Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Green Roof Request

A follow-up to yesterday's blog post. I mentioned Onorato's great new plan to have a green roof on the County building downtown. In a city that pride's itself on its skyline views, green roofs are the way to go. They improve views, help the environment, and lower operating costs all at the same time.

And where do we need a green roof the most? The South Side Giant Eagle. From above it is a giant bland box in the midst of old Victorian homes. My disdain for the Giant Eagle plaza on the South Side is large. It was planned before the age of pedestrian-friendly complexes and rivals Robinson Town Center for pedestrian unfriendliness. The crosswalks that do exist are inconvenient and where one wants to walk is where the cars have right of way. However, it's difficult to retrofit a shopping plaza. What is relatively easy to retrofit? The roof.

To be frank, Giant Eagle South Side ruins the view from my house and every other house on the South Side Slopes, so this is a partially selfish plea. But Giant Eagle has shown that they are willing to install green roofs in Shadyside. Let's see a green roof in an area where people will actually see it, and it will improve the lives of city residents. That's a lot more doable than windmills on Mt Washington and a lot more effective than one solar panel at a firehouse in a city known for cloudy skies.

What else is ruining views in the city?


shadow said...

I have no trouble entering and leaving South Side Giant Eagle by foot or bike; It was a triumph for this area when it opened, too... I remember going there in high school.

You might see if @chrislovett can put a bug in someone's ear about the roof. With the tax incentives being what they are right now, I think this is the time to move on things like this. Wish I could...

illyrias said...

Really?? I find it to be a public safety hazard every time I am walking in that plaza. Part of the problem is that I usually don't use the moronically placed crosswalks which require you to walk twice as far as actually directly walking to the entrance. Especially when it's cold/raining, it's ridiculous to expect pedestrians to walk out of the way. To get to the bus stop, you literally have to walk through parking spaces and there's no good waiting spot for people with lots of bags of groceries - a VERY common scenario.

Google streetview captures this perfectly. You have an old lady standing with bags of groceries and a women and her baby sitting on the curb with groceries waiting for the bus. (There is also a small busstop bench off to the side filled with people.)
google streetviewCan you see the crosswalks or a good path to the entrance?
This is a plaza that is intended to be driven to. Period.

Schultz said...

Almost two years ago I wrote about the need for more green roofs here in Pittsburgh. Behold - the Green Triangle. Most of the buildings in downtown Pittsburgh could have some level of green rooftops. I could count two or three dozen within two minutes of looking out my office window. I green triangle would not only mean a more visually appealing downtown but one where the air is cleaner and safer breath.

n'at said...

They're better off painting the giant eagle roof white, just like the pitt research building over by Local #5. the drainage media and sod required for a green roof is a load most existing buildings cannot safely bear.

The county office building, on the other hand, was supposed to be built four or six stories taller. They stopped short, because of the depression. So, it can take a few inches of pea gravel and sod...