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Transportation: Plans & Programs: Transportation Studies

SPC has been involved in several transporation planning studies which have recently concluded. Information about these studies be found on a series of web sites and/or PDF files. Click on the headings below for more information. All studies are in PDF unless you are directed to a full website.

Airport Multimodal Corridor Study

Topic: Varying Transportation Options To Pittsburgh International Airport

Summary: Major Parkway West widening and a light rail transit alternative that would originate in Downtown and extend the existing light rail system from the North Shore to the Pittsburgh International Airport are the major investments being proposed to address the corridor's transportation needs.

Cubbage Street/Prestley Street Access Study

Summary: Michael Baker Corporation recently completed a transportation study for SPC analyzing traffic flow, safety, access, and community impacts along Cubbage and Prestley Streets in Carnegie Borough and Collier Township, Allegheny County. The study also included a detailed analysis of truck access between the Lane Road industrial business area and Interstate 79. A total of nine improvement alternatives were developed as part of the study. These alternatives focused on reducing traffic volumes on Cubbage Street, particularly truck traffic, and improving access to the Lane Road industrial area. The potential benefits and impacts of each alternative were presented, along with cost estimates for each option.

Indiana Multimodal Mobility Study

Topic: The goal of this study was to identify ways to preserve the effectiveness of the transportation system in the Indiana area while improving safety, maintaining the integrity of the community, and providing for future community growth.

Summary: This study included analyses of traffic circulation patterns, bicycle and pedestrian activity, transportation safety, and land use planning and developed a prioritized list of strategies to improve access and mobility in the area.

U.S. Route 19 Land Use Study

Topic: The goal of this study was to identify ways to preserve the operational effectiveness of U.S. Route 19 from the Allegheny/Washington County line to Oak Springs Road in Washington County, through the implementation of various transportation and land use management techniques.

Summary: This study, conducted for SPC by Wilbur Smith Associates, analyzed historic, current, and projected land use and development patterns in Peters, North Strabane, and South Strabane Townships and identified the transportation impacts associated with these land use patterns. The study identified existing and projected transportation deficiencies in the corridor and provided a menu of potential management options to help address these issues.

To obtain a full copy of this report, please contact Project Manager Andy Waple. Certain figures and appendices have been excluded from the web version of this document in order to keep the file size manageable.

Buffalo Township Land Use and Transportation Initiative

Topic:  This study analyzes current and projected land use and transportation conditions    in Buffalo Township, Butler County. It addresses the relationship between transportation and land use policies and proposes an action plan to facilitate development while preserving quality of life.

Summary: This study, conducted for SPC in 2002 by Graney, Grossman, Ray, Colosimo & Associates and Herbert, Rowland & Grubic, Inc., recommends the following strategies:

Land Use

  • Amend the township Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance in several specific ways related to cul-de-sacs, streets, pedestrian systems, and lots.
  • Create an overlay zoning district to regulate development along three major roads.
  • Consider creating a new Conservation Residential zoning district.
  • Consider creating a new Traditional Village overlay district for the targeted growth area at the Routes 228 and 356 intersection.
  • Begin a full comprehensive plan update, possibly in agreement with an adjacent municipality.
  • Examine the option for an impact fee ordinance.
  • Re-examine sign regulations.


  • Work for intersection improvements at key locations, including turning lanes and signal improvements, as specified in the report.

Future Investment in Transit-Oriented Design (FIT)

Summary: This website is for anyone considering whether Transit Oriented Development is an effective method for planning and developing sites around transit or transit station areas. The site will help to identify whether a site is suitable for TOD and to determine potential land use strategies to achieve TOD.

Route 30 Master Plan

Topic: The Smart Growth Partnership of Westmoreland County (SGPWC) has initiated a process with local planners and community stakeholders to flesh out a vision and plan for a 40-mile stretch of the historic “Lincoln Highway” that connects the historic small cities and growing suburbs east of Pittsburgh to the scenic Laurel Highlands.

Summary: A coalition of business and municipal officials work collaboratively with each other and with PennDOT to ensure that the U.S. Route 30 of the future is characterized by:

  1. A consistent approach to land use regulation that enhances economic activities, balancing the historic character and rural beauty of the highway while respecting individual property rights;
  2. The use of the latest technology to intelligently move people and goods safely;
  3. An appropriate mix of commercial, industrial, residential, agriculture, open space and other vital land uses that underlie a great quality of life;
  4. A multi-modal approach, including transit, air, and rail freight to accommodate the movement of people and goods efficiently;
  5. A network of parallel road systems that provides choices for local residents and for the convenient flow of through traffic, including the tourist traveler; and
  6. Well-maintained surface, landscaping and traffic control systems that work together to enhance the motoring experience.

Cranberry Area Transit Study

Topic: Varying Transit Options For The Greater Cranberry Area

Summary: A Cranberry Area Transit Study is being initiated by a multi-agency team to evaluate the needs and identify options for public transportation for Cranberry Township, Butler County and the surrounding areas in our region.

Eastern Corridor Transit Study

Topic: Potential public transit improvements in downtown Pittsburgh, the City of Pittsburgh's eastern suburbs and western Westmoreland County.

