Asides: New additions to Pittsburgh

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who had the good taste to come and live in Pittsburgh, pushing its population up to 306,211 for July 1, 2012, according to the latest numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau, congratulations and thank you. We wish there were more of you, but this is the second year Pittsburgh has posted a gain, and it's a sign, however small, that the six-decade era of the city losing population may finally be over. Allegheny County is also continuing to gain population, 2,496 more people in the latest figures to make a population of 1,229,938. The more the merrier.

THE NEWS of population gain came in the same week when a new era beckoned for Pittsburgh -- Democrats nominated Bill Peduto to be their candidate for mayor in November, and Mr. Peduto lost no time outlining an ambitious plan for governing that includes conducting national searches for new heads of city departments and taking politics out of hiring. Of course