Office, and
summed up at longer intervals by new editions of the several volumes
and of the various charts stamped to show the dates to which they are


Management and Cost]

It would seem advisable to put a first-class man of broad experience
and ability in charge; to establish a new division under the Bureau
or Surveys, coördinate with the existing force, which is dealing with
the current routine work, but distinct from it; and to go at the work
with an annual appropriation amounting, after the first six months or
so devoted to organization, to say $50,000 a year until the arrears of
work shall have been cleaned up.


Sample Maps]

The following data in regard to the topographical survey work of New
York and of Baltimore is of considerable interest in this connection.
There are on file in the office of the Civic Commission single copies
showing the kind of sectional topographical maps published by the
official surveys of New York, of Baltimore, of the District of Columbia
and of Zurich, Switzerland (representing European cities); and a sheet
of the large-sized detailed sectional map published by the City of
Paris, which covers the whole city at the scale of ¹/₅₀₀ or about 40
feet to the inch.


New York]

In the City of New York, for the first four years after the
consolidation in 1898, the work of preparing a comprehensive
topographical map, and, upon the basis thereof, a general plan of
streets, was in the hands of the Board of Public Improvements; but
most of the work has been done since the establishment of independent
Topographical Bureaus in 1902. It is now proposed by the Comptroller
that the Bureaus of the several Boroughs be again centralized under
the Board of Estimate and Apportionment. The triangulation, upon which
the whole work depends, was done in coöperation with the United States
Coast and Geodetic Survey.

The following tables indicate the magnitude of the work and the amounts
expended up to December 31, 1909, the force required to prosecute the
work and a detailed analysis of the cost of the work in the Borough of
Queens. The last table is taken from a report of Assistant Engineer H.
K. Endemann to W. C. Elliott, Engineer-in-charge. In the first table,
no data are given as to Manhattan and Brooklyn because of the abnormal
conditions which they present.


                                      Bronx |    Queens | Richmond |    Totals
  Population (1910)                 430,980 |   283,041 |   85,969 |
  Total area in acres                26,523 |    75,111 |   36,480 |   138,114
  Triangulation (in acres)           26,523 |    75,111 |   36,480 |   138,114
  Topographical Survey (in acres)    26,523 |    55,118 |   18,430 |   100,141
  Tentative Street Maps Approved            |           |          |
            (in acres)               18,700 |    19,661 |    6,300 |    44,661
  Final Maps Approved (in acres)     13,000 |     9,912 |    6,300 |    29,212
  Expenditures 1902 1909           $779,916 |$1,281,946 | $839,975 |$2,901,837
  Recommended for 1910             $160,395 |  $362,752 | $218,000 |  $705,147

On March 31, 1910, the forces of the several topographical Bureaus of
New York were as follows:

                              |  Bronx  | Queens  |Brooklyn |Richmond | Totals
  Engineers in charge and     |         |         |         |         |
  principal assistant         |    1    |    2    |    2    |    1    |    6
  engineers                   |         |         |         |         |
                              |         |         |         |         |
  Assistant engineers         |   17    |   15    |   16    |   17    |   65
                              |         |         |         |         |
  Transitmen, computers and   |   26    |   53    |   17    |   41    |  137
  draftsmen                   |         |         |         |         |
                              |         |         |         |         |
  Chainmen, rodmen, axemen    |         |         |         |         |
  and levelers                |   21    |   18    |   12    |   17    |   68
                              |         |         |         |         |
  Clerical                    |    3    |    6    |    5    |    2    |   16
                              |         |         |         |         |
  Laborers                    |    7    |   62    |   11    |   25    |  105
                              |         |         |         |         |
  Foremen, drivers and others |    3    |   15    |    2    |    8    |   28
                              |         |         |         |         |
  Total                       |   78    |  171    |   65    |  111    |  425
                              |         |         |         |         |
  Expenses recommended for    |$160,395 |$326,752 | $80,000 |$218,000 |$785,147
  1910                        |         |         |         |         |

The work is expected to be so far advanced as to permit of material
reductions in the present staffs at the following dates: in the Bronx,
December 1911; in Queens, April 1915; in Brooklyn, April 1913; in
Richmond, June 1911.

A detailed analysis of the cost of the work in the Borough of Queens,
dated October 14, 1910, is subjoined:

                                    Cost per acre to    Estimated cost per acre
                                      date                of complete work

  Topographical Survey including }  Field     $8.13     Field     $8.06
    preparation of maps of street}  Office     2.23     Office     2.23
    system and grades            }           ------              ------
                                 }  Total    $10.36[22] Total    $10.29[22]

  Monumenting, including final   }  Field     27.92     Field     20.44
    traversing and preparation   }  Office    10.89     Office     7.89
    of final map sections        }           ------              ------
                                 }  Total    $38.81[22]  Total   28.33[22]



In Baltimore the work of preparing an accurate and comprehensive
topographical and property map was begun in 1893 by a Topographical
Survey Commission created for the purpose. The area completely mapped
was about thirty square miles although the triangulation necessarily
extended over a considerably larger area. The first two-thirds of the
area mapped was completed in about two years; the cost, including all
field work, office work, draughting, and publication, was about $5,000
per square mile. Allowing for the normally higher costs of all work in
New York as compared with Baltimore, and allowing for the fact that the
Baltimore figures include little if any street monumenting or final
record maps of layout, this figure corresponds very closely with the
cost of $10.29 per acre or $6,585.60 per square mile reported from the
Borough of Queens.


[22] The difference between the cost per acre to date and the estimated
cost per acre of completed work is due to the initial cost of
organization and to the cost of general work, such as triangulation and
traversing, which must be done at the start for the whole or most of
the area to be surveyed.


_Notes on Parks and Recreation Facilities_


The Bellefield Improvement]

Plans for a grouping of public buildings in the Bellefield District,
and for improving the entrance to Schenley Park, have been studied
with some care. Two plans are herewith submitted (Plan A and Plan B),
the essential difference between them being that Plan A contemplates
scarcely more than the improvement of the existing layout, while Plan B
involves a radical change of design, and absolutely requires, for its
happy execution, a control of developments on the Frick property north
of Forbes Street.

In Plan A the ravine between the Carnegie Institute and Forbes Field is
not filled up but is enlarged. The bridge over the ravine remains, but
the present driveway entrance from Forbes Street is moved 50 or 60 feet
east, to give room for a double row of trees to screen the Forbes Field
grandstand. This road is continued south from the end of the stone
bride to Bates and Boquet Streets, thus gaining a direct connection to
the Oakland District. Another driving entrance is shown east of the
ravine to accommodate travel from the East End through Bellefield,
Dithridge and Forbes Streets. Bellefield Street is widened and Tennyson
Avenue is extended from Fifth Avenue to Forbes Street, in order to give
a more fitting approach to the Institute. And finally, an appropriate
setting is provided for the front of the Institute by a small plaza
surrounded by public or quasi-public buildings. It may be noted that
one of these buildings, the stone church on Dithridge Street, already
exists, but it is nearly hidden from Forbes Street by cheap wooden
buildings and signboards.


[Illustration: University Buildings at Berlin, suggestive of the
grouping proposed at the entrance to Schenley Park.]

It cannot be denied that the approach from Grant Boulevard to Schenley
Park remains rather indirect, and even with the Bates Street extension
there is a lack of obvious justification for the bridge location.
It must be granted, however, that this bridge in itself is very
attractive; and the whole scene, the little valley with its informal
groups of shrubbery and trees, spanned at one end by a stone bridge,
is extremely interesting and pictorial and peculiarly characteristic
of the Pittsburgh topography. The novelty of such a scene, in contrast
to the stiff formality of the city all about, gives it not a little
value, and there is reasonable doubt if it should not be saved even
at some sacrifice. An increased use of this valley would give further
reason for its preservation; and the proposed taking of Junction
Hollow for park purposes (discussed below) furnishes the opportunity.
By carrying an informal park treatment from the valley below up the
ravine and under the bridge to Forbes Street, and by having plenty of
walks and benches and attractive planting therein, this ravine becomes
an interesting and inviting branch of the park, and serves also as an
informal entrance to the lower park levels such as Junction and Panther
Hollows. The use and the value of the ravine are thus materially

In plan B the ravine is filled and the bridge abandoned. The present
Grant Boulevard approach is changed to a more direct and dignified
approach from Fifth Avenue and the Boulevard by widening Tennyson
Avenue and cutting a broad street through from Fifth Avenue and
Tennyson to Forbes Street on the axis of the new park entrance. This
new entrance is a formal court enclosed by the Carnegie Institute on
the east, by proposed public buildings on the north and west, and by
a terrace overlooking the valley, on the south. By narrowing the area
between the Institute and Forbes Field, a court of good proportions is
obtained, and ample space is left on land already owned by the City
for the enclosing building on the west. The strong axial approach
in reality extends the park entrance to Fifth Avenue; and the court
at Forbes Street, while adding to the dignity and character of this
entrance, becomes a fitting plaza around which will be grouped the
buildings of a public character. At the southern end of this court are
the terrace, overlooking the park to the south, and the two driving
entrances, one over Junction Hollow bridge as at present and the other
skirting down the west bank of Junction Hollow and joining the new
Boundary Street (mentioned below), and thence entering the present park
through Panther Hollow.



[Illustration: Junction Hollow at Schenley Park entrance]

The parking of Junction Hollow is indicated in both plans, A and B. The
Baltimore & Ohio Railroad proposed several years ago to relocate and
lower its tracks in Junction Hollow and to abandon its present roadbed
to the City as compensation for the streets and other city property to
be occupied by the new railroad right-of-way. The present roadbed would
become a cross-town thoroughfare[23] (Boundary Street) and the railroad
would be in a cut just west of the street. This whole scheme has many
advantages both to the railroad and to the City, and it is to be
hoped that it may soon be realized. A careful investigation has shown
that the Baltimore & Ohio owns such portions and only such portions
of the valley as it may need to carry out this plan; and it is also
reasonably certain that the Railroad does not contemplate using the
wide portion of the valley--where the Italian settlement now is--for
freight or storage yards. This whole valley is so closely associated
topographically with Schenley Park, it plays so important a part in
many of the views from the Park,--from the entrance, from the Junction
Hollow bridge, from Panther Hollow and the Panther Hollow bridge,--that
its control is of very real moment as a means of raising the value of
the western portion of Schenley Park. Incidently it can be made a very
attractive and valuable park unit in itself. On the whole, the entire
valley from Forbes Street to Wilmot Street, and possibly beyond, should
be controlled, and the taking should extend to the top of the west
bank. In the narrow portion opposite Panther Hollow the Baltimore &
Ohio Railroad owns to the top of the west bank, but undoubtedly it will
be willing to release to the City such portions of this bank as are
not required by its relocation plans; or, if not, some agreement should
be reached whereby this wooded bank will be saved from unnecessary

In conclusion, it should be noted that Plan A, although it shows some
new buildings on private land, would be reasonably satisfactory without
them. It is a plan which does not change the present design and one
which can be carried out without the coöperation of private landowners
in the development of adjacent properties. Plan B on the other hand
involves a radical change in the park design, and furthermore it
absolutely requires the coöperation of Mr. Frick in the development of
his property between Forbes Street and Fifth Avenue, or the acquirement
of that property by the City.

Although it is not ordinarily a good public policy to make radical
changes in a park design already established, the improvements thereby
obtained are sometimes so positive and important that the procedure is
fully justified. It is believed that the radical changes proposed in
Plan B are fully justified by the value of the improvement attained.


Grant Boulevard]

This street--a boulevard by courtesy--has undoubtedly more than
justified the large cost of its construction by supplying a much-needed
route for automobiles and other fast-moving travel--largely passenger
vehicles--between the East End and the down town district. But it is
to be regretted that a little more foresight was not evidenced in
planning this work; that a better appreciation was not shown of the
splendid opportunities offered and of incidental purposes to be served.
Located as it is at a commanding height on a steep hillside with an
impressive outlook over the Allegheny Valley and the hills beyond, and
with little chance to develop a commercial frontage, this street seems
peculiarly fitted to be a real pleasure way in fact as well as in name.
But instead it has been built without even room for shade trees; it is
a mere street, in all appearances like any other traffic way of the
city, and no more generous in its width than Fifth Avenue or Smithfield
Street; and the unkempt, sordid appearance of the slumping hillsides
above is an ever-present eyesore.

[Illustration: Suggestion from Lausanne for treatment of a bluff]

In view of these facts it is urged that the following improvements
be made in Grant Boulevard: First, enough additional width should
be obtained, where the value of frontage or the character of the
land does not make it impracticable, to provide for a planting-strip
with shade trees on either side of the roadway. Second, additional
width should be secured at certain points along the street, where
the opportunity seems most favorable, in order to provide special
tree-shaded promenades or overlook terraces, where people may stroll
amidst comfortable and agreeable surroundings, or sit upon benches
and watch the passing stream of travel or look out upon the broad,
distant views. Third, the steep hillsides above the Boulevard, at
least those which do not have and are not likely to have in the future
any appreciable commercial value, should be controlled by the City
and reclaimed from their present status as free dumping-grounds and
barren wastes. These hillsides are in fact so closely related to the
Boulevard that their appearance is of almost equal import, in the value
of the street as a pleasure thoroughfare, with the treatment of the
street itself. Neatly kept banks, partially covered with trees and
shrubs, would go far toward making this street a boulevard in fact
as well as in name. Finally, where the slopes are too steep to stand
securely at all times of year and in all kinds of weather, retaining
walls should be built to prevent the slumping of clayey hillsides into
the road, and the more dangerous falling of large pieces of stone from
the disintegrating cliffs. Except for the western portion, the banks
are seldom steep enough to require a wall of more than ten feet or so
in height, even if the street is widened fifteen or twenty feet; but
west of the line of Kirkpatrick Street the bank becomes steeper and is
partially supported by strata of rather firm shale. It is where the
bank is almost precipitous for a height of 30 to 60 feet that the
problem becomes difficult. A regular retaining wall of that height
would be a tremendous undertaking and would look none too well in the
bargain. It may be noted, however, that these cliffs are not solid
ledges of shale, but are composed of separate layers, or strata, of
pretty firm shale, between which are layers of loose disintegrated
stone and earthy material. It is believed that advantage can be taken
of this formation, and that all the necessary retaining can be done by
several low walls, built one upon each stratum of ledge, and extending
up to the bottom of the next solid stratum above. Each wall would thus
retain only the few feet of loose material between two solid strata,
and it need not, therefore, be very thick or heavy; and in addition to
the work of retaining, each little wall would act as a support for the
shale stratum above. Such a device would require less than a quarter of
the volume of masonry needed for one large retaining wall. Furthermore,
if each little wall, instead of being built directly over the one below
it, were set back a foot or two, or even more, as circumstances might
require, and if small ledges and pockets were thus left, where little
shrubs and vines and other clinging plants could be grown; and if great
pains were taken to avoid the stiff monotony of regular cut masonry,
it will be possible to make this utilitarian construction a feature of
interest and beauty.

