An important meeting of the Allegheny sub-committee on surveys will be held to-night. The object is to consider the question of purchasing the toll roads leading out of the city, and more especially the Perrysville road. About six months ago Councilman Henricks offered a resolution in councils to condemn all the toll roads and the resolution was referred to a sub-committee. While the matter was being considered by the sub-committee the Perrysville Plank Road company offered to sell the franchise to the city without having it condemned. The price asked for it was about $14,000.
In view of the probable acquisition of this road by the city, Mr. Henricks offered another resolution in councils to widen the Perrysville road to 80 feet and connect it with Federal street extension, which is of the same width. This will make a direct thoroughfare from the head of Federal street through the hill to the city limits, and make a grade of only about six or seven feet to the 100. The greatest advantage of the change will be in avoiding the bend around Observatory hill. The road around the brow of the hill is a treacherous one and can never be widened or improved owing to the high bank on the one side and the steep decline on the other. The ground for a good portion of the distance around the bend is slipping and there is no telling when a land slide of a serious nature may occur. Councilman Henricks, who is chairman of the survey committee, said this morning:
"At present Allegheny has no free outlet whatever, except a by-road leading from Troy hill. All the other roads are toll roads, and toll roads in the city limits are always a drawback to the city's growth. The Brighton road people asked about $100,000 for their franchise, but since California avenue has been opened up and is parallel to it the value of the Brighton road franchise has considerably diminished. In order to secure it, however, appraisers will have to be appointed to condemn it. A few years ago the Saw Mill run, or, East street road, was appraised at $25,000, but the city never took advantage of its opportunities and the road will have to be reappraised.
"The best outlet Allegheny has, however, is by the Perrysville road, and it is particularly for the purchase of that road that the meeting is called to-night. The city owns most of the land on the hill through which the proposed thoroughfare will run and the improvements will cost the city only what will be paid for the franchise of the road. The widening of the street will be at the expense of the property benefited. The majority of the property owners are in favor of the change, as it will greatly enhance the value of their land. It will certainly be the finest driveway the city can secure, and the grade will be much less than it is at present. By widening the street to 80 feet it will allow the street car company to lay a double track the entire distance of the line. This will also be a great advantage to the residents of Perrysville avenue and they will not be inconvenienced as they have been in the past by having to wait on side tracks for a car coming from the opposite direction to pass. More cars can be put on and the heavy traffic out that way can be greatly relieved.
"Besides, the street will be wide enough to allow an elegant driveway, and any one who has been out that way will conincide [sic] with me when I say there is not a better stretch of land leading out of the city. A good many of the property holders living beyond the city limits have agreed to extend the widening of the thoroughfare from the city limits to Horseshoe bend. As it is at present, there is more driving out the Perrysville road than on any other avenue leading out of the city. After the proposed change is made I venture to say there will not be a handsomer boulevard for driving purposes in the two cities.
"Should the New Brighton road be purchased and widened to 60 or 80 feet, as will in all probability be done if the city acquires the road, there is a vast amount of territory lying between the two roads which may be opened up. Streets may be run between the two roads and land which is at present unimproved will doubtless be built up.
"Now is the time for the proposed improvements to be made while the property is cheap. In a short time both sides of the road especially will be built up and the trouble and expense of moving back houses which abut along the road will be so great as to almost prohibit such an undertaking on the part of the city. The present route of the Perrysville road around the brow of Observatory hill will of course be left open to traffic. By the improvements which are proposed Allegheny will soon have as fine suburbs as Pittsburg.