"The views are spectacular -- people just don't know about it," says Melissa Gallagher about her Pittsburgh neighborhood of Fineview. Most people probably don't even know which side of town Fineview's on (it's the North Side) or realize a reason to visit.
Gallagher, president of the Fineview Citizens Council, hopes the Stepathon, and the SiX grant from the Sprout Fund this year, will continue to change that.
The first Social Innovation Exchange (SiX)
event -- another
was this week while the third is scheduled for the future -- is helping Fineview devise new ways to connect itself to other neighborhoods. The $10,000 grant from the Sprout Fund will create an inventory of Fineview's hillside steps -- of which the neighborhood has an abundance -- including a map, signage and trail markers, and will help devise a way to decide which steps to select for improvement.
"The steps were the things that connected people before they had many modes of transportation," says Gallagher. Today they are a fitness trail that goes from one area of Fineview to another and will soon be a viable connection between Fineview and its North Side neighbors. Fineview also hopes to add a Facebook page, Website and downloadable map app for the steps and trail, along with trail stops for various exercises and runnels for people to walk their bikes up the steps.
In the meantime, Fineview is about to have its 17th Annual Stepathon
on Oct. 6, giving Pittsburghers a chance to discover this relatively unknown neighborhood. It's a run or walk, with 2.5- and 5-mile courses, covering more than 1600 steps (the equivalent of climbing the staircases in a 17-story building), including the finale of the 371 steps of Rising Main.
The course ends at the Catoma Street Overlook, which Gallagher describes as "a great finish. You actually get to see fine views of the city. In my opinion, Mt. Washington is a little harder to get to and a little more congested with cars. We see a lot more fitness [focused] people moving into our neighborhood."
Writer: Marty Levine
Source: Melissa Gallagher, Fineview Citizens Council