[Illustration: Terraced gardens at Bern, effectively using the
opportunity offered by steeply sloping land]


Steep Hillsides]

[Illustration: Hillside suggestion from Nice--Easy gradients and beauty]

[Illustration: Hillside road in a park at Nice]

The problem of making use of the excessively steep hillsides in the
Pittsburgh District is a troublesome one. There is a great deal of
such land in the district, amounting, outside of the flat regions
of East Liberty and the down town districts, to as much as 30 to 35
per cent of the total area.[24] Generally speaking, the slopes are
of little value for business purposes and are not well adapted to
residential use, the cost of development being excessive in proportion
to the location value of the improved property. The market prices are
naturally low, especially for the steeper and rougher slopes and peaks
and gulleys; and there the owners of very many of these unavailable
properties have been delinquent in their taxes for so many years that
the accumulation of taxes and costs of attempted collection form a
lien that is much larger than the owner's equity in the property or
even than its total value. As a rule these "unavailable areas" are
unoccupied and unproductive, and are mainly held by owners not resident
in the locality, whose sole interest in them is in the hope--sometimes
a forlorn hope--of an ultimate speculative profit. In far too many
cases they are apt to be wholly uncared for and to become shabby,
dirty, and altogether unsightly, depreciating adjacent property and
contributing largely to the slatternly conditions in the midst of which
so many of Pittsburgh's working people, no matter how self-respecting
and personally cleanly, are compelled to live.

[Illustration: Steep hillside in Bern, made available for public use
and enjoyment]

[Illustration: Hillside path at Nice, laid out to avoid steep gradients]

The condition is a deplorable one from every point of view, and it is
of great importance that steps should be taken to alter it. Where they
are really worth developing for private occupation, so as to become
useful and productive, such lands ought generally to be so improved; in
the many other instances where to follow such a course would be for
the owners to throw good money after bad, the City ought to step in and
assume the burden of maintaining the land in a decent and attractive
condition, converting it from a public nuisance into a park asset of
positive value to the public.

[Illustration: An overlook terrace at Lyons]

To advance this end the City ought to pursue a definitely active
policy in the matter. First, it should systematically insist upon the
maintenance of all such vacant lands in a clean and orderly condition,
and, upon the failure of any owner to perform the duty, it should
declare the condition of the lot a nuisance, clean it up, and make the
cost a lien upon the property. Second, it should entirely reform the
procedure with respect to the collection of delinquent taxes and other
public liens; instead of allowing them to run on indefinitely with
accumulating costs, it should enforce a prompt settlement or demand the
sale of the property for taxes. Third, it should deliberately acquire
considerable areas of the lands in question, by tax sale, private
purchase or condemnation, having due regard, in selecting the lands for
acquisition, for their relative adaptability to public and to private

[Illustration: Precipitous hillside in Paris, planted and cared for by
the City]

Generally speaking, these steeper and more irregular pieces will be of
greater use to the public than they could be to private occupants. It
must be noted, however, that their value for recreation is distinctly
limited. They cannot adequately or economically supply the local needs
for playfields, outdoor gymnasiums and the like; and as isolated
fragments they cannot, of course, fulfill the functions of large rural
parks. It is possible, however, to lay out sidehill walks on easy
gradients and to furnish seats and terraces, especially near the upper
edge of such declivities, where the people of the neighborhood can
stroll and rest and enjoy interesting and extensive views over the
city, the river or the adjacent valley; always with the steep natural
hillside below as a foreground.

Such areas, for instance, as the rugged slope under Bluff Street,
or the precipitous land south of West Carson Street should be under
public control. Hillsides less conspicuous, less striking in their
characteristics, and offering inferior opportunities of outlook--while
in themselves, perhaps, of doubtful value to the city--should be taken
over rather than allowed to become positively injurious features
in private hands. In other cases, unless their cost is practically
nothing, and there is no apparent probability of future taxpaying
development, the City could hardly afford to purchase and maintain them.

[Illustration: Hillside at Meissen, made useful and attractive by
terracing, planting and care]


In any city closely built over a large area, public parks or
recreation grounds become one of the most urgent civic needs, if the
health and vigor of the people are to be maintained. And the most
important classes to provide for are the children and the women of
the wage-earning families; most important, not only because of their
numbers and of the direct influence of their health and vigor upon the
efficiency of the coming generation, but also because they, least of
all, have energy and opportunity to seek out healthful recreation at a
distance. Normally it requires two distinct kinds of recreation grounds
to supply the needs of these people,--the local or neighborhood park
for frequent and regular use, and the rural park for occasional holiday


Neighborhood Parks]

The size and form and character most desirable for neighborhood
recreation grounds depend upon the functions to be performed by each.
Some of the activities in the best developed playgrounds, as for
example in Chicago, are these: (1) The playing of little children
in sand-piles and upon the lawn, under the watchful guidance of an
attendant who not only keeps them out of danger and mischief, but plays
with them, tells them stories and stimulates the healthy activity of
their little minds and bodies. Here the mothers may come with their
children and remain to watch them play or leave them in safety. A plot
one hundred feet square may be of value for such uses. (2) For boys of
larger growth and men and for girls and women, the more active games
with and without apparatus, in the open air and under cover, always
with opportunity and inducement to bathe, and, if possible, with a
swimming-pool. Sometimes space is found for the big field games and
regular athletic sports on a running track; sometimes for nothing that
takes more space than basketball. (3) For the older and the less active
people, pleasant shaded walks for strolling and benches to sit upon
amid agreeable surroundings, with opportunity to see the youngsters
play, and once or twice a week, perhaps, to enjoy a band concert. (4)
For the use of all, a field house where the sanitary accommodations are
kept to a standard of cleanliness and order that sets a good example
to the neighborhood, where a reading-room branch of the public library
is available, and in which one or more large rooms are at the disposal
of the neighborhood for lectures, entertainments and dances. Clean,
healthy recreation may thus be given full play amid decent surroundings
instead of being driven to saloons, to vicious or questionable
dance-halls and other baneful establishments for the commercial
exploitation of the spirit of play.

Of perhaps first importance in the planning of local parks is
the problem of distribution--accessibility to the people served.
Practically there are few women or small children who will take the
trouble habitually to walk much more than a quarter of a mile to a
playground or local park for exercise or rest, and for most a carfare
is out of the question. This means that, ideally, there should be
neighborhood recreation centers not more than a quarter or at most a
half mile from every home in the city.

As for the total area desired for local parks, it is so seldom possible
to get enough that there is little danger of overdoing the purchase;
and the extremely limited experience of any of our cities renders any
definite figures on the subject decidedly misleading. But there is a
rather general consensus of opinion that about 5 per cent of the total
city area is a reasonable minimum allowance to be devoted to local
parks, playgrounds, and squares, and that more than 10 per cent may be

In Pittsburgh the questions of size and distribution of local parks
must be considerably affected by the topographical conditions. The
city and the contiguous boroughs are, to a certain extent, subdivided
into hilltop and valley communities, close together it may be, but
nevertheless isolated one from the other by almost precipitous
hillsides from one hundred to four or five hundred feet in height.
These communities are sometimes very small and are frequently very
irregular in shape, as, for instance, when confined to the bottom of
a narrow valley only two or three hundred feet in width and a mile
or two in length. And even on those hillsides where a less severe
topography does not actually stop development, it may still make
intercommunication so difficult and laborious that the upper portion is
practically separated from the lower.

Under such conditions it is certain that a comparatively small
recreation center is the most suitable local park unit, especially in
the rougher portions of the Pittsburgh District. In Chicago and other
cities of normally flat topography, such advantages have been found
in grouping related activities--economy in maintenance and operation,
and increase of efficiency per thousand of population served--that,
_other things being equal_, reasonably large park units, probably
twenty acres or more in extent, are considered more desirable than the
same total area split into a larger number of small scattered squares.
But the conditions in Pittsburgh are peculiar. Here each isolated
community, no matter how small, needs its local park; every portion of
the long, narrow valley settlement should be near a park; and hillside
settlements at distinct levels should have separate opportunities for
recreation. Considering the size and shape of the area to be served in
many of these cases it is evident that the advantages of concentration
must give way to the need for frequent centers, and that economy will
here indicate the adoption of a normal size considerably less than that
most desirable for cities of flatter topography.

In selecting the land for local parks in Pittsburgh there are three
chief points to consider: cheapness, suitability of the land for the
purpose, and accessibility to the people who will use it. The best
method of procedure is as follows: first, decide upon the general
locality within which the park is needed and the functions which it is
to serve; second, make a general examination of the values of property
within the locality, consider roughly the cost of developing different
kinds of land into the sort of park required, and select, tentatively,
one or more sites which seem promising; third, obtain options on such
of the land within the limits of the tentative site or sites as can
be put under favorable option; then, fourth, ask publicly for the
tender of any lands in the locality for parks, and hold public hearings
thereon; finally, in the light of the information thus secured, select
definitely the site and boundaries of the park and take the lands by
condemnation proceedings. It is far better to proceed in this way than
to begin by buying or accepting certain pieces of land, no matter
how favorable the terms may be, and subsequently acquiring adjacent
pieces to rectify the boundaries or complete the requisite area. The
very establishment of a park renders the adjacent land more valuable
at once, and therefore, if the City buys park land piecemeal it has
to pay in the latter purchases an increased price due solely to its
having previously started to establish a park in the neighborhood. The
condemnation process, preceded by obtaining options where possible,
takes all the land at one and the same instant, and the cost is that of
land in a park-less district.

Delay is apt to add but little to the cost of acquiring parks in
built-up regions where land and building values are reasonably stable,
whereas it adds enormously to the cost in regions at the growing margin
of the city. Here, where the greater city of the future is being
made, is surely the opportunity to save the large cost of supplying a
built-up district with neighborhood parks.

It should be the invariable rule, as it is in some of the states of
Germany, that the amount of land which will be required to meet the
public needs of the locality when fully developed should be set apart
as a necessary incident to the subdivision of land. The method of
setting apart such lands in a district which is subdivided and put on
the market by a single owner would normally be dedication, as in the
case of streets; but where the area to be subdivided is controlled by a
number of different owners, the City might have to purchase or condemn
the necessary public spaces and assess the cost upon the whole district
benefited, as it frequently has to do with streets that run through the
lands of several owners. A rigid and universal city regulation as to
the reservation of open spaces would remove the competitive pressure
which now forces many real estate owners and promoters to adopt, as a
pure matter of business, an illiberal and short-sighted policy in the
layout of land.

Some of the most successful suburban real estate operators in the
northeastern states have satisfied themselves, and are now operating
on the principle, that the dedication of land for local park purposes,
up to a reasonable amount, if so arranged as not to interfere with the
lotting system, actually increases the net returns from the operation.
On a plat which was drawn by Wood, Harmon & Company to illustrate
the application of this principle, about 30 per cent of the area was
devoted to streets (about the normal figure for Pittsburgh) and about
7¾ percent to the park.


Rural Parks]

The large rural park ought to provide something quite different from
the neighborhood park. Except for those who live near it and for whom
it may serve incidentally as a local park also, it is remote from the
people, can be visited only occasionally and with some effort, and
it will be justified only if it affords something which the small
local parks are totally unable to give. To afford the maximum of
pleasant contrast with urban conditions is its fundamental purpose
and, if it fail in this, there is reasonable doubt if its return in
public usefulness is worth its cost to the community. A considerable
degree of seclusion from adjacent land with its city developments is
practically essential, and the more complete the barrier, both as to
sight and sound, the more perfectly will the park fulfil its purpose.
A sense of spaciousness is very important,--the expansive opposite of
cramping city streets and walls. For this is needed the concentration
of a large area in a single park. But of greater importance than mere
size, especially in Pittsburgh, is the topographical situation. Hilltop
lands though not in the least secluded frequently offer vantage points
from which to look upon vast stretches of landscape, thus giving the
greatest possible sense of spaciousness and lack of confinement. On the
other hand, the valleys, with their wooded banks, are unrivaled in the
natural opportunities they afford for almost complete seclusion from
urban surroundings. Fortunately the Pittsburgh District is well endowed
with available sites of both kinds, a few of which are noted below
under "Special Park Opportunities."


The following are some notes, made in the course of the main
thoroughfare investigations, regarding certain special opportunities
for parks and parkways in and about Pittsburgh.

1. _Moultrie Street Playground._--The small playground at Moultrie
Street, in the Soho District, should be enlarged; for it is in the
midst of a section where the need for public recreation facilities
is very great. Moultrie Street, running north from Fifth Avenue, can
be abandoned beyond the south side of the playground, because the
proposed street on the hillside to the west[25] will furnish the needed
connection between Fifth Avenue and Centre Avenue. The playground can
then be extended from side to side of the valley bottom and north to
the foot of the dump, thus getting an area of some 3½ acres. This dump,
by the way, should not be extended any further down the valley.

2. _Millvale Playground._--At Millvale, Butler Street bends into the
mouth of the valley leaving a fair space of vacant land (some 5 or 6
acres) between the street and the railroad. Although this would not be
an ideal location for a large neighborhood park, because the district
benefited is entirely on one side, and the maximum number of people
that could be accommodated would not be found within easy walking
distance, a small park such as this, adjacent to the dense population
of Millvale, would probably be within reach of all the people it could
reasonably serve. Where flat vacant land is so scarce, this opportunity
for a small park should not be neglected.

