The latest issue of Pittsburgh Magazine attempts to predict which neighborhoods in the city proper are going to be “hot” in a few years. In other words, the areas that are most likely to be full of new restaurants, unique retail stores, and infused with a sense of community pride.
Reading the story, it’s hard not to notice that Bridgeville meets or exceeds almost every requirement of a “great neighborhood” as the magazine lays it out:
The American Planning Association defines the characteristics of a “great neighborhood” as having a variety of residential and commercial uses…
Collier and Scott townships may have the big-name, big box stores like Walmart and Home Depot, but Bridgeville has one of the most interesting commercial districts this side of the Fort Pitt Tunnels.
In areas like Moon or Robinson Township, people will drive to Burgatory, then wait an hour or two for a seat—all for a hamburger. But here in Bridgeville, residents can walk to Sauce and have perhaps the best burger in the city. Or they can cross the street to Burgh’s Pizza and Wing Pub and have a legitimately amazing deep dish pizza. Or they can go to Shouf’s Cafe for some of the most highly-praised Mediterranean food in Western Pennsylvania. Those are just a few of the top-notch dining options around town, and did we mention that there’s a craft brewery coming to Bridgeville?
Beyond food, Bridgeville is home to one of the few Olympic weightlifting facilities in the tri-state area. We have a hot yoga studio, a comic book shop, an independent hardware store, doctors, lawyers, accountants, financial planners, barbers, hair salons, a dance studio and much more.
That’s a lot for a 1.1 square-mile town of just 5,100 people.
Whether you live right in the business district or on one of the quiet streets set further back, Bridgeville is an extremely affordable place to live in terms of rent, real estate, and taxes. You can rent an entire house in Bridgeville for cost of a studio apartment in Shadyside. And Chartiers Valley manages to be a fantastic school district despite having one of the lowest tax rates in Allegheny County.
…accessible by bike, car, bus or foot, and containing a mix of interesting architectural and design features…
It’s completely feasible to live in Bridgeville without a car. There are grocery stores bordering both ends of Washington Avenue and it’s not hard to catch a bus into the city. You won’t be hailing a cab on Station Street anytime soon, but you can quickly summon a car from a rideshare service like Uber or Lyft that will take you virtually anywhere in Western Pennsylvania.
The ideal neighborhood encourages human contact and social activity [and] promotes community involvement and safety…
As we’ve pointed out before, you can often get a full weekend of entertainment without ever leaving the borough. Organizations like the library, the fire department, and the Bridgeville Area Historical Society host lots genuinely fun and interesting events. There’s plenty happening at the borough’s bars, restaurants, and other businesses, too.
…and is environmentally and economically sustainable.
Yes, traffic remains a challenge in Bridgeville. It can be tedious at times to get from one end of Washington Avenue to the other. But the problem is not unnoticed, and numerous people are working to find a solution.
And yes, it’s still annoying to pull up to a Bridgeville parking meter only to realize that you need not one, not two, but three quarters to avoid getting a ticket. You can’t use cash. You can’t use credit cards. You can’t use a smartphone app. You can only use quarters, as though we’re still living in the 1970s.
But all things considered, Bridgeville is a fantastic place to live. We’re as walkable as Mt. Lebanon, as safe as Sewickley, as charming as Aspinwall, and dramatically less expensive than Pittsburgh’s current “hot” neighborhoods like Lawrenceville, where it can cost $500,000 to live in a shipping cargo container.