Accessibility and Inclusion
For Pittsburgh to be a true City of Tomorrow, we need to include the voices and needs of people with disabilities.
I have Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), and have used a power wheelchair for my whole life. I also work, go to school, and go out with friends and family to explore the city, just like everyone else. But many transportation options don't consider the needs of people with disabilities at the outset - our needs are often an afterthought, retroactively and clunkily tacked on to existing solutions.
Things that are a minor inconvenience for others - cracked and broken sidewalks, missing curb cuts, buses that don't pull up to their designated stops or block a crosswalk - are major problems for me, and can cause me to have to backtrack and find a new, navigable route. While other city residents can call an Uber or a Lyft, I can't, because these services do not currently offer accessible vehicles.
If Pittsburgh wants to be a model for other cities, and a true City of Tomorrow, it is imperative that the voices of people with disabilities are included moving forward.