Service Way

From Pittsburgh Streets
Service Way
Neighborhood Central Lawrenceville
School Alley (1871–1914)
School Way (1914–1990)

This alley was originally called School Alley. It was opened by a city ordinance in 1871.[1] The name was re-established by a city ordinance in 1881,[2] and it is labeled as such in the 1882 Hopkins atlas.[3]

In 1914, it became School Way when a city ordinance changed all alleys to ways.[4]

In 1922, a bill was presented in City Council to rename several streets. It originally included the line, "School way, from Sessna [sic] way to Sherrod street, Ninth ward, be changed to Service way," but the bill was amended to delete that line,[5] and the ordinance as passed did not mention School Way.[6]

Nevertheless, the name Service Way came into common use for the alley. For example, a 1932 "Mr. Fixit" column in the Pittsburgh Press announced the installation of warning signs in Service Way.[7]

In 1989, James Wudarczyk wrote a letter to the editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette asking when the city had changed the name of Service Way to School Way.[8] This seems to have been prompted by a $1.8 million program by the Department of Public Works to install blue-and-white street signs at each of the city's 12,000 intersections, which spurred other complaints from citizens living on streets whose official name did not match the name in everyday use.[9] In response to a petition from residents, the name was officially changed to Service Way by a City Council resolution in 1990.[10]

The online map from the Department of City Planning labels this alley "Schoolway."[11]


  1. "An ordinance authorizing the opening of School alley, from Davison's street to Sherman street." Pittsburgh city ordinance, 1871. Passed Oct. 9, 1871. In The Municipal Record: Containing the proceedings of the Select and Common Councils of the City of Pittsburgh: 1871, Pittsburgh Daily Gazette, Pittsburgh, 1871 (Internet Archive pghmunicipalrecord1868_20200904_2014). [view source]ordinance-1871-school
  2. "An ordinance establishing the names of avenues, streets, lanes and alleys of the City of Pittsburgh." Pittsburgh city ordinance, 1881, no. 33. Passed Feb. 28, 1881; approved Mar. 4, 1881. Ordinance Book 5, p. 212. In Municipal Record: Minutes of the proceedings of the Select and Common Councils of the City of Pittsburgh, for the year 1880, pp. 213–234 (Internet Archive pghmunicipalrecord1880). [view source]ordinance-1881-33
  3. Atlas of the Cities Pittsburgh and Allegheny. G. M. Hopkins & Co., Philadelphia, 1882.; 1882 layer at Pittsburgh Historic Maps ( [view source]hopkins-1882
  4. "An ordinance changing the name 'Alley' on every thoroughfare in the City of Pittsburgh, to 'Way.'" Pittsburgh city ordinance, 1914, no. 402. Passed Nov. 10, 1914; approved Nov. 16, 1914. Ordinance Book 26, p. 360. Reprinted in the Pittsburgh Post, Nov. 23, 1914, p. 11 ( 86505785), and Nov. 24, p. 12 ( 86505809). [view source]ordinance-1914-402
  5. Municipal Record: Minutes of the proceedings of the Council of the City of Pittsburgh for the year 1922, p. 482. Kaufman Printing Company, Pittsburgh. Google Books -UEtAQAAMAAJ; HathiTrust uiug.30112108223972; Internet Archive Pghmunicipalrecord1922. This book has several parts: index to proceedings, pp. 3–138; proceedings, pp. 1–697; index to appendix, pp. 1–58; and appendix (containing ordinances and resolutions), pp. 1–521. [view source]municipal-record-1922
  6. "An ordinance changing the names of certain avenues, streets and ways in the City of Pittsburgh." Pittsburgh city ordinance, 1922, no. 333. Passed Sept. 25, 1922; approved Sept. 27, 1922. Ordinance Book 33, p. 597. In Municipal Record: Minutes of the proceedings of the Council of the City of Pittsburgh for the year 1922, appendix, pp. 232–233, Kaufman Printing Company, Pittsburgh (Google Books -UEtAQAAMAAJ; HathiTrust uiug.30112108223972; Internet Archive Pghmunicipalrecord1922). [view source]ordinance-1922-333
  7. "Service Way's children get traffic guard: City erects warning signs in Lawrenceville thoroughfare: 2 streets repaired: Crafton Heights residents complain of mud and ruts." Mr. Fixit. Pittsburgh Press, July 25, 1932, p. 11. 146909815. [view source]service-ways-children
  8. James Wudarczyk. "Changing streets." Letters to the Editor. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Aug. 29, 1989, p. 8. 89720818. [view source]changing-streets
  9. Mackenzie Carpenter. "Residents asking, what's our sign?: City streets misspelled or renamed." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Sept. 13, 1990, p. 6. 89975654. [view source]whats-our-sign
  10. "Resolution changing the name of School Way from Sherrod Street to Cessna Way in the 9th Ward, 7th District of the City of Pittsburgh." Pittsburgh city resolution, 1990, no. 1079. Passed Oct. 9, 1990; approved Oct. 16, 1990. In Ordinances and Resolutions of the Council of the City of Pittsburgh for the Year 1990, vol. 124-B, pp. 900–901 (Internet Archive Pghmunicipalrecord1990volB). [view source]resolution-1990-1079
  11. City of Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh Department of City Planning, GIS Division. Linked from [view source]pgh-city-planning-map