3. _Etna Playground._--At Etna there is some vacant land in the hollow
between Butler Street and Pine Creek in the vicinity of Isabella
Street. Though the area is small, it should be reserved for public
recreation, for it is in the midst of a dense population of working
people, a place where playground space is most in demand.

4. _Etna Park._--A short distance up the Pine Creek valley, just
above the upper mills of the Spang-Chalfant Company, is a large
meadow between the railroad and the main valley thoroughfare on the
east, and the steep hillside on the west. Bearing in mind that this
valley is the most important line of connection from Pittsburgh to
the northern districts and is consequently sure to build up thickly,
even as less important valleys have done, it seems wise to secure this
land for public use while it is still vacant. Some fifteen acres are
now available, and a complete, useful, and beautiful recreation ground
could easily be made therewith. The flatness of the ground would make
the development of such a park easy and comparatively cheap.

5. _Chartiers Valley._--There is a good deal of vacant land along the
Chartiers Valley, even in the vicinity of McKees Rocks. Considering the
character and density of the population at McKees Rocks, and in the
northern corner of Sheraden, it would seem eminently wise to secure a
reasonable amount of this for local parks.

6. _Rankin Playground._--In Rankin there is a hollow east of Kenmawr
Avenue between the Pennsylvania Railroad and Braddock Avenue, which
is available for a playground. Eight or ten acres could probably be
obtained, and, by controlling the banks of the hollow, a beautiful
and secluded little park could be made. It is in the center of thickly
populated sections of Rankin and Braddock.

7. _Sawmill Run Parkway._--The Sawmill Run valley, from the West End to
Fairhaven and possibly beyond, offers a park and parkway opportunity
which should not be neglected until commercial development becomes
a serious stumbling block to its realization. It is an interesting
valley of varying width and form, enclosed by high, steep banks,
occasionally wooded; in some parts it is wide enough only for a drive,
while in others large, flat meadows make ideal places for play. And
Sawmill Run itself, when it is no longer used as an open sewer,
will be an additional element of park value. Surrounded as it is by
land accessible to the city and reasonably adapted to residential
use, this valley seems an unusual opportunity for effective park
service. In taking it for park use, Shalerville and the Bell Tavern
settlement would, of course, be excepted; otherwise, the holdings
should be continuous from Temperanceville to Fairhaven; and such
scattered buildings as would in any way impair the value of the
park should eventually be removed. A boulevard thoroughfare should
extend the length of the valley, serving not only as a cross-town
connection between important radial thoroughfares, but as a link in a
circumferential parkway system.[26]

8. _Nine Mile Run Park._--Perhaps the most striking opportunity noted
for a large park is the valley of Nine Mile Run. Its long meadows of
varying width would make ideal playfields; the stream, when it is freed
from sewage, will be an attractive and interesting element in the
landscape; the wooded slopes on either side give ample opportunity for
enjoyment of the forest, for shaded walks and cool resting places; and
above all it is not far from a large working population in Hazelwood,
Homestead, Rankin, Swissvale, Edgewood, Wilkinsburg, Brushton and
Homewood; and yet it is so excluded by its high wooded banks that the
close proximity of urban development can hardly be imagined. If taken
for park purposes, the entire valley from the top of one bank to the
top of the other should be included, for upon the preservation of these
wooded banks depends much of the real value of the park.

A pleasure drive should extend from one end of this valley to the
other. The route of this drive has not been studied. At the northern
end, however, there is no apparent obstacle to reaching any of the
important thoroughfares, such as Penn Avenue or Forbes Street. At the
other end there is a good chance to extend a parkway down the river
as a riverside drive,[27] connecting at the Glenwood bridge with a
proposed boulevard thoroughfare to the down town district.[28] This
would furthermore be a desirable link in a circumferential parkway
system which it is not unlikely will some day extend southward from the
Glenwood bridge, and ultimately connect with the Sawmill Run parkway
above proposed. (Section 7 above.)

9. _Squaw Run Park._--Northeast of Aspinwall, the valley of Squaw Run
with its tributary, Stonycamp Run, would be ideal for park use. It has
great beauty and variety of landscape. It has fields for playing as
well as woods and a brook. It is secluded and by its wooded banks can
always be kept so, even when the higher land about it is commercially
developed. It is none too accessible at present, but it is in a clean
and beautiful region, well adapted, topographically, for residential
use, and such development will inevitably follow the improvement of
transportation facilities to the business districts of Pittsburgh. The
park will then supply the local needs of the surrounding communities,
and, furthermore, it will be easily reached from many parts of the
city. A parkway thoroughfare should extend up the valley.[29]

10. _Guyasuta Park._--Just west of Aspinwall is the valley of Guyasuta
Run, a beautiful wooded ravine well suited to give holiday enjoyment
to the people. It is already used extensively for this purpose, and it
should be saved for the people for all time.

11. _Allegheny River Parkway._--A riverside thoroughfare is described
on page 79 (Part II, Section 61), running from the Sharpsburg bridge up
the Allegheny River to Hoboken or Montrose. This should certainly be
treated as a parkway, for opportunities to take advantage of the river
in this way for public enjoyment are rare in Pittsburgh. Connections
should be made into the Guyasuta Run and Squaw Run valleys.

12. _Beechwood Boulevard._--From Highland Park to Frankstown Avenue,
Beechwood Boulevard follows the bottom of a valley. The plateau land
above is thickly settled, and the valley banks are mere dumps of the
most unsightly and objectionable character, which rob the Boulevard of
much of its value as a pleasure drive. These banks are commercially of
little use. In some portions of the valley there is sufficient depth
of private property between the Boulevard and the foot of the bank to
give usable frontage on the parkway, but the location, in the bottom
of a valley, is so undesirable for house sites that a very cheap and
unsightly development is apt to take place. This would be even more
damaging to the pleasure drive than the present conditions. It is
urged, therefore, that this whole valley from the top of one bank to
the top of the other be taken as an essential part of the present

[Illustration: Lincoln Avenue bridge over Beechwood Boulevard, at
Silver lake, Pittsburgh]

13. _Negley Run Parkway._--It is further urged that the entire valley
of Negley Run be added to the park system. This would be part of the
plan for extending a thoroughfare parkway from Beechwood Boulevard up
this valley and along Princeton Place to the heart of East Liberty.[30]

14. _Silver Lake Playground._--Partly as an improvement to Beechwood
Boulevard, but chiefly for its own sake, Silver Lake, together with the
enclosing valley and its banks, should be taken for park purposes. It
is an attractive spot in the midst of a closely built up section which
has no local parks. Though small, it could well supply much of the need
for recreation in the immediate neighborhood.

15. _Haights Run Valley._--Another valley which should be added to
Highland Park is that of Haights Run. Topographically it is so related
to the park that any defacement of its present beauty by unsightly
usage would greatly injure the value of the western portion of
Highland Park. The whole valley, from its mouth to Wellesley Avenue
and west to the top of the bank, should be controlled. A parkway
thoroughfare from East Liberty down to the river should follow this

16. _Bluff Street Hillside._--The precipitous bank, between Bluff
Street at the top and Second Avenue and the Baltimore & Ohio tracks at
the bottom, is a topographical feature of much interest and beauty in
itself and having, further, a peculiar value as a typical and striking
example of the natural physical characteristics of the Pittsburgh
District. Commercially, it has little value, unless perhaps as a site
for signs, and such use should above all others be guarded against.
The whole bank should be owned or controlled by the City to prevent
its defacement and to preserve a natural element of civic interest and

17. _Mt. Washington Hillside._--Another feature of the same sort,
only much larger, more conspicuous and therefore more important, is
the precipitous hillside south of the Monongahela River from the West
End to the Castle Shannon incline. Most of this slope is owned by
the Railroad, and it may be that an agreement can be made with them
whereby the City need not buy the land in order to stop effectually all
defacement. But, whatever might be the best plan for control, there is
no doubt that the area in question should be preserved intact for all
time as a monumental example of the Pittsburgh landscape.


[23] Part II, Section 29, p. 69.

[24] See map between Preface and Introduction.

[25] Part II, Section 12, page 62.

[26] Part II, Section 71, page 81.

[27] Part II, Section 32, p. 70.

[28] Part II, Section 14, p. 62.

[29] Part II, Section 63, p. 79.

[30] Part II, Section 23, page 66.

[31] Part II, Section 25, page 67.


_Special Reports_


Two conclusive reasons point to the removal of the Diamond Square
Market from its present site. First, it is an obstruction at a vital
point to the development of the thoroughfare system of the city;
second, it is too small and congested for the proper performance of its

The ingenious proposition has been made, in order to secure more space
for the business, that the whole of the square be excavated and a
basement or underground market be built extending under the surrounding
streets. This would permit the extension and widening of Diamond Street
and Market Street through the square at the ground level, although
these improvements were not contemplated by those who suggested the
basement market. Such an arrangement, if not coupled with the erection
of structures above ground in such a manner as to interfere with the
free passage of the two streets through the space, would seem to meet
the traffic problem; except that the massing of vehicles and people
on the surface, in connection with the marketing, would be somewhat

But from the market point of view such a solution seems wholly
unsatisfactory and inadequate. There is no question that the space is
now too small for handling the business in a comfortable, sanitary
and decent manner, and the space now occupied is by no means confined
to the two old buildings. The sidewalk stalls, so called, from which
nearly half the rentals of the market are derived, occupy a large
part of the surrounding streets, and at the busy hour there is hardly
a square foot of those streets that is not in use by the dealers or
their customers. To build a basement market occupying the whole of the
square, after deducting the considerable space required for entrances,
stairways or inclines, elevators, piers, ventilating shafts, etc.,
would not materially enlarge upon the present facilities; and it
would put the market in a position where automatic means of relief, by
overflow into the streets and into adjacent private stores, would be
practically impossible. Moreover, the opinions of market-men and of
experts on the values of retail trade locations seem to be that the
chances are desperately against the commercial success of any basement
or underground market, no matter what skill may be exercised in meeting
the problems of lighting, ventilation, and means of access.

In judging other possible solutions of this very perplexing problem it
is important to consider the experiences of other large cities of the
northeast states with the market business.

With only two exceptions all the markets of Boston, New York,
Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington have become less and less
profitable during recent years. In some cases the business has fallen
off so much that half the stalls are vacant, and in others the markets
have had to be abandoned. The reasons offered by market superintendents
and others for this general decline, upon analysis, may be summarized
as follows: (1) With the increase in size of cities and the general
change in habits, retail purchasers find it increasingly troublesome to
go to a central market, and attach an importance to the convenience of
purchasing from neighboring local provision dealers, and of having the
goods delivered. (2) Owing also to general changes in habits of life,
especially to the increasing specialization of knowledge and skill of
all kinds, the average retail purchaser is becoming constantly less
competent to form an independent judgment of the quality of provisions
offered for sale, is more conscious of this incompetency, and is more
and more dependent upon the reliability of the dealer; he is therefore
less able to get any advantage from purchasing in an open competitive
market. This again obviously makes for the advantage of the local
provision stores. An index of this tendency is the increasing amount of
ordering by telephone and otherwise "sight unseen."

Both the above factors, but especially the latter, are reflected in the
fact that such of the public markets as are falling off least in their
business are taking on more of the character of wholesale markets where
the purchasers are experts representing either local retail provision
dealers, or hotels, clubs and restaurants.

The two markets which have proved exceptions to the general rule are
the Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia and the Center Market
in Washington. The Reading Terminal Market is owned by the Reading
Railroad and is managed by a superintendent who has absolute control.
It has been built up from nothing, fifteen or twenty years ago, to
a flourishing business at present, and this has all happened in the
face of the general decline in the market business throughout this
section of the country. Mr. McKay, the superintendent, attributes his
success to three main causes. In the first place, every consideration
possible is given to the farmers; stalls are rented to them at about
one-third the prices paid by city dealers and they are never ousted in
favor of the latter. Furthermore, Mr. McKay spends considerable time
canvassing the agricultural sections of the country within fifty miles
of Philadelphia, hobnobbing with the farmers, getting them interested
in selling their produce to the best advantage through facilities which
he can offer them. In fact he does everything possible to encourage the
farmers to make use of the market both for their own advantage and for
his. In the second place, direct railroad connections furnish the best
possible transportation facilities. Produce can be collected from the
surrounding country at the least possible cost, and can be delivered to
suburban residences much cheaper than by independent city stores. The
third reason for success is able management. The market business, like
any other, needs able management, and without that it is probable that
any market undertaking, no matter how favored in other circumstances,
will run a large risk of financial failure.

The success of the Center Market in Washington is apparently due mainly
to the close relation maintained with the farmers and to its efficient
general management.

It may be noted further that in Germany practically all the large
public market houses have direct railroad connections.

In Pittsburgh the market business is apparently flourishing; and
this in spite of the facts that no special encouragement is given to
the farmers, that there are no direct or convenient transportation
facilities, and that the management is not especially able. Considering
the experiences of other cities, it is hard to account for this
condition, but it is only reasonable to take warning and to expect a
decline in the business sooner or later unless radical improvements are

It is to be considered furthermore that the city is not in the market
business simply for the sake of getting a little revenue out of it.
It is justified in conducting such an enterprise only on the ground
that it provides a facility for the people which can not otherwise be
well and economically provided. In the first instance public market
places have always been established as a convenient means of purchasing
provisions in an "open market," a place where prices are supposed to
be determined by free competition among the producers with the minimum
absorption of profit by the agencies roughly indicated by the term
"middlemen." Under modern conditions, as the gap between the producer
and the consumer has grown steadily bigger, the mere providing of
a convenient vacant space in the city, where producer and consumer
could meet and do their bargaining, has proved utterly insufficient.
Apparently the recognition of the changing conditions has been so tardy
on the part of those representing our cities in the administration of
public markets, and their action so timid and temporizing, that they
have left the bridging of the gap to commercial middlemen. In the
course of the last two or three generations, therefore, the public
provision markets have become largely places for a special group of
middlemen, or retailers, to display their wares; in essence not very
different from the natural groupings of other classes of retailers'
stores in various quarters of the business district.

