Survey is a fresh, early jolt for the East End project

There is lots of interest in development of the city\’s East End commercial district and no shortage of ideas.

When a meeting regarding the Old City/East Third Street Gateway Project was held last week at the James V. Brown Library, a survey of ideas was reviewed.

First off, there were 1,500 respondents, about double what the project consultants expected.

And the ideas put forth for the area were broad, worthwhile and quite practical in our view.

A physician who spoke up at the meeting wants the area to emphasize improved sidewalks and lighting, along with bicycling access. He says that would be a key to greater traffic in the city.

The area in question from Market Street east, north to Brandon Place and along Washington Boulevard, along East Third Street east to Catherine Street to the border with Loyalsock Township and south along Interstate 180 could certainly use those improvements.

There also was a call for street improvements in areas of “dipping” and a simplifying the maze of one-way streets and illogical alleyways, some obvious and critical needs east of Market Street.

The New Covenant United Church of Christ, which oversees operation of Journey House, an intermediate and temporary homeless shelter, wants a second facility made of an existing building. That’s an excellent suggestion.

How about a steak house? Why not, if it makes business sense.

When there are 1,500 respondents, there are going to be lots of quality ideas. The broader the net, the greater chance that the results will have quality and long-lasting, practical application.

The East End revitalization is off to a great start, with the best chance in years of potential being realized.