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Key to Brookline Reconstruction Success is Support

A Brookline resident shares her thoughts on how the community can survive—successfully—the upcoming Boulevard reconstruction project.

Thank goodness it’s February. Winter is officially half over!

Lately, we have been thinking about the Steeler chant, “Here we go Steelers, here we go.” It occurred to us that it could just as easily be “Here we go Brookline, here we go.” We are within countdown of reconstruction. While the hardhat workers will be important, there is another group of individuals who are critical to this project—the residents of Brookline, specifically you, dear reader. You—we—are critical to the outcome we want.

We want a new and improved Boulevard featuring our longtime favorite merchants. Pitaland started the ball rolling with their renovations in January. No one is asking you to pick up a shovel or pour concrete. We will leave those jobs to the hardhats. Our job as residents is to shop, encourage others to frequent the Boulevard, remain optimistic and be patient. It took us 15 years to get to this point. Is it really asking so much to wait another 10 months?

Certainly there will be times when our patience is challenged or our routines interrupted. Perhaps we could use the chant to encourage each other at these times? When we are forced to walk extra blocks to pick up our donuts at Party Cake or a birthday cake at Kribel’s, we could chant “Here we go Brookline, here we go.” When your dinner reservation at Moonlite Café or Mateo’s means parking at Hair By Conroy, think of the walk as exercise before dinner and chant “Here we go Brookline, here we go.”

We have to encourage each other and support our merchants during this critical time for Brookline. On Feb. 11 at 6 p.m., the Chamber of Commerce will be holding a meeting for the community at St. Mark’s Church, located at the corner of Brookline Boulevard and Glenarm Avenue. Attend.

We need to talk and share ideas for surviving the next 10 months. If at the end of the year, we have a new Boulevard with empty storefronts, we will have achieved nothing. That has happened in other communities. That is NOT what we want for Brookline. Shopping on the Boulevard is an easy volunteer opportunity in which we can all participate. “Here we go Brookline, here we go.”

Pamela Grabowski

Brookline


This article originally appeared in 'The Brookline,' Issue #56, Page 2, February 2013, and is used with permission. 'The Brookline' is an informational newsletter for the Pittsburgh neighborhood of Brookline. It is available by email in full color, and also is available by mail. Contact The Brookline at thebrookline@brookline-pgh.org for details.

Bob Dobbs February 05, 2013 at 04:47 PM
Survival of the fittest . If store-fronts are vacant after the work's done, so be it . They probably weren't good/necessary businesses, then . Brookline Blvd. needs some fresh blood, retail and amenities-wise . Time to get more with the times / 2013 . It's not the 1950's anymore .
Bob Dobbs February 05, 2013 at 04:49 PM
You will always have a Sal's barber-shop, you will always have Las Palmas, the library, state store(more than the others, LOL.) The good core-businesses along the Blvd. will be fine .
Bob K February 05, 2013 at 05:58 PM
Well, the relentless tickets for expired meters keeps me from shopping there more often. I was in Cell Phones or more... Put a quarter in the meter... store was busy, when i went out to put more money in, I already had a ticket... HUGE Deterrent to shopping there. Anyone shop in dormont during the holidays? At Dormont Village, the meters were covered and said Happy Holidays! Now that's business friendly... and if you get a ticket, its what, 5.00 and they leave you an envelope and have boxes to deposit it and its over. Here in the city, WAY more money, mail in a check, etc. So we will do the Brookline shopping district the have metermaids relentlessly ticketing cars ... self defeating if you want my opinion.
erika February 05, 2013 at 06:13 PM
Great! Can't wait and looking forward to the improvements!! I will make an attempt to shop on the Blvd even more than I do now.
Bob Dobbs February 05, 2013 at 07:57 PM
I'm definetly with Bob K. on the aggressive meter-checking/ticketing. Even during the Brookline Breeze festival day they were out in force and sneering at anyone that dared to object to what they were doing . This is not good. Dormont as Bob said , suspends checking the meters for the holiday shopping period. I realize Dormont is its own entitiy / boro and Brookline is City of PGH. Go ticket in a wealthier neighborhood like Squirrel Hill you soul-less meter-checkers !!!
erika February 06, 2013 at 05:37 PM
So let me get this straight. You go and park at a metered spot (obviously rendering it unusable for another vehicle to occupy this space while you are in it), don't put quarters in the meter, get a ticket, and then complain? I don't get this at all. My husband came home the other day and announced he would never go back to Party Cake Shoppe to buy a loaf of bread again. I asked why. He replied "Because they gave me a ticket!" and i said "Party Shoppe didn't, why would you punish them?" He was silent, so then I said the same thing to him that I said at the beginning of this post. You can't blame anyone else for this ticket but yourself. You should go park on a side street if you don't like it (he did come home with a loaf of bread from PCS yesterday, so he must have taken it to heart).
Spiltpop February 06, 2013 at 06:28 PM
The parking situation has me shopping elsewhere, too. If I can find a parking spot within reason (and unless I am planning to carry something heavy, I'm willing to cross the street or walk a block), I will put money in the meter but now it's 50 cents for 1/2 hour. That's pretty steep. That can be stopping in only one store. If I have to walk any distance between stores, the post office, a restaurant, etc., that 50 cents will be gone in no time. If there's something I can buy on the blvd, I do drive by there first, look for a space, look for parking authority and if it's all clear, I stop. Otherwise, I head to the suburbs. It is good to try to shop in neighborhood, but if it's too inconvenient people won't do it. Frankly, since I work all day, I'd like to see the stores open later and stay open till 9 or later. We could avoid the "rush hour" parking crowd, not have to feed the meters, and enjoy the community in the evening. In fact, I spend most of my Brookline shopping in stores and restaurants open later. I hope the improvements really are. I like shopping local.
Erin Faulk February 06, 2013 at 06:37 PM
The cost is one thing that does bother me. When I'm on the Boulevard, I'm usually reporting on something like an event, or doing multiple interviews. Kind of irritating to have to run to the meter several times during the day. I'd love for the area to have the meter heads that allow you to use credit cards, but that's just a wish-list item for now, as those items are not part of the Boulevard Reconstruction Project.
Ed M February 06, 2013 at 07:44 PM
Why is no one taking advantage of the parking garage?
Spiltpop February 06, 2013 at 08:24 PM
Erin: I'm around people at work who have to deal with those meter posts, let's not get them in brookline until they've worked out the problems.

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