Community Profile: Bellevue Borough
Streetscape Gets a Makeover, Signals Change for Community
The streetscape of Bellevue’s Lincoln Avenue business district got a makeover this summer, and now features new sidewalks and sustainable infrastructure including landscaped bump-outs and energy efficient lighting. CONNECT Chair and Bellevue council member Kathy Coder believes that these changes are much more than cosmetic. “These upgrades are a visible representation of what is happening within community,” said Coder. “We are constantly working to create a more livable Bellevue for our residents, and the new streetscape is really a reflection of those efforts.” Sustainability was a primary focus of the revitalization. The bump outs, while aesthetically pleasing, also make the streetscape safer for pedestrians and help to reduce the flow of rainwater coming down the street. The new trees and plants also absorb excess flow while providing shade for residents.
Bellevue was able to undertake this renovation thanks in large part to the Allegheny Together program, which assists traditional pedestrian-based business districts with revitalization projects and funding. Led by Allegheny County Department of Economic Development, the program supported Bellevue’s efforts with a professional staff of architects, real estate experts, community planners, community development specialists, and project managers.
In addition to updating its main street, Bellevue has been working to make its downtown a central gathering place for residents and their families. In 2012, Bellevue opened the Bellevue PA Skate Plaza, which has quickly become a popular destination for skaters from around the region. With funding from DCNR, DCED and CDBG, the skate plaza is part of a four-phased project that will see the addition of green infrastructure to the plaza and the opening of an amphitheater that Coder hopes will make the Plaza a destination for residents of all ages.
New businesses are opening in Bellevue, including a frozen yogurt, shop, a Thai restaurant and an American grill. Coder hopes that the borough’s efforts to attract business and create a more lively town center, will help to make Bellevue a destination for both new residents and visitors.
“The hope for Bellevue is that we are a center that people want to come to,” said Coder. “We have affordable housing, and are a walkable community in a great location. Our job is to make Bellevue an attractive and thriving center where people will come and stay.”
Click here to read the Post-Gazette’s coverage of Bellevue’s new streetscape.
Bellevue Quick Facts:
Founded:September 11, 1867
Median Age: 37 years
Land Area:1.1 square mile
Fun Fact: Bellevue’s Bayne Memorial Library is said to be haunted by Amanda Balph, namesake Andrew Bayne’s daughter who lived there as a child. Multiple sightings of a female spirit have occurred, and the library has been featured on ghost hunting shows.