Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Troy Hill Residents Welcome Rialto Street Reopening

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Troy Hill Residents Welcome Rialto Street Reopening

Article excerpt

It is rare, indeed, to read an ode to a road.

But residents of Troy Hill may soon be penning a joyful one.

Rialto Street, a main thoroughfare into and out of the North Side neighborhood, is reopening this morning for the first time in more than 2 1/2 years, a lifting of the blockades long wished for by many residents.

"You won't find anybody unhappy," said city Councilwoman Darlene Harris, whose district includes Troy Hill.

Judging by the number of phone calls her office has fielded about the road closure, she said "people will be thrilled" to see it open again.

Among Troy Hill residents, sentiment about the road's reopening seemed to be different variations of the same: finally.

"It's about time," said Jim Bougher, a Troy Hill resident and owner of Billy's Troy Hill Bistro, a short walk from where Rialto empties into the neighborhood.

Matt Stidle, a 30-year-old resident and chair of the Troy Hill Citizens group, predicted there would be happy people waiting to use Rialto again.

"It just opens up a lot of freedom for the neighborhood," he said.

Rialto Street, a steep incline affectionately referred to as "Pig Hill" by nearby residents because pigs were once driven down the road from stockyards to slaughterhouses, was closed in August 2011.

The reason was the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation's work on the Route 28-31st Street Bridge intersection. But even after that work was completed in November 2013, Rialto remained closed because of concerns about use of the road during wintertime.

Rialto Street, which has been included in the "Dirty Dozen" bike race of the city's steepest hills, drops sharply from Troy Hill into a traffic signal at Route 28.

Four years ago, after a car driving on a snow-covered Rialto Street flipped, the city of Pittsburgh decided to stop temporarily closing the road during winter weather conditions with wooden barriers that drivers sometimes removed. …

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