It is, therefore, of peculiar interest to note that the only two public
markets in the cities investigated which have not shown a decline of
business are those in which _special, constructive efforts_ have been
made, by the market administration, to maintain a close relation with
the producer and to minimize the growing obstacles that tend to impede
and complicate and make costly the operation of transferring goods from
him to the consumer. Not only do these two exceptional markets with
increasing trade point this moral very clearly; but at Boston, where
the market is still very successful, though in diminishing degree and
with an increasing emphasis on the wholesale end of the business, the
superintendent is very clear in his view that it is upon the facilities
offered to the farmers for direct sale from their wagons that the
continued success of the market largely depends.

It is one of the unfortunate features of the Diamond Square Market
that it has been thought necessary to segregate the farmers' wagons in
another locality, and a serious objection to the Square as a permanent
market site is the impossibility of providing for them in connection
with it. But while the farmers' wagons are important, even more
important is the maintenance of facilities for the economical shipment,
receipt, and sale of provisions from farmers who cannot bring their
goods to market in their own wagons. Pittsburgh is not in the midst
of an ideal farming country and an exceptionally large proportion of
its food must come by rail. Even in Philadelphia, where the immediate
surroundings of the city are much better adapted for the raising of
provisions, the notable success of the Reading Market is largely due
to the economical and convenient arrangements for getting produce to
market by rail, and in Pittsburgh such facilities seem almost essential
to any large and permanent success.

It seems clear then, that, if such a permanent success is to be made
of the Pittsburgh Market, it must be moved from Diamond Square to a
larger site with rail connections and room for farmers' wagons. Several
localities have been studied with this idea in view and the best of
them appears to be, as recommended earlier in this report, between
Third and Fourth Streets and Penn and Liberty Avenues. The advantages
of the site briefly are as follows: First, it is not far from Diamond
Square, and is even more accessible from the cars passing over the
Point Bridge by which a large proportion of the present patrons of the
Market appear to arrive; and furthermore, the improvement of street
railway transportation will undoubtedly mean the through-routing of
cars, a change which will make this site directly accessible also
from other sections of the city. Under the circumstances, to move
the market so short a distance should not involve any serious loss
of trade. Second, the land and the buildings are reasonably cheap
although the frontage is on Liberty Avenue, one of the main arteries
of travel in the Point District. Third, the area is large enough to
allow a reasonable provision of space where farmers can remain and sell
produce directly from their wagons and not be forced, as at present, to
do business at a distance, on the Monongahela wharf; and furthermore
there is plenty of room for expansion either across Penn Avenue or
Fourth Street. Lastly, in this location, a direct connection already
exists, via the Duquesne Elevated, with the Pennsylvania Railroad
System, the most important freight carrier in the District; also the
site is close to the Wabash Railroad, with which connection could be
secured if further developments of the road should justify it; and
being close to the Allegheny River all possible advantage can be taken
of river transportation, especially for the receipt of produce.

It should be noted further that even with the best advantages of
site and physical equipment a public market is by no means sure of
success. More important probably than any other one element making for
success is able and stable management. The market business is a large,
intricate and many-sided business; and it is not reasonable to expect
any very brilliant results under the management of a succession of
superintendents rotating in office with political changes in the City
Government, and not selected because of any special qualifications of
experience or great business ability. A highly competent superintendent
holding his office during good behavior will be essential to the
success of the new market in Pittsburgh.


The purpose of this improvement, upon the successful attainment of
which the plans must be judged, appears to be twofold: (1) To reduce
the obstacle offered by the Hump to the general street traffic of the
city, and (2) to reduce the obstacle which appears to be offered by
the steep gradients to the expansion of the district available for
high-class retail trade and offices.

The former is the larger consideration as regards the whole city. The
latter is the main consideration as regards the locality itself and the
interests of the owners of land therein.

The plan of the Bureau of Surveys, marked "Approved December 23, 1909,"
shows proposed gradients on the east and west streets ranging from 4.75
per cent on Sixth Avenue to 5.88 per cent on Diamond Street, Fifth
Avenue being 5.52 per cent. On Grant Street the maximum gradient is
proposed to be reduced from 4.8 per cent to 4.6 per cent. While these
proposed gradients are undesirably heavy, it is believed that they
would not in themselves offer a very serious obstacle to the advance
of first-class business into the Hump District if for other reasons
the growth should tend in that direction. Further, for automobiles,
electric cars and light horse-drawn carriages the proposed gradients,
while objectionable, are not, in view of the topography of Pittsburgh,
very excessive. Such gradients, however, are prohibitive to economical
teaming. They will be avoided by teamsters at the expense of a long
detour if they can find a route of low gradient, and if there is no
such route they mean the hauling of smaller loads, the making of more
trips to do the same work, and a very appreciable tax upon the public,
paid in the cost of coal, building material, household supplies, etc.

Almost at first sight there appear two important lines of travel
which might naturally be expected to pass through the Hump District,
and which would be seriously affected by gradients as heavy as those
remaining under the Bureau of Surveys' plan. One is that leading from
the Point District and from practically all the freight yards into
the valley occupied by Fifth Avenue and Forbes Street. A second line
which may be expected to have great importance is one connecting
Second Avenue east of Try Street with Liberty and Penn Avenues in the
vicinity of the Union Station--in other words, the most easterly line
upon which a connection of easy gradient can be secured between the
two valleys. The improvement of Forbes Street as the main artery of a
large eastbound thoroughfare system, the location of the traffic artery
to the South Hills region--the high-level bridge and tunnel--and the
location of the proposed Municipal Building and Civic Center, which
are all recommended in Parts I and II of this report, must inevitably
add greatly to the importance of this region behind the Hump as a
distributing point for traffic. Sixth Avenue, especially the diagonal
portion, Fifth Avenue and Diamond Street are the thoroughfare lines to
this point. Considered together with other improvements of the down
town district, Diamond Street becomes perhaps the most important line
over the Hump. From the point of view of the city as a whole, any plan
for cutting the Hump which does not secure reasonable gradients on
these thoroughfares must be regarded as ineffective.



The accompanying plan and profiles indicate the area and amount of cut
which appears to be the least that should be undertaken. The area is
practically the same as that proposed on the Bureau of Surveys' plan
of December, 1909; the cut at certain places, however, is considerably
deeper. A cut of 11.3 feet at Grant and Diamond Streets gives a maximum
gradient of 4.75 per cent on the latter; a cut of 14.3 feet at Grant
Street and Fifth Avenue gives a maximum gradient of 4.74 per cent on
Fifth Avenue; and a cut of 8.9 feet at Webster and Sixth Avenues gives
a maximum gradient of 4.34 per cent on the latter and 3.4 per cent
on the Grant Street-Sixth Avenue cross-town route. These gradients
are certainly not ideal, but it is believed that they are good enough
to justify the undertaking, and deeper cuts are not urged chiefly
because the area of cut would thereby be extended further into abutting
regions where little or no benefit could be assessed and practically
no damage-waivers could be obtained; the cost of the undertaking being
thereby inordinately increased.

On Grant and Ross Streets the maximum gradients proposed are about
4.5 per cent, not excessive for lines which are not of the first
importance. There is little advantage in extending the cutting any
further on Wylie Avenue than is forced by the cut on Sixth Avenue, for
there is no object in securing an easy gradient at one point when the
gradient just beyond is over 7 per cent and cannot well be improved.
The same applies to Webster Avenue east of Tunnel Street, but it must
be cut heavily at this point partly on account of the cut at Sixth
Avenue and partly to provide a good gradient on the extension of Grant

The extension of Grant Boulevard and the widening of Webster Avenue
from Tunnel Street to Grant Street, the widening of Strawberry Way
and Oliver Avenue and the widening of Sixth Avenue and Diamond Street
have been recommended in the first part of this report. It is further
recommended: (1) that Fifth Avenue between Ross and Grant Streets be
widened to 60 feet; (2) that Cherry Alley be widened to 50 feet between
Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenue, and (3) that the westerly corner of
Sixth Avenue and Grant Street be cut off enough to allow the passage of
one line of vehicles between the curb and a car rounding the corner.
These changes should all be incorporated in any general plan for
cutting and improving the Hump District.


_Recommendations for Bridge Heights and Pier Location to Meet the
Various Transportation Needs of Pittsburgh_



March 15th, 1910, upon recommendation of the Committee on City
Planning, the Pittsburgh Civic Commission authorized Colonel Thomas
W. Symons, Corps Engineers, U. S. A. retired, and Mr. Frederick Law
Olmsted to make a report upon desirable heights and pier locations for
bridges over the Allegheny River. The purpose of the Commission was
to secure a report which weighed the interests of all parties to the
bridge question, and which would strike a balance to meet the various
transportation needs of Pittsburgh.

The Commission asked the Committee on City Planning to direct the
preparation of the report. The Committee consists of T. E. Billquist,
chairman; Charles F. Chubb, H. J. Heinz, Benno Janssen, Richard
Kiehnel, E. K. Morse. This committee passed upon the report April
18th and recommended it to the Commission for adoption. On April
25th the Commission received and adopted the report and voted their
hearty appreciation of the work of Colonel Symons, Mr. Olmsted and the
Committee on City Planning. This report was published separately in May


1. That the Sixteenth Street and Forty-third Street bridges, which are
obstructions to navigation on account of their pier locations, narrow
channels, and exceptionally low clearance height, be required to be
rebuilt with their piers so located as to give channels conforming to
the neighboring bridges, and that their elevation be fixed with regard
to eliminating the railroad grade crossings on their approaches, but
the minimum clearance shall be fixed in accordance with the closing
paragraph below.

2. That the Ninth Street bridge should be rebuilt as soon as
practicable with a central pier and two wide spans conforming to those
of the Sixth Street and Seventh Street bridges. The design of the new
Ninth Street bridge, however, should not be finally determined and
erection begun until a definite plan for comprehensive improvements in
the traction system between the two sides of the river has been decided
upon. Unless new circumstances develop before the construction of this
bridge is begun that materially affect the problem of clearance height,
the elevation should be fixed in accordance with the closing paragraph

3. That all questions pertaining to changing the elevation of the Sixth
Street, Seventh Street, Fort Wayne, Thirtieth Street and Junction
Railroad bridges be deferred to await the report of the Pittsburgh
Flood Commission and the resultant action; to await the report on a
comprehensive plan for traction improvements; to await the completion
of the work projected by the City in cutting down some streets and
filling others; and to await the results of the investigation of river
boat design and construction provided for in the River and Harbor bill
just passed by Congress.

4. That if it is deemed essential and necessary at present to decide
upon the elevation to which all Allegheny River bridges must be made to
conform, this elevation be fixed so that there shall be a clear head
room of substantially 37 feet above pool level, varied so as to give
at each bridge a clear head room of 28 feet when the river is at a 15
foot flood stage. This height to be maintained over the entire main
span where there is a central span and for 180 feet on each side of the
central pier where there is a central pier.


                                                         April 19th, 1910


_Gentlemen_: In accordance with your expressed desire we have examined
into the bridge problem on the Allegheny River now before the City,
particularly in regard to the use of the bridges and their connections
with the streets of the city and the use of the river for harbor and
navigation purposes, and beg to submit the following report thereon:

[Illustration: German side-wheel boat, common on European rivers]

There are three great interests concerned in the problem of the bridges
over the Allegheny River at Pittsburgh: (1) those who frequently cross
the river or whose business requires the transportation of workmen,
raw and manufactured material, and supplies from one side of the river
to the other; (2) those concerned in the navigation of the river and
harbor, and (3) those who own and operate the bridges.

In the hearings recently held on the subject much consideration has
been given to the bridge owners and the navigation interests but
comparatively little attention has been given, at first hand, to the
interests of the general public, who in great numbers are interested in
transportation across the river and for whose service both the bridges
and river transportation exist.

[Illustration: Design of boat for American rivers, adapted from
European models]

It is quite apparent, from a study of the situation and the interests
involved, that changes might be demanded in the bridges which would
give some added advantage to river navigation, but yet would place so
great a burden upon the interests concerned in crossing the river that
the result would be a net loss to the general public. The following are
the two extreme positions somewhere between which all concerned would
agree that a balance of interests most beneficial to the general public
must be determined:

[Illustration: Wharf at Cologne, showing heights of boats]

From the viewpoint of traffic across the river the best arrangement
would be level bridges at the grade of the connecting streets,
regardless of river traffic. The more bridges are raised above that
standard, apart from any question of first cost, the greater will be
the interference with travel across the river, up to the point of
prohibitive grades on the bridges and their approaches. Before this
point is reached drawbridges must be considered which, while often
required and adopted, are objectionable to the interests using the
bridges and those passing under or through the bridges.

From the viewpoint of the river interests the most complete improvement
would be to do away with the bridges entirely, thus giving absolute
freedom of navigation. This is out of the question. The next best thing
from that point of view would be to change the bridges to one span
each across the river from bank to bank with height enough for passage
beneath of the highest floating structures at all stages of the river.
This would be impracticable without remodeling the city along both
sides of the river for long distances from the banks at an expense so
great as to be almost beyond computation. Anything less than this will
impose, at least in theory, some hindrance upon river navigation, and
this hindrance will be greater in amount as the head room is decreased
and as piers are introduced into the river.

The aim in arriving at a solution of the bridge problem must be to
adjust these conflicting interests impartially; and the factors to be
considered in arriving at such an adjustment are these: _First_, the
amount and importance of the traffic likely to be affected in each
case. _Second_, the extent to which any given solution would benefit or
injure the bridge traffic and the river traffic, respectively.