Summary: The Eastern Corridor Transit Study (ECTS) identifies an array of transportation improvements to address the mobility needs of the corridor's residents, employees, businesses and visitors.

Transitional Analysis To Locally Preferred Alternatives

Topic: This study advances the results of the Eastern Corridor Transit Study (see below) toward implementation of one or more transit investments.

Summary: The Eastern Corridor Transit Study: Transitional Analysis To Locally Preferred Alternatives (ECTS-TA) is a Transitional Analysis, meaning it is not a full AA, but a small analysis that will build on the statement of needs and the recommendations of the ECTS to choose Locally Preferred Alternative corridors for advancement through the remainder of the federal project development process. The ECTS-TA will not redo or replace the work done in the ECTS, only update it.


Westmoreland Transit Commuter Rail Interim Study

Topic:  The Allegheny Valley Railroad and Norfolk Southern Commuter Rail Interim Study was undertaken to develop and refine alternatives for proposed commuter rail service in the Allegheny Valley Railroad (AVR) corridor and the Norfolk Southern (NS) corridor in Allegheny and Westmoreland Counties, Pennsylvania. 

Summary: A series of prior studies known as the Eastern Corridor Transit Study and the Eastern Corridor Transit Study‐Transitional Analysis were undertaken by other planning agencies between 2002 and 2006, and had identified these two corridors as potential commuter rail corridors meriting further study.  One of the primary markets for this service would be residents of Westmoreland County commuting to/from Pittsburgh and who today are served by express bus services of the Westmoreland County Transit Authority (WCTA) in the NS Corridor.  As a consequence, this study was undertaken by WCTA to refine commuter rail alternatives; investigate reasonable options; estimate ridership, capital, and operating costs; and make a determination as to the viability of the project. WCTA engaged a consultant with national reputation in planning and engineering of passenger rail systems, HDR Engineering, Inc. (the project team) to provide the technical support for this study.

Labelle Area Transportation Study

Topic: Current and future travel demands, and existing and proposed transportation infrastructure in the area of the new State Correctional Institution in Luzerne Township, Fayette County.

Summary: This study analyzed access and mobility issues in the vicinity of SCI-Fayette including the travel patterns of prison employees, visitors, and freight haulers, as well as local traffic. The study looked at issues relating to the Fredericktown Ferry, the last of three original ferries crossing the Monongahela River between Washington County and Fayette County, and one of only a few cable-operated ferries still in use in the United States. It also considered the impacts of proposed roadway improvements and land use patterns in the area.

Route 30, Unity Township Land Use and Transportation Initiative

Topic: The goal of this study was to provide Unity Township with the proper tools to effectively manage development and preserve the transportation capacity of the Route 30 corridor. The purpose was to develop tools with a strong chance of being easily implemented in the short term in Unity Township, while also offering a model for other areas in the Commonwealth.

Summary: This study, conducted for SPC in 2001 by URS Corporation and McCormick, Taylor and Associates, recommends the following strategies, fully described in the report:

  • Coordination with PennDOT
  • Concurrent review of Highway Occupancy Permits
  • Context-sensitive design applications with future PennDOT projects
  • Traffic signal improvements
  • Interconnection of signals
  • Coordination of future signals
  • Evaluation of traffic signal timing (cycle length) once every 5 years
  • Replacement of current traffic signals with LED signals
  • Access management ordinances
  • Overlay zone along Route 30
  • Driveway standards
  • Access between developments
  • Access inside developments

Route 51 Land Use and Transportation Initiative

Topic: The study area covers the Route 51 corridor through Elizabeth and Forward Townships (in Allegheny County), Rostraver Township (in Westmoreland County), and Perry Township (in Fayette County).

Summary: Objectives of this study, conducted for SPC in 2005 by Herbert, Rowland & Grubic, Inc. and Graney, Grossman, Colosimo & Associates, were to:

  • Preserve operation of the Route 51 corridor
  • Maintain and enhance the character of these communities
  • Provide opportunities for growth within the communities

Study recommendations include the following strategies:

  • Access management
  • Impact fees
  • Intersection improvements
  • Traffic impact studies
  • Traffic signal optimization
  • Safety enhancements
  • Traffic signal interconnection
  • Smart growth techniques
  • Intergovernmental cooperation

West Busway Area Transit-Oriented Development Assessment and Plan

Topic: Allegheny County Economic Development (ACED) and the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission (SPC) partnered to create a transit-oriented development (TOD) vision and plan for station areas within the West Busway corridor in western Allegheny County.

Summary: The overall goal of this plan is to help shift development activities into established communities as a result of enhanced understanding of development opportunities and site characteristics in the vicinity of transit-served stops and park-and-ride locations along the Busway and in the vicinity. The plan focused on development and redevelopment patterns that would serve to stimulate economic growth and promote the attraction, retention, and expansion of business, industry, commerce, and the arts. The plan also focused on sustainable patterns of development that would promote the construction of residential, educational, and cultural facilities in mixed-use configurations near transit facilities to create holistic communities where people can live, work, play, learn, create, and invest.


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Southwestern Pennsylvania

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112 Washington Place
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
(412) 391-5590 (P)
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