From Pittsburgh Streets

"An old project revived: The purchase of the plank roads in Allegheny limits." Pittsburg Press, May 11, 1890, [p. 4]. 141349174.

The Purchase of the Plank Roads in Allegheny Limits.

During the past week or so there has been a renewal of the talk indulged in some months ago about condemning the old Perrysville plank road within the Allegheny city limits. It may be remembered that about three months ago a resolution was introduced into the Allegheny councils providing that a committee should find out and report the amount severally demanded for the purchase by the city of the portions of the various toll roads lying within the limits. The three roads in question are the Perrysville and New Brighton plank roads and the Little Saw Mill Run road.

It provided that the committee should find out the amount required for an amicable settlement, so that, if possible, it might not need to be taken into court.

The matter was referred to the sub-survey committee, of which Dr. R. H. Gilliford is chairman. No report has ever yet been made on the subject. Since the resolution was introduced it seems the condition of affairs has changed somewhat. California avenue, that is being opened out to Bellevue, it is thought, will make the condemnation of the New Brighton road unnecessary and will make the road itself superfluous. The Little Sawmill run road has been condemned long ago but the price was never paid. The chief demand of the public is that the Perrysville road shall be opened into a street and the oppressive tolls abolished.

But there is said to be one difficulty in the way. Making a street of the road would necessitate the widening of it in numerous places. To do this, of course will require that strips of territory on one or both sides be condemned and there are not lacking objections to this proceedure [sic]. Hon. Tom Marshall in particular, who owns a beautiful estate to the left of the plank road will, it is said, make a strenuous resistance to having any of his property taken for this purpose.

City Solicitor George Elphinstone said yesterday: "The city does not need any petition to condemn or any appeal to the court. If we decide to widen a street we have the full legal right to do so."

The prospect of a fight notwithstanding is very good and the venerable leader of the Allegheny county bar may be able to delay the opening of the road longer than the public anticipates. It is hardly possible that the long desired and expected double-tracking of the Observatory hill branch of the Pleasant Valley road can take place until the road is widened.