1. _Amount and Importance of Traffic Affected._--_(a)_ _Bridge
Traffic_.--There are in question six highway bridges and two railroad

  UNDER BRIDGES                                       OVER BRIDGES
  ██|2,344,398|   SIXTH ST.   |13,240,010|████████
  ██|2,796,122|   NINTH ST.   |14,732,130|█████████
   █|2,228,270|  FT. WAYNE.   |53,127,210|████████████████████████████████████
   ▐|1,045,570| THIRTIETH ST. |   398,430|▎
   ▐|  865,024| JUNCTION RR.  |24,335,982|████████████████▌
   ▐|  714,856|FORTY-THIRD ST.|   311,090|▎
   ▕|   25,680|   SIXTH ST.   |27,098,291|████████████████████████████████████
   ▕|   30,567|   NINTH ST.   |24,325,900|████████████████████████████████▌
   ▕|   24,408|  FT. WAYNE.   | 4,877,495|██████▌
   ▕|   11,455| THIRTIETH ST. |   715,985|█
   ▕|    9,475| JUNCTION RR.  |   217,254|▎
   ▕|    7,831|FORTY-THIRD ST.|   816,333|█
  UNDER BRIDGES                                       OVER BRIDGES

  Diagram No. 1, showing comparative importance of traffic over and
  under Allegheny river bridges

  | +----------------------------------------+                       |
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  | |            108,000,000 TONS            |                       |
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  | +----------------------------------------+                       |
  | OVER BRIDGES                                                     |
  |                                                                  |
  | +----+                                                           |
  | |    |                                                           |
  | |    |                                                           |
  | |    |                                                           |
  | |    |                                                           |
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  | |    |                                                           |
  | +----+                                                           |
  | 1,500,000                                                        |
  | TONS                                                             |
  | UNDER                                                            |
  | BRIDGES                                                          |
  |                                                                  |
  |                     ALLEGHENY RIVER BRIDGES.                     |
  |                                                                  |
  |                      TO ACCOMPANY REPORT OF                      |
  |                      COL. THOMAS W. SYMONS.                      |
  |                      FREDERICK LAW OLMSTED.                      |

Before referring to the statistics in regard to traffic over these
bridges we wish to point out that much the greater part of it is of a
kind daily and intimately affecting the business and the convenience
of a large population. Any delay affecting the transportation of
passengers over any of these bridges, and any delay or any increase of
cost in teaming package freight and supplies from freight stations and
warehouses and stores on one side of the river to their destination on
the other side, would be felt very sharply by a considerable fraction
of the manufacturers, merchants and other citizens of Pittsburgh. The
inconvenience arising from any interference with traffic of this class
would clearly be greater in proportion to the volume and value of
the traffic than in the case of the slower moving river traffic. Ten
minutes' delay to people in reaching their offices or an hour's delay
beyond the expected time in the delivering of household food supplies
or express packages, etc., for a number of families, is a much more
serious matter than a corresponding or even a greater delay in the
delivery of a barge-load of gravel or coal, even though the barge-load
were of equal value with the delayed lot of supplies.

Details in regard to the volume of traffic over the bridges and
estimates of the value of the goods transported and the equipment
engaged in the traffic are given in Appendix I and are summarized in
graphical form in Diagrams 1, 2 and 3. The amount and importance of
bridge traffic may be summarized by stating that there passes over the
existing Allegheny River bridges each year about 108,000,000 tons of
traffic roughly valued at $9,350,000,000; and about 62,700,000 human
beings, passengers and pedestrians.

  | +---------------------------------------------+                  |
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  | |                $9,366,973,935               |                  |
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  | +---------------------------------------------+                  |
  | OVER BRIDGES                                                     |
  |                                                                  |
  | +----+                                                           |
  | |    |                                                           |
  | |    |                                                           |
  | |    |                                                           |
  | |    |                                                           |
  | |    |                                                           |
  | |    |                                                           |
  | +----+                                                           |
  | $105,000,000                                                     |
  | UNDER                                                            |
  | BRIDGES                                                          |
  |                                                                  |
  |                UNDER THE ALLEGHENY RIVER BRIDGES.                |
  |                                                                  |
  |                      TO ACCOMPANY REPORT OF                      |
  |                      COL. THOMAS W. SYMONS.                      |
  |                      FREDERICK LAW OLMSTED.                      |

_(b)_ _River Traffic._--The data in regard to existing navigation
under the Allegheny bridges consist of detailed reports of vessels
and cargoes passing Dam No. 1 and counts of the number of vessels
passing under the several bridges during representative periods of
from one to two months in 1909. From these data we have estimated the
annual river traffic under each of the bridges, and very roughly, its
value.[32] These amounts are shown graphically in comparison with the
corresponding figures for traffic over the bridges in Diagrams 1, 2 and
3. To briefly summarize, it may be stated that the river traffic of the
Allegheny River in one year amounts in the aggregate to about 3,500,000
tons, including all freight carriers and power boats, roughly valued at
about $105,000,000; and about 35,000 human beings, passengers by boat.

It seems well here to note that the water-borne traffic of the
Allegheny River has been steadily decreasing for many years and is now
but a small portion of that which once existed. That this decline in
river traffic is not due to the interference of the bridges is shown
by the statement that the navigation facilities are better than ever
before. It is due to the lack of modern terminal facilities, boats and
methods of carrying on business.

There is a possibility that, in case improved conditions are provided
for Allegheny River navigation, the amount thereof may increase with
the lapse of years, but for the reasons set forth in Appendix II,
this increase is not likely to be so great in relation to the natural
increase of the bridge traffic as to render the comparison of the
existing facts in Diagrams 1, 2 and 3 inapplicable to the future.

_(c)_ _Comparison of Bridge and River Traffic_.--To sum up, it may be
said that each year the amount of traffic passing over the bridges is
at least 30 times that floating on the water of the river, and about 90
times its value. The passenger traffic over the bridges is about 1800
times that on the water. The character of the traffic over the bridges
is such that a given degree of interference with it is a far more
serious annoyance to the public than the same degree of interference
with river traffic.

[Illustration: Paris passenger and freight boats]

2. _Effect of Various Solutions._--It remains to be considered to what
degree the bridge traffic and the river traffic would be hampered or
facilitated by various permanent solutions of the bridge problem. With
a view to arriving at a plan as nearly ideal as the circumstances
permit for a permanent arrangement of bridges over the Allegheny
River, various projects have been put forward and considered. These
concern two nearly independent matters, the elevation of the bridges
above pool level and the location and design of the bridge piers. The
former must be decided with regard to the effect upon both bridge and
river traffic; the latter may be determined with regard solely to the
navigation interests, giving due consideration to the cost and the
appearance of the resulting bridges, as discussed below.

[Illustration: Barge and towboat designed for shallow rivers and low
bridges in the United States]

The plan upon which interest is now most centered is that officially
recommended by the local office of the United States Engineer Corps. We
shall consider the effect of the bridge heights proposed in this plan
as compared with certain modifications thereof; first, upon the bridge
traffic, and second, upon the river traffic.

_(a)_ _Effect of Various Possible Bridge Heights upon the Traffic
over the Bridges_.--_Highway Bridges._--The highway bridges carry two
principal classes of travel. The first consists of vehicles moved by
power, electric cars and automobiles, and of pedestrians. With this
class an increase of gradient on the bridges or their approaches,
within reasonable limits, simply means the expenditure of a moderate
amount of additional energy without material loss of time, or other
difficulties. The second class consists of horse-drawn vehicles a large
portion of which do not enter the hill districts but are limited in
their movements to the large district lying on the lowlands of the
three river valleys or accessible therefrom on moderate gradients. A
great deal of this teaming consists of freight of all kinds received or
shipped at the numerous freight stations on both sides of the river.
The area accessible on roads of easy gradient from each end of these
bridges is very great and includes nearly all the important industrial
plants in Pittsburgh as well as all the freight stations and the
principal warehouses, retail stores and other commercial establishments
of Pittsburgh and Allegheny. Any considerable increase of gradient
on these bridges means a reduction in average size of load hauled by
vehicles of this important class, and a corresponding increase in the
number of trips and in the number of teams required to do the work,
making for increased cost and greater congestion of traffic. For all
horse-drawn vehicles an increase of gradient on the bridges, beyond a
certain limit, means, especially in wet or snowy or frosty weather,
more slipping and falling, more stalling of all bridge traffic by such
accidents, more wear and tear on horse flesh, and a resultant increased
burden on the people. To raise the gradient of the bridges from those
now existing to those indicated in the plans of the local United States
Engineers' office would more than double the traction effort required
in hauling over these bridges.

It must be borne in mind that, as the gradients increase, the cost of
teaming and the wear and tear on teams increases much more rapidly
than the theoretical effective horse power, because of the increased
difficulty of foothold. It is impossible to measure the effect of
any given increase of grade with precision, but a comparison of the
existing conditions with those resulting from various possible bridge
heights will give a good general idea of the effect as shown by the
following tables:

                         VARIOUS CLEARANCE HEIGHTS

  Elevation in feet     |     |     |     |         |     |     |     |
  above pool level of   |Pre- | 37´ | 42´ |   47´   |Pre- | 37´ | 42´ | 47´
  under side of bridge  | sent|     |     |         | sent|     |     |
  over 360´ channel.    |     |     |     |         |     |     |     |
                        |[33]Maximum gradients      |Amount of rise in feet
                        |                           |  above Duquesne Way
  Sixth Street bridge   | 2.3%| 3.2%| 4.5%| 5.8%[34]|  7.5| 10.4| 15.4| 20.4
  Seventh Street bridge | 3.0%| 3.7%|  5% | 6.3%[34]| 10.0| 14.2| 19.2| 24.2
  Ninth Street bridge   | 2.8%| 3.5%|  5% | 6.5%[34]| 10.1| 13.3| 18.3| 23.3

                        BRIDGES AT VARIOUS HEIGHTS

 Elevation in feet   |          |           |           |           |
 above pool level of |          |  Present  |    37´    |    42´    |    47´
 under side of bridge|          |           |           |           |
 over 360´ channel.  |          |           |           |           |
 --------------------+   Tons   +-----------+-----------+-----------+-----------
                     |per annum |         Foot tons of effective energy
 Sixth Street bridge |13,240,010| 99,300,075|137,696,104|203,896,154|270,096,204
                     |          |           |           |           |
 Ninth Street bridge |14,732,130|151,740,939|195,937,329|269,597,979|343,258,629
                     |          |            Per cent of increase of
                     |          |           effective energy required
 Sixth Street bridge |          |           |   38.6%   |  105.3%   |  172.0%
                     |          |           |           |           |
 Ninth Street bridge |          |           |   29.1%   |   77.7%   |  126.2%

At the Sixth Street bridge there is at present an undesirably steep
gradient[35] on the Allegheny, or North Side, approach, but it is only
230 feet long and being paved with stone gives a good foothold for
horses. This is to be greatly benefited by filling up the street with
material taken from the "Hump" grading, the plans on file in the City
Bureau of Construction providing for an improved gradient of only 2.22
per cent. Many of the abutters have already waived their damages and
there is no question that the improvement will be made. The present
bridge gradients and those of the Pittsburgh approach are less than
3 per cent. At the Seventh Street bridge the gradients do not exceed
3 per cent, except on the Allegheny approach where it is now being
reduced to 2 per cent. At Ninth Street, while the present bridge
gradients do not exceed 2.8 per cent, there is a short pitch about 100
feet long in the approach on the Allegheny side with a grade of 5.24
per cent.[36] A small amount of regrading, involving no heavy property
damages, will suffice to reduce these gradients to 1.3 per cent, and
appropriations for this improvement have already been made by the City.

The existing grades at the Sixteenth Street, Thirtieth Street and
Forty-third Street bridges are light, but it is not important to
consider these bridges in detail in this connection as it is probable
that the necessity for eliminating railroad grade crossings will
sooner or later alter the existing approaches in such a manner that
the resulting gradients would not be further increased by raising
the bridges. It is to be noted, however, that the precise elevations
recommended by the local office of the United States Engineers for
these bridges would involve serious complications with the railroad

In many cities having similarly situated level business and
manufacturing districts along rivers, very large sums of money have
been spent to reduce the gradients on the connecting bridges to less
than 3 per cent, and that figure is rather generally regarded by
engineers as a maximum upon important traffic bridges.

People in Pittsburgh are so accustomed to steep gradients in the
adjacent hill districts that they are apt to ignore the fact that there
is a city within their city, and that this inner manufacturing and
business city is closely confined to the long drawn-out, irregular,
level river-bottoms and is much freer from hills than New York, almost
as much so as Chicago.

The city has expressed its willingness to spend a large sum of money
and undergo great inconvenience for the sake of a moderate reduction
in the street gradients of the "Hump" at one of the gateways of the
hill districts. Important as this work is, it cannot be compared for a
moment as a matter of traffic improvement with the importance attaching
to easy gradients on the bridges, for the streets of the "Hump"
district lead in the main from the flat part of the city to the hilly
part where average loads are limited by the prevailing steep gradients,
whereas the bridges lie between two parts of the level industrial and
commercial city. If at low gradients they serve to unite them; if at
high gradients they divide them.

_Railroad Bridges._--In so far as any changes in the railroad bridges
produce conditions less convenient and expeditious for handling the
business which the people have to do with the railroad, the public has
a direct concern in the matter.

With regard to the Junction Railroad bridge of the Baltimore and Ohio
Railroad System, the raising proposed by the local office of the
United States Engineers, appears to involve no serious difficulties in
operation which would affect the general public or the shippers.

With regard to the Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne and Chicago bridge of the
Pennsylvania System, it is to be noted that this is a double-deck
bridge, the upper tracks being used principally by passenger trains and
the lower tracks by freight trains almost exclusively devoted to local
freight business. The most serious consideration affecting this bridge
is that any very considerable raising of the level of the lower tracks
would throw them out of connection with the important local freight
station to which those tracks run. Even if expense of reconstruction
be wholly disregarded we believe no way can be devised by which the
freight tracks of the Fort Wayne bridge, if raised as proposed by the
local office of the United States Engineers can be connected with
the freight station and industrial plants without involving greatly
increased difficulty and delay in the handling of freight either on
the tracks or in the station itself or in the teaming approaches to
the station. When the large volume of local traffic handled at this
station is considered, it is apparent that such a radical change is a
serious matter for shippers and the great manufacturing and commercial
industries of the city. Other than the expense of making changes in
the bridge and its approaches no serious difficulty stands in the way
of raising the clearance of the main span of the Fort Wayne bridge 2
or 3 feet to about 37 feet above pool level. To go above that figure
involves the serious objections discussed above.

