Parking for bus route planned
The park-and-ride lot planned for Beers School Road in Moon Township could be ready for use by the end of the year, according to an official of the Port Authority of Allegheny County.
In a pre-application conference last week, Domenic D’Andrea, a senior civil engineer for the Port Authority, showed his drawings for the facility to members of the Moon Township Planning Commission and asked for their questions and comments.
The proposed 28-acre site has been vacant since it was abandoned by Airways Parking, a park-and-fly lot, when the new Pittsburgh International Airport terminal opened in Findlay Township.
A traffic signal is planned for the park-and-ride entrance, which will be directly across Beers School Road from Portvue Drive.
The Port Authority has hired AWK Consulting Engineers Inc. of Turtle Creek to design and build the park-and-ride lot.
Gary L. Van Balen of AWK told planning commission members the project is planned in two phases.
Phase one is building a separate bus loop and shelter, plus the paving, lighting and landscaping of half the parking lot – 600 of a total 1,200 spaces.
The Port Authority and AWK are now working on phase one’s final design and hope to present it to the planning commission next month.
Their goal is to have phase one in operation by Dec. 31 of this year.
Phase two will be to build the other 600 parking spaces and develop about five acres along Beers School Road as retail shops.
Van Balen said he will request proposals this month from developers who have ideas for how best to use the five acres.
Developers will have 45 days to respond.
Requesting proposals for retail development at a park-and-ride is an idea that is still in its infancy, said Bob Grove, Port Authority spokesman.
The requests are open-ended. The Port Authority asks developers to ‘give us ideas how we can best provide amenities for our customers … development that makes sense to the transit user,’ he said.
Moon is one of several municipalities under consideration by the Port Authority for retail development, along with Carnegie (a new park-and-ride at the terminus of the West Busway) and Wilkinsburg (as part of the East Busway extension project).
Proposals will be studied by a selection committee, which D’Andrea said should include representatives from Moon.
‘It really represents an opportunity for the township to have a say as to how that front portion gets developed,’ he said.
The Beers School Road lot ‘could be a huge success for us,’ Grove said, ‘if we get good retail development in there, that makes it even more attractive.’
Jeff Bussard, vice chairman of the planning commission, said Moon is a car-oriented town and the park-and-ride ‘is an opportunity to change all that.’
He asked D’Andrea to consider routing the smaller, local Gold Buses through the new park-and-ride and to provide a drop-off loop for commuters who kiss-and-ride.
Bussard also suggested that D’Andrea look at the township’s new comprehensive plan, in order to ‘understand … what we’re trying to do about traffic.’
The comprehensive plan calls for widening Beers School Road, Bussard pointed out, so that growth can occur there.
Howard McClellan can be reached at email@example.com or (412) 306-4536.