Mellon Park plan calls for better connections and traffic calming

A public park in Pittsburgh’s East End is looking for some upgrades and a new plan details the desire to better connect the park’s two halves and to slow drivers down as they pass through.

The Mellon Park Action Plan was released Wednesday, and it lays out the community’s priorities for park restoration, future improvements, and investment. Mellon Park spans 33 acres and is located near the intersection of Penn and Fifth avenues in Shadyside. It sits on the border of five neighborhoods in the city’s East End.

The plan was completed by the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy in partnership with the city. Residents and community groups from Shadyside, Point Breeze, Homewood, East Liberty, and Squirrel Hill participated to draft the plan.

Chris Hornstein, Director of the Pittsburgh Department of Public Works, said the action plan is “a valuable tool that allows us to make the most informed decisions about a park that means so much to so many.”

The plan highlights some long-planned maintenance projects like upgrades to the park’s tennis bubble and repairs to the pavers and plinths within the walled garden.

The plan will also focus on fixes to improve accessibility to the park, enhance pedestrian safety, and improve connectivity between the two sides of the park.

Mellon Park is split in two halves by Fifth Avenue, a busy thoroughfare. The action plan recommends upgrading pedestrian signaling at entry points to the park and traffic calming measures for Fifth Avenue and Beechwood Boulevard, such as raised crosswalks, curb bump outs, and an artistic entry plaza at the corner of Beechwood and Fifth.

“The vision outlined by the community will take time and thoughtful planning to implement,” said Brandon Riley, Capital Projects Manager for Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy. “Our goal is to address some of the immediate needs and priorities of the community, while we work together with the city to gather resources for larger capital investment projects.”

The full Mellon Park Action Plan can be viewed in its entirety at the Parks Conservancy website.

Ryan Deto is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Ryan by email at or via Twitter .