_(b)_ _Effect of Different Bridge Heights Upon River Traffic_.--The
effect upon river navigation of any standard that may be adopted for
the heights of bridges depends upon the heights of the vessels using
the river and the fluctuations of the river level itself. (See Diagrams
4 and 5.)

By means of Davis Island Dam in the Ohio River the water of Pittsburgh
harbor is now kept practically at a minimum stage of six feet above
the datum of zero at natural low water. This is the prevailing water
level for the greater portion of the year. Floods come occasionally,
produced by rains and melting snows, and, of course, with the floods
come increased current velocities. These current velocities of each
river depend upon the source of the flood. When the flood comes down
the Allegheny River high velocities result. When the flood comes down
the Monongahela the high water in the Allegheny is back-water without
excessive currents. Under this condition the Allegheny becomes a
harbor of refuge for Monongahela commerce; and the reverse is true
that in an Allegheny River flood the Monongahela becomes a harbor of
refuge for Allegheny commerce. The floods in the two rivers seldom
come at the same time on account of the differences in the topography
and climatic conditions along the two water-sheds. The most serious
floods in the Allegheny generally come in the spring, when they are
frequently accompanied with drift and ice to such an extent as to
render navigation dangerous. At a stage of 15 feet in an Allegheny
River flood the river current runs at rates of from 4 to 7 miles per
hour. The record of fifty-five years shows that there is an average of
9 days each year when the river is above a 15-foot stage, and this is
mostly in the winter and spring when navigation in the harbor is at its
lowest ebb. There is presented herewith Diagram 4, showing graphically
the average number of days each year during which the river has reached
the various heights indicated.


There is also presented a hydrograph record of the river for four years
past which indicates the conditions ordinarily met with as regards
river stages at various times of year.

[Illustration: Towboat and barge passing under low bridge]

In the balancing of interests between the traffic on the river and
that across the bridges, it is believed to be fair and just that
for boats of excessive size and height the navigation of the river
above a 15-foot stage be eliminated from the problem; (1) because of
the comparatively small number of these boats; (2) because of the
questionable necessity of having such high boats at all; (3) because
of the period of the year when these extreme stages are reached; (4)
because these periods of time are so limited in length; (5) because
of the generally accompanying swift currents, and (6) because of the
oft-times accompanying dangerous floating drift and floating ice.

[Illustration: Closer view of such boats]

As to the height of vessels, it is to be noted that the great bulk of
navigation under the bridges is not through traffic, but is simply
movements about in the lower stretch of the river which forms part of
the harbor of Pittsburgh. The commodities moved are nearly all sand,
gravel and coal in barges, which loads are almost invariably taken up
stream while the downward movement is mostly of empty barges. These
barges are mostly moved by harbor tugs. The harbor tugs actually in use
are from 22 to 27 feet high, averaging about 24 feet.

[Illustration: Allegheny River heights for each day, 1906-1907.--U. S.
Engineers' Report (Diagram 5)]

[Illustration: Allegheny River heights for each day, 1908-1909.--U. S.
Engineers' Report (Diagram 5)]

The heights of the Monongahela standard towboats vary from 24 to 32
feet, averaging about 28 feet. Out of a list of 28 such boats but 5
exceed 28 feet in height.

The few packet boats running on the river are of moderate height and
can be accommodated in the harbor under the bridges at ordinary river
stages. The amount of business that could be done by a few packet boats
of extreme and unnecessary height is so small that to raise the bridges
to a sufficient height to accommodate it would place an entirely
unjustifiable tax and inconvenience upon the far greater business
interest of the city concerned in crossing the river.

The following tables show the average number of days per annum during
which various types of existing vessels would be prevented from
navigation by bridges of various assumed heights above the Davis Island


                       |Present|      |      |      |Present|      |      |
  Assumed bridge       |6th St.|      |      |      |6th St.|      |      |
  height above pool    |bridge |  37  |  42  |  47  |bridge |  37  |  42  |  47
  level in feet        |   33  |      |      |      |   33  |      |      |
                       |Total number of days per    |Total number of days per
     Types of Vessels  |annum when clearance        |annum when clearance would
                       |would be insufficient.      |be insufficient excluding
                       |                            |days when river is above
                       |                            |15-foot stage.
  Harbor tugs, average |       |      |      |      |       |      |      |
   height 24´          |   12  |   3  |   1  |   1  |    3  |   0  |   0  |   0
                       |       |      |      |      |       |      |      |
  Harbor tugs, maximum |       |      |      |      |       |      |      |
   height 27´          |   36  |   9  |   1  |   1  |   28  |   0  |   0  |   0
                       |       |      |      |      |       |      |      |
  Monongahela boats,   |       |      |      |      |       |      |      |
   ordinary maximum    |   57  |  12  |   2  |   1  |   48  |   3  |   0  |   0
   height 28´          |       |      |      |      |       |      |      |
                       |       |      |      |      |       |      |      |
  Monongahela boats,   |       |      |      |      |       |      |      |
   extreme maximum     |  198  |  57  |   9  |   1  |  189  |  48  |   0  |   0
   height 32´          |       |      |      |      |       |      |      |

In drawing conclusions from the above table, as a basis for plans
governing the expenditure of millions of dollars in construction and
the permanent establishment of conditions of navigation and of traffic
over the bridges and the enormous business interests concerned, it is
important to bear in mind that the types of vessels here considered
are antiquated, and can undoubtedly be materially changed in many
particulars to the benefit of all interests.

As bearing directly on this question of boats and bridges, attention
is invited to the following extract from the report of Hon. D. S.
Alexander, chairman of the River and Harbor Committee of the United
States House of Representatives, in submitting for action of the House
the last River and Harbor bill on February 11th, 1910:

_Modern Type of Boats for Non-tidal Rivers._--"The British Government
has been designing shallow-draft boats for use on the Nile, and the
German and Austrian governments have been working along similar lines
with reference to methods of transportation on the Rhine, the Danube,
the Elbe and other waterways. The boats designed have been very
successful, having been used in connection with modern loading and
unloading appliances. On our western rivers little change has been made
in the design of towboats, barges, etc., since 1860, and it is believed
that a design embodying the best points of modern vessels, with modern
machinery and cargo handling devices, might lead to a marked increase
in the traffic on the non-tidal rivers of the United States, especially
after permanently improved channels are available.

"It is believed that the appropriation of $500,000 to be expended
in the purchase of plant for use in connection with the work of
improvement of the river will also provide for experiments to be
carried on by the Government which will result in improving the present
type of river freight carriers; and also that these tests can be made
in no other way, since the expenditures and uncertainties involved
preclude the use of private capital for the purpose. As a result of the
tests or experiments it is hoped that a large saving to the country at
large may accrue from decreased costs of transportation, and that a
type of carrier may be developed which will also reduce the cost of all
bridges across navigable streams due to lessened requirements in the
matter of head room."

This report of Colonel Alexander, the very able Chairman of the River
and Harbor Committee of the House of Representatives, is worthy of
serious consideration. Such an investigation and experiments to
determine the best type of carriers to use on the river seems certain
to be provided for and may result in clearly demonstrating that
no necessity exists for raising the Allegheny bridges at all, in
accordance with the possibility outlined by the closing paragraph of
Colonel Alexander's report above. The appropriation of $500,000 as
recommended by Colonel Alexander is included in the River and Harbor
bill which has passed the House of Representatives and Senate. There is
every probability that it will become a law.

A vast amount of water traffic is carried on inland waterways all
over the world under fixed bridges with far less head room than is
provided for under the Allegheny River bridges. It is customary in
other parts of the country and the world to establish for rivers a
minimum head room for bridges at a high navigable stage, which stage
is considerably lower than the maximum or even the ordinary high flood
stage. For instance, in the new barge canal being built by the State
of New York at a cost of $108,000,000 the minimum head room under all
stationary bridges is fixed at 15½ feet at the _high navigable_ stage
of the water. The high _navigable_ stage is based chiefly upon what is
a _safe_ navigable stage, taking everything into consideration. It is
by no means a very high stage. As this canal runs through the canalized
Mohawk, Oneida, Oswego, Seneca and Clyde rivers, the situation is
comparable with that on the Allegheny. The depth of the canal at low
water is to be 12 feet, so it is seen that the clear head room is but
about 25 per cent greater than the minimum depth of the water. _The
boats must be made to fit the bridges, and not the bridges to fit the
boats._ It is estimated that the amount of traffic which will pass
through these canals about 450 miles long and under these 15½-foot
bridges will be about 20,000,000 tons annually, many times the amount
making use of the Allegheny River. The present Erie, Champlain and
Oswego canals in the State of New York, which have been in operation
for about 80 years, are crossed by several hundred bridges giving a
clear head room of 13 feet. No complaint about this head room is known
to exist, notwithstanding that steam vessels are largely used for
navigation purposes on the canals. _The boats have to be made to fit
the bridges and not the bridges to fit the boats._

At Paris, the river Seine running through the city carries a very large
amount of business. Annually about 20,000,000 passengers, and about
11,000,000 tons of freight are carried on boats of various kinds.
There are 36 bridges which span the river and must be passed by the
water-borne traffic. The clear head room under these bridges at the
highest navigable water varies from 11.25 feet to 21.88 feet. By
highest navigable water is meant the stage of water when by reason of
floods or currents, navigation ceases. This Paris water-borne freight
traffic on the Seine amounts to fully 7 times that of the Allegheny
River and passes under 5 times as many bridges, with minimum available
head room at high navigable stages just about one half that under the
present bridges over the Allegheny at a 15-foot stage. The conditions
of navigation on the Seine at Paris are practically the same as those
on the Allegheny at Pittsburgh. _In Paris the boats are made to fit
the bridges and not the bridges to fit the boats._

From these and many other illustrations that could be given it is
evident that it is not universally or even commonly considered
necessary or advisable to sacrifice business interests crossing the
bridges to navigation interests using the waterways, to any such extent
as that demanded by the navigation interests of the Allegheny River.

_Conclusions as to Clearance Heights._--Disregarding for the moment
the question of the time when changes in the present bridges should be
required, it is believed, after very careful consideration, that the
conditions brought out by our study of the problem would best be met
by fixing the elevation for a substantial portion of each bridge in
the center at a clear height above the pool level of substantially 37
feet, or 28 feet above the river at a 15-foot stage at each bridge. It
is believed that this elevation will give fair, justifiable and all
really needed accommodations to the navigation interests. This height
can be attained without extravagant and unjustifiable expense and
inconvenience to the business interests involved in crossing the river,
and while it cannot be hoped that it would be satisfactory to the
extreme advocates of river and harbor interests, it ought to satisfy
those who are able and willing to give proper and fair consideration
to other interests than their own. There are no reasonable navigation
demands, with bridges at this elevation, that cannot be met if the
water-borne commerce be conducted with vessels of the best modern
accepted type and not of extreme or unnecessary height.

_Piers and Channels._--For the benefit of the navigation interests
there are certain changes in some of the bridges over the Allegheny
that should be made without question. These relate to the location of
piers and location and width of the navigable channels.

[Illustration: Bridges over the Seine, Paris, showing low clearance
heights required and shallow water]

At the extreme mouth of the Allegheny River a new bridge, the North
Side Point bridge, has been approved by the War Department and is to
be built. This is to have one central pier dividing the river into two

A short distance above this North Side Point bridge is situated the
Sixth Street bridge, in some respects the most important highway
structure crossing the river. This bridge now corresponds to the North
Side Point bridge in having a central pier and dividing the river into
two main channels of ample width of over 400 feet.

The next bridge, the Seventh Street bridge, also has now a central pier
with channels about 320 feet width on each side of it. The next bridge
up the river, that at Ninth Street, has shorter spans, with the piers
so unfortunately located as to be decidedly obstructive. As this bridge
is of relatively light construction it is possible that the heavy and
constantly increasing traffic which it is called upon to bear will
before long necessitate its reconstruction anyway, and it will not be
unreasonable to require it to be rebuilt with fewer piers properly
located to conform to the plan adopted for the Sixth Street and Seventh
Street bridges.

As a permanent arrangement of piers for the above three bridges either
of two logical plans may be adopted. The first is to retain the
existing two-spans center-pier arrangement of the Sixth Street and
Seventh Street bridges, conforming to the center pier plan required
by the United States Engineers for the new North Side Point bridge,
and reconstruct the Ninth Street bridge upon the same general plan.
The other is to reconstruct all three bridges with two piers and three
spans each, as recommended by the local office of the United States
Engineers. The first or central pier plan has the merit of economy of
construction in that it involves the construction of no new piers for
the Sixth Street and Seventh Street bridges, and permits the continued
use of the existing superstructures of the Sixth Street and Seventh
Street bridges by simply raising them to the elevation that may be
decided upon and ordered. So far as we can ascertain, in view of the
center pier plan adopted for the North Side Point bridge, the advantage
to navigation appears to lie on the side of adhering to a center pier
plan for these bridges also. On the other hand, there is no doubt that
three-span bridges could be made more agreeable in appearance than
two-span bridges. But the possible gain in appearance alone does not
appear sufficient to justify the adoption of three spans.

The next bridge above Ninth Street is that of the Pittsburgh, Fort
Wayne and Chicago Railroad. This has been constructed with two main
piers providing one main central channel 337.5 feet wide and three
other piers giving four channels from 155 to 163 feet wide. Owing to
the bend in the river at the bridge and the distance above the Ninth
Street bridge, there is no valid objection to this single main central
channel at the railroad bridge connecting either with two channels
divided by the central piers of the bridges below, or with a central
channel if those bridges should be reconstructed on the three-span plan.

[Illustration: Paris bridges and boats--low boats to fit bridges]

The Sixteenth Street bridge has been constructed with 3 piers dividing
the river into 4 channels of about 150 feet each; the clear head room
beneath it is less than that now given by the bridges below it. The
best arrangement to be made with this bridge is to require it to be
rebuilt without the central pier, leaving a central channel about
320 feet in width between the two side piers to correspond with the
railroad bridge just below it. It is an old, covered, wooden bridge, in
poor physical condition, and, as previously noted, it is probable that
it must be raised anyhow in connection with eliminating railroad grade
crossings on the approaches.

