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April 25, 1996

Bigelow test closing okayed

Get ready for another public hearing in the continuing saga that has become the test closing of Bigelow Boulevard between the Cathedral of Learning and the William Pitt Union. Pittsburgh City Council on April 22 unanimously voted to conduct a hearing on a bill to study ways of modifying Bigelow to provide Pitt with more green space without closing the street.

No date for the hearing has been set. Council President Jim Ferlo, an opponent of the test closing, has 30 days to schedule a hearing.

At its April 16 meeting, Council voted 5-4 to allow a 30-day test closing of Bigelow. The test was approved after the Murphy administration agreed to reduce the length of the test from 60 to 30 days and Council member Valerie McDonald switched her vote.

During its April 10 meeting, Council deadlocked 4-4 on the test plan. Council member Bob O'Connor abstained.

Voting to approve the test plan on April 16 were McDonald, Joseph Cusick, Alan Hertzberg, Dan Onorato and Gene Ricciardi. Opposing it were Ferlo, O'Connor, Dan Cohen and Sala Udin. Parking and Transportation Director Bob Harkins said Pitt will work with the city to determine the best time for the test. Most likely, according to Harkins, it will start in mid-September or October after students have settled in and the abnormal surge in traffic that occurs at the start of the fall term has subsided.

–Mike Sajna

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