Pittsburghers are up in arms over a proposal
ROBERT STEUTEVILLE    JUL. 1, 2004
Pittsburghers are up in arms over a proposal to stop spending municipal funds to repair the hundreds of stairs that climb the city’s hills. In The Steps of Pittsburgh (reviewed in the June 2004 New Urban News), author Bob Regan reports that the 2002 budget of Pennsylvania’s second-largest city contained $950,000 for “steps, fences, and walls.” But the financially strapped municipality cut its spending on repair of city-maintained steps to $150,000 in 2003 and to zero this year. In a five-year budget plan presented in May, Mayor Tom Murphy called for closing and demolishing steps no longer used. City Council President Gene Ricciardi has asked neighborhood organizations and university students to inventory the steps and determine how often people use them. Regan, a visiting professor at the University of Pittsburgh, is mustering opposition to closings or demolition.