The Thirtieth Street bridge has its piers properly spaced to leave a
central channel 285 feet in clear width and no changes are required in
pier and channel location at this bridge.

The Thirty-third Street or Pittsburgh Junction Railroad bridge of the
Baltimore and Ohio System has 3 piers, giving a main central channel
of 232 feet wide, with side channels 195 feet wide, and on the Herrs
Island side of 150 feet. No change is needed in the location of the
piers and channels at this bridge.

The Forty-third Street bridge is built with 3 piers, making 4 channels
each of about 160 feet wide. It gives less clear head room at high
river stages than most of the lower river bridges. It is an old wooden
bridge, in poor physical condition. The best arrangement for this
bridge is to treat it as the Sixteenth Street bridge, and to require
it to be rebuilt, omitting the central pier and leaving a central
channel about 300 feet wide, to correspond with the bridges below it.
The elimination of railroad grade crossings on the approaches to this
bridge is already a pressing public need and must soon result in its
raising or reconstruction at a higher level.

_Considerations against Requiring Changes in Bridges To Be Made at
Present._--The following important questions, having a direct bearing
upon the proper design of permanent bridges across the Allegheny River,
are now under consideration:

1. The Flood Commission is getting data for studying the question of a
protective embankment along the river front, and of the proper grades
of streets and bridge approaches in the region subject to inundation.
The design of such flood-protection works should have important bearing
upon the grade, location and design of the permanent bridge abutments.
This Commission is also studying the question of impounding the flood
waters of the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers in their upper valleys,
which may result in materially lessening the height and velocity of
floods in the harbor of Pittsburgh, and consequently, simplify the
bridge and navigation problems of the harbor.

2. The question of the best routes for surface cars and rapid transit
lines crossing the Allegheny River is now being studied for the City as
a part of a comprehensive plan for traction improvements. The result of
these studies might readily affect the design of the new bridges.

3. The government experiments recommended by Colonel Alexander of the
River and Harbor Committee and authorized in the River and Harbor bill
just passed by Congress and providing for the development of a more
economical and efficient type of river-boats, requiring less head
room than the present antiquated types, may soon show results that
would have a decided influence in determining the reasonable clearance
heights of bridges.

[Illustration: A typical Paris boat and tows]

4. Attention is also invited to the fact that the people of Pittsburgh
have voted to expend about $7,000,000 in certain public improvements.
Among these are the cutting down of the "Hump," an obstructive hill
in the city's midst, widening some streets and filling certain other
streets in the North Side and West End that are flooded at high river
stages. The material from the "Hump" in the vicinity of the Court House
is to be hauled to these North Side streets across the lower Allegheny
bridges under question. The work is of great magnitude and it will
take at least two years to complete it. Any material alteration to
the bridges such as proposed by the Board of Engineers will require
a long time to be carried into effect. While this bridge work would
be under way, the transportation of the material excavated from the
"Hump" and the filling up of the low grade streets of the North Side
would have to cease or would be carried on with great difficulty and
inconvenience to other traffic. This would tie up the whole work while
it is in progress, causing material injury to the city, for it is to
be extremely annoying and bothersome while it is in progress, and the
longer this period is strung out the worse it will be.

For all of the above reasons we believe that to precipitate the actual
reconstruction of the bridges at this time would be most undesirable
for the city and prejudicial to the best results, in the long run, for
all concerned.


In conclusion we beg to recommend as follows: 1. That the Sixteenth
Street and Forty-third Street bridges, which are obstructions to
navigation on account of their pier locations, narrow channels,
and exceptionally low clearance height, be required to be rebuilt
with their piers so located as to give channels conforming to the
neighboring bridges, and that their elevation be fixed with regard
to eliminating the railroad grade crossings on their approaches, but
the minimum clearance shall be fixed in accordance with the closing
paragraph below.

2. That the Ninth Street bridge should be rebuilt as soon as
practicable with a center pier and two wide spans conforming to those
of the Sixth Street and Seventh Street bridges. The design of the new
Ninth Street bridge, however, should not be finally determined and
erection begun until a definite plan for comprehensive improvements in
the traction system between the two sides of the river has been decided
upon. Unless new circumstances develop before the construction of this
bridge is begun that materially affect the problem of clearance height,
the elevation should be fixed in accordance with the closing paragraph

3. That all questions pertaining to changing the elevation of the Sixth
Street, Seventh Street, Fort Wayne, Thirtieth Street and Junction
Railroad bridges be deferred to await the report of the Pittsburgh
Flood Commission and the resultant action; to await the report on a
comprehensive plan for traction improvements; to await the completion
of the work projected by the City in cutting down some streets and
filling others; and to await the results of investigation of river-boat
design and construction provided for in the River and Harbor bill just
passed by Congress.

4. That, if it is deemed essential and necessary at present to decide
upon the elevation to which all Allegheny River bridges must be made to
conform, this elevation be fixed so that there shall be a clear head
room of substantially 37 feet above pool level, varied so as to give
at each bridge a clear head room of 28 feet when the river is at a
15-foot flood stage. This height to be maintained over the entire main
span where there is a central span and for 180 feet on each side of the
central pier where there is a central pier.

We have the honor to be, very respectfully,

  Your obedient servants,

          Col. Corps Engineers U. S. A., retired,



_Amount and Importance of Bridge Traffic._--_Highway Bridges._--The
following table gives the records of counts made in the fall of 1909,
and spring of 1910 on the various bridges over the Allegheny River:

                      RECORD OF COUNTS.--TABLE NO. 1

  Location of     |Period of|Street| Heavy  | Light  |Car-  |Auto-  |Pedestrians
   bridges        | count   | cars | wagons | wagons |riages|mobiles|
  Sixth Street    |Aug. 24- |89,354|  55,791|  79,247| 9,534| 24,583|  1,605,793
                  | Oct. 23 |      |        |        |      |       |
  Ninth Street    |Aug. 26- |72,854|   8,961|  14,846|   613|    960|    185,158
                  | Sept. 30|      |        |        |      |       |
  Sixteenth Street|Oct. 4-  |  ... [37]4,444[37]7,764|  ... |   ... |     76,495
                  | Oct. 17 |      |        |        |      |       |
  Thirtieth Street|Aug. 24- |  ... |   9,844|  10,184|   667|    447|     96,485
                  | Oct. 23 |      |        |        |      |       |
  Forty-third     |Aug, 23- |  ... |   8,159|   8,165|   987|  2,179|    130,744
   Street         | Nov 1   |      |        |        |      |       |

                    RECORD OF COUNTS.--TABLE NO. 1A[38]

  Location of   |Period of count |Passenger|Delivery|Single|Double|Pedestrians
   bridges      |                |vehicles |vehicles|trucks|trucks|
  Seventh Street|Feb. 28-Mar. 3, |    401  |  4,800 |  273 | 1,035|   29,146
                |    4, 5, 7     |         |        |      |      |

Assuming that the average number of vehicles per day and the average
tonnage per day are the same throughout the year as during the periods
of counting, we deduce the following results:

                    TRAFFIC FOR YEAR 1909.--TABLE NO. 2

  Location of| Period | Street| Heavy | Light |Car-
    bridges  |of count|  cars | wagons| wagons|riages
  6th St.    |  1909  |534,652|333,829|474,171|57,013
             |        |       |       |       |
  9th St.    |  1909  |738,650| 90,812|150,490| 6,205
             |        |       |       |       |
  16th St.   |  1909  |  ...  |115,851|202,429|  ...
             |        |       |       |       |
  30th St.   |  1909  |  ...  | 58,875| 60,919| 3,979
             |        |       |       |       |
  43d St.    |  1909  |  ...  | 42,522| 42,559| 5,147

  Location of|Auto-  |Pedestrians|[39]Gross |  [40]Total value
    bridges  |mobiles|           |  tonnage |
  6th St.    |147,095| 9,608,406 |13,240,010|[41]1,879,140,750
             |       |           |          |
  9th St.    |  9,709| 1,877,268 |14,732,130|    2,201,473,500
             |       |           |          |
  16th St.   |  ...  | 1,991,988 |   967,544|      102,201,375
             |       |           |          |
  30th St.   |  2,664|   577,320 |   398,430|       44,233,500
             |       |           |          |
  43d St.    | 11,351|   681,710 |   311,090|       32,478,500

                 TRAFFIC FOR YEAR 1909.--TABLE NO. 2A[42]

  Location of bridges|Passenger|Delivery|Single|Double
                     |vehicles |vehicles|trucks|trucks
  Seventh Street     |  29,273 | 351,400|19,929|75,555

  Location of bridges|Pedestrians|[39]Gross|[40]Total value
                     |           | tonnage |
  Seventh Street     | 2,127,585 |1,159,084|  149,862,600

_Railroad Bridges._--The bridge carrying the heaviest traffic is that
of the Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne and Chicago Railroad, a part of the
Pennsylvania System, which forms one of the links in the main line of
this railroad system between the East and West. Across this bridge are
carried each year about 2,750,000 passengers, 32,000 tons of mail, and
53,000,000 tons of freight and general railroad traffic, besides about
2,135,000 pedestrians,[42] making it one of the greatest throats of
commerce in the country. This is a double deck bridge of 4 tracks, 2
tracks on each deck, with a wide footway on the lower deck. It is to be
noted that the amount of traffic passing over this bridge is about 25
times as much as that which floats on the water beneath it, and is far
higher in quality and value per ton.

The other railroad bridge crossing the river within the city limits is
the Thirty-third Street viaduct of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.
This is a link in the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad between the East and
the West and carries an enormous traffic amounting each year to about
217,000 passengers and 24,330,000 tons of freight, express and other

Uniting this with the traffic over the Fort Wayne bridge of the
Pennsylvania we have crossing the Allegheny River on the two railroad
bridges a gross amount of 77,330,000 tons, and 5,102,000 passengers and
pedestrians, with a value of tonnage traffic estimated at approximately


_Amount and Importance of River Traffic._--The following statistics
were obtained from the United States Engineers' office and show the
number of boats, net tonnage and number of passengers passing Dam No. 1
in the Allegheny River during the year 1909:

                                TABLE NO. 1

  Month     |No. vessels|No. passengers|Tonnage of
            |           |              |  cargoes
  January   |     338   |        16    |   30,889
  February  |     358   |        18    |   30,073
  March     |   1,055   |        25    |   81,424
  April     |     732   |       197    |   51,457
  May       |     896   |     1,506    |   57,269
  June      |     958   |     1,248    |   56,324
  July      |     901   |     2,495    |   37,888
  August    |     868   |     2,019    |   29,102
  September |   1,006   |     1,681    |   36,759
  October   |     955   |       982    |   53,622
  November  |     789   |       616    |   42,827
  December  |     495   |       231    |   29,086
  Total     |   9,351   |    11,034    |  536,720

The following are statistics of counts taken in 1909 at the different

                                TABLE NO. 2

                           |                           | No. of vessels
      Location of count    |  Period covered by count  |     passing
  Sixth Street Bridge      | Aug. 24-Oct. 23 (61 days) |      4,534
  Ninth Street Bridge      | Aug. 26-Sept. 30 (36 days)|      3,279
  Fort Wayne Bridge        | Aug. 20-Oct. 28 (70 days) |      4,925
  Thirtieth Street Bridge  | Aug. 24-Oct. 23 (61 days) |      2,022
  J. R. R. Bridge          | Sept. 13-Nov. 13 (60 days)|      1,460
  Forty-third Street Bridge| Aug. 23-Nov. 1 (70 days)  |      1,580

Assuming that the ratio between the number of vessels during any given
period and the total for the year is the same at all bridges as at
Dam No. 1; and assuming that the relative number of different kinds
of vessels are the same at all bridges; and further assuming that the
average weight of cargo is the same at all bridges as recorded at Dam
No. 1, we reach the estimates of total traffic under the bridges given
in Table No. 3.

                      FOR THE YEAR 1909--TABLE NO. 3

                           |        |           |           |  [43]Wt. of
      Location of count    | No. of |[43]Weight  | Weight of |   vessels
                           |vessels |of vessels |  cargoes  | and cargoes
  Sixth Street Bridge      | 21,763 | 1,097,378 | 1,247,020 |  2,344,398
  Ninth Street Bridge      | 25,904 | 1,311,823 | 1,484,299 |  2,796,122
  Fort Wayne Bridge        | 20,685 | 1,043,020 | 1,185,250 |  2,228,270
  Thirtieth Street Bridge  |  9,706 |   489,416 |   556,154 |  1,045,570
  J. R. R. Bridge          |  8,030 |   404,905 |   460,119 |    865,024
  Forty-third Street Bridge|  6,636 |   334,613 |   380,243 |    714,856

The largest total, that passing under the Ninth Street bridge, is
without doubt somewhat less than the total traffic on the river, and
a careful study of the figures would seem to indicate that the total
water-borne traffic of the Allegheny River in 1909 amounted to about
one and three-quarter (1¾) million tons of cargo or three and one-half
(3½) million tons gross displacement, including cargoes, barges, tugs
and all vessels.

The water-borne commerce on this river is of the cheapest character,
consisting almost entirely of sand and gravel dredged from the rivers
and coal floated down the Monongahela and delivered along the shores.
All this sand, gravel and coal is carried in low-lying barges or scows
moved by tugs or towboats.

A small amount of package freight comes in and leaves by packet boats.

                                TABLE NO. 4

                         UNITED STATES ENGINEERS)

  Coal                            231,232 tons
  Other iron or steel products        428 tons
  Sand                            132,894 tons
  Gravel                          123,579 tons
  Brick                                75 tons
  Stone                             3,869 tons
  Timber                            8,519 tons
  Lumber                            3,519 tons
  Pit posts                        13,950 tons
  Braces                              600 tons
  Railroad ties                     6,650 tons
  Wood                                 45 tons
  General merchandise               3,119 tons
  New barges                        2,628 tons
  New boats (coal)                  3,940 tons
  Manure                            1,000 tons
  Bark                                455 tons

The average value of the freight based on prices prevailing in 1910
is about $3 a ton. The average value of the carriers is about $65 a
ton. As there is a slightly greater weight of freight than carrier,
an average of $30 per ton would be a fair estimate of the value of
freight and carriers. The total value of the water-borne traffic of
the Allegheny River for the year under the various bridges would,
therefore, be about $105,000,000.

The passenger traffic on the river is so small that it may be
considered negligible. It is estimated at 35,000, largely pleasure
traffic in small boats.

About one-third as much tonnage goes through Lock No. 2 as through
Lock No. 1, and about one-sixteenth as much goes through Lock No. 3
as through Lock No. 1. There is no navigation on the river above the
third pool. It is claimed, however, that with the further canalization
of the river above Dam No. 3 and the raising of the bridges this
traffic would be greatly increased. It is to be hoped that there will
be a considerable increase, but there are distinct limitations on the
probable amount of the increase. The Monongahela has a larger and
more highly favored local territory to draw upon for freight than the
Allegheny so that under the best of conditions, with every possible
improvement of navigation, the traffic on the Allegheny can never be
expected to approach that upon the Monongahela.

The total amount of freight of all kinds passing Dam No. 1 on the
Monongahela in 1909, was 5,417,873, or a little more than ten times the
amount on the Allegheny, while the tonnage passing over the Allegheny
bridges is thirty times greater than the tonnage on the Allegheny
River.[44] Yet, if conceivably the traffic on the Allegheny should
equal that now on the Monongahela, it would still be only one-third
that _over_ the Allegheny bridges.

Since the figures for the present traffic over the Allegheny River
bridges are used for comparison with the present river traffic, and
since the former must continue to grow steadily with the growth of
the Pittsburgh industrial district, it seems quite clear that no
conceivable growth in the latter can seriously affect the overwhelming
predominance of the bridge traffic in amount and value.[44]


[32] Appendix II.

[33] The maximum gradients here given assume the improvement of the
short pitches now existing on some of the bridge approaches.

[34] Gradients for this clearance height are greater than those shown
on United States Engineers' plans because of greater width of channel.
If United States Engineers' plans were adopted the maximum gradients
would be as follows: Sixth Street, 4.35%; Seventh Street, 4.93%, and
Ninth Street, 4.98%.

[35] 3.64 per cent (United States Engineer's Office) or 4.0 per cent,
(City Bureau of Construction.)

[36] Given as 6.35 per cent on United States Engineers' Sections.

[37] Automobiles and carriages included in counts for light and heavy

[38] Table 1A. The count at Seventh Street bridge was recorded by
different units and, therefore, required a separate table. The North
Side approach to this bridge was being improved at the same time the
count was made, causing a temporary interference with travel reflected
in an abnormally small proportion of traffic on the bridge and a
corresponding increase for the adjacent bridges.

[39] In estimating the gross tonnage, the following average weights
were used: a street car with average load--19 tons; a heavy wagon
(including team), averaging loaded and empty vehicles--4 tons; a light
wagon (including team), averaging loaded and empty vehicles--1.75 tons;
an automobile or carriage (including team),--.9 tons; pedestrians and
passengers are figured at 150 pounds apiece.

[40] Estimating heavy and light wagons, including team and load at $125
per ton; carriages and automobiles, including teams, at $300 per ton;
cars at $160 per ton and live stock at $200 per ton, we get an average
tonnage value of $150 over the Sixth Street, Seventh Street[41] and
Ninth Street bridges, and $125 over the Sixteenth Street, Thirtieth
Street and Forty-third Street bridges.

[41] The figures for pedestrians, passengers and general tonnage are
taken from the affidavit of John C. Perrott. The tonnage of mail was
obtained from the report of the U. S. Post-office Department.

[42] See Note under Table 1A.

[43] The following data as to weight of vessels was kindly furnished by
Mr. J. F. Tilley:


  Medium tows                                                      800 tons
  Pool tows                                                        175 tons
  Barges                                                            55 tons
  Coal boats                                                       105 tons
  Flats                                                             30 tons

In estimating we assumed the following average weights for river craft,
based in large measure upon the above data:

  Steamboats                                                       225 tons
  Coal boats and barges                                             80 tons
  Barges                                                            55 tons
  House boats, excursion boats, yachts, and U. S. Government boats  45 tons
  Launches, skiffs, etc.                                             1 ton
  Motor boats and miscellaneous                                     10 tons

[44] See Diagrams 1, 2 and 3.


  Allegheny River Boulevard, 79.

  Allegheny River Bridges, 133-165.

  Allegheny River Heights, 145-149.

  Allegheny River Parkway, 120.

  Amount and Importance of Bridge Traffic, 137, 138, 160-162.

  Amount and Importance of River Traffic, 138-140, 162-165.

  Amount and Importance of Traffic Affected, 137-140.

  Appendix I, Bridge Report, 160-162.

  Appendix II, Bridge Report, 162-165.

  Ardmore Thoroughfare, 73.

  Areas Reached by High- and Low-level Tunnel Routes, 54.

  Arlington Avenue and Washington Avenue Connection, 85.

  Aspinwall Bridge, The, 59, 60.

  Baltimore Surveys, 100.

  Batavia Street, 71.

  Bates Run Connection, 63, 64.

  Baum Street Improvement, 65.

  Beechview Thoroughfare, 83.

  Beechwood Boulevard Connection, 68, 69.

  Beechwood Boulevard Parkway, 120, 121.

  Beechwood Boulevard Re-alignment, 70.

  Bell Avenue Extension, 73.

  Bellefield Improvement, The, 101-106.

  Bluff Street Hillside, 122.

  Boats for Non-Tidal Rivers, 151-153.

  Boundary Street Improvement, 69.

  Braddock Avenue--Northerly End, 72.

  Braddock Avenue Viaduct, 72.

  Bridge Report, Special, 133-165.

  Bridges over the Seine, Paris, 154.

  Bridge Street Improvement, 78.

  Bridge Traffic, 137, 138, 160-162.

  Brighton Road Connection, 75, 76.

  Brighton Road Viaduct, 76.

  Brownsville Road, 86.

  Butler Street Improvement, 59.

  California Avenue and Brighton Road Extension, 75, 76.

  Carrick Connection from the South Hills Tunnel, 84, 85.

  Carson Street, 79, 80.

  Center Avenue Improvement, 65.

  Chartiers Avenue Grade Crossing, 80.

  Chartiers Valley Parks, 118.

  City and the Allegheny River Bridges, The, 133-165.

  Civic Center, A, 11-17.

  Clearance Heights, Conclusions as to, 153.

  Comparison of Bridge and River Traffic, 140.

  Considerations against Requiring Changes in Bridges to be made at
    Present, 157-159.

  Corliss Street, 80, 81.

  Cost of Living in Pittsburgh, XIII.

  Crafton-Carnegie Connection, 81.

  Crafton Hillside Thoroughfare, 81.

  Diamond Street Widening, 17.

  Down Town District, The, 5-30.

  Dravosburg and Mifflin Township Thoroughfares, 74-75.

  Duquesne Bridge, 75.

  Eastward Arteries and Their Improvement, 6-9.

  East Liberty Improvements, 65-67.

  East Ohio Street, 77, 78.

  East Street, 76, 77.

  Effect of Different Bridge Heights upon River Traffic, 145-151.

  Effect of Various Possible Bridge Heights upon the Traffic Over the
    Bridges, 141-145.

  Effect of Various Solutions, 140.

  Eighth Avenue Branch to Dravosburg, 75.

  Eighth Avenue Branch Westward, 75.

  Eighth Avenue Improvement, 75.

  Ellsworth Avenue Extension, 62.

  Etna Improvement, 78.

  Etna Park, 118.

  Etna Playground, 118.

  Fairhaven County Road, 84.

  Fifth Avenue--Center Avenue Connections at Soho, 61, 62.

  Forbes Street--Fifth Avenue Connection at Soho, 60, 61.

  Forbes Street Artery, 47-49, 60, 61.

  Forbes Street Extension, 72, 73.

  Forty-third Street Bridge, 59.

  Full Report (Allegheny River Bridges), 134-165.

  General Map of the Pittsburgh District, Facing page 1.

  General Plan of Down Town District, Facing page 9.

  Glenwood Bridge, 64, 65.

  Grade Crossings, 10, 56, 57, 59, 64, 71, 75, 78, 79, 80.

  Grant Boulevard, 106-108.

  Grant Boulevard Extension, 11.

  Greenfield and Squirrel Hill Extension, 64.

  Greenfield Avenue Connection, 64.

  Greensburg Pike, 74.

  Greensburg Pike South of Turtle Creek, 74.

  Guyasuta Park, 120.

  Haights Run Bridge, 59.

  Haights Run Thoroughfare, 67, 68.

  Haights Run Valley Park, 121, 122.

  Hamilton Avenue Extension, 65, 66.

  Hazelwood Grade Crossing, 64.

  Highway Bridges, 141-144, 160, 161.

  Hillsides, Steep, 100-112.

  Howley Street Connection, 58.

  "Hump Cut," The, 10, 11, 128-132.

  Index to Outlying Thoroughfare Improvements, 88-91.

  Introduction, 1-4.

  Introduction (Allegheny River Bridges), 133.

  Lang Avenue Connection, 83.

  Larimer Avenue Extension, 66.

  Letter of Transmissal, XI.

  Lowry's Lane, 77.

  Main Arteries (Main Thoroughfares), 44-56.

  Main Arteries (The Down Town District), 5, 6.

  Main Street Grade Crossing, 79.

  Main Thoroughfares, 31-92.

  Management and Cost of Surveys, 98.

  Maps of Surveys, 96-98.

  Market Street Widening, 17, 18.

  Market, The, 18, 123-128.

  Meadow Street Connection, 68.

  Millvale Playground, 118.

  Millvale Thoroughfare, 78.

  Modern Type of Boats for Non-tidal Rivers, 151-153.

  Monongahela Hillside Thoroughfare, 62, 63.

  Moultrie Street Playground, 117.

  Mt. Washington Hillside, 122.

  Murray Avenue Extension, 69, 70.

  Need for Surveys, Pittsburgh's, 93, 94.

  Negley Run Boulevard, 66.

  Negley Run Parkway, 121.

  Neighborhood Parks, 113-116.

  New York Surveys, 98, 99.

  Nine Mile Run Park, 119, 120.

  North Side Improvements, 75-77.

  Objects to Be Secured by Surveys, 94, 95.

  Ohio Street, East, 77.

  Outlying Thoroughfare Improvements, 56-92.
    (Index, 88-91.)
    (Map, 92.)

  Park Opportunities, Special, 117-122.

  Parks and Recreation Facilities, 101-122.

  Parks, General Discussion, 113-117.

  Penn Avenue Artery, 44-46.

  Penn-Liberty Connection at Howley Street, 58.

  Piers and Channels, 153-157.

  Plan for the Proposed Hump Cut, 129.

  Point, The Improvements of the, 29, 30.

  Purpose of the Report, XIII.

  Railroad Bridges, 144, 145, 161, 162.

  Rankin Improvement, 72.

  Rankin Playground, 118, 119.

  Recommendations (Allegheny River Bridges), 133, 134, 159, 160.

  Recommendations, Specific (Main Arteries), 44-56.

  Recommendations, Specific (Outlying Thoroughfares), 56-92.

  Recommendations, Urgent, 2, 3.

  River Traffic, 138-140, 162-165.

  Rural Parks, 116, 117.

  Sample Maps, 98.

  Sassafras Street Outlet, 58.

  Sawmill Run Hillside Thoroughfare, 83, 84.

  Sawmill Run Parkway, 119.

  Sawmill Run Thoroughfare, 81, 82.

  Second Avenue Extension, 70, 71.

  Second Avenue Freight Yards, 10.

  Sharpsburg Bridge, 59.

  Silver Lake Playground, 121.

  Sixteenth Street Bridge, 56.

  Sixth Avenue, 9, 10.

  Soho Connections, 60-62.

  South Eighteenth Street, 85, 86.

  Southern Avenue Connection, 82, 83.

  South Hills Artery, 49-56, 81-85.

  South Hills Tunnel and Thoroughfare Routes, Profiles of, 53.

  South Side Improvements, 49-56, 79, 85-87.

  South Tenth Street, 86.

  Special Park Opportunities, 117-122.

  Special Reports, 123-165.

  Special Types of Thoroughfares, 34-37.

  Squaw Run Park, 120.

  Squaw Run Thoroughfare, 79.

  Stanton Avenue Connection to the Lincoln District, 68.

  Steep Hillsides, 109-112.

  Streets Run, 74.

  Surveys and a City Plan, 93-100.

  Sycamore Street Grade Crossing and Bridge Street Improvement, 78.

  Technical Procedure for Surveys, 95, 96.

  Thirty-third Street Improvement, 57, 58.

  Traffic Center, A New, 9.

  Troy Hill Road, 77.

  Try Street Grade Crossing, 10.

  Tunnel Routes, Areas Reached by High- and Low-Level, 54.

  Twenty-eighth Street Grade Crossing, 57.

  Twenty-second Street Bridge Approach--South Side, 86, 87.

  Types of Thoroughfares, Special, 34-37.

  Unified Procedure for City, County and Borough, 43, 44.

  Washington Avenue Improvement, 82.

  Washington Avenue Improvement East, 85.

  Washington Road, 81.

  Water Front, The, 19-28.

  West Broadway Extension, 83.

  West End Improvements, 80, 81.

  Widening Old Streets, 37-43.

  Width of Thoroughfares, 31-34.

  Wilkinsburg-Edgewood Connection, 71, 72.

  Wilkinsburg Grade Crossings, 71.

  Wilkins Township Thoroughfares, 73, 74.

  Wind Gap Road, 80.

  Woodstock Avenue Extension, 73.


  Silently corrected simple spelling, grammar, and typographical

  Retained anachronistic and non-standard spellings as printed.

  Enclosed italics markup in _underscores_.

  Enclosed bold markup in =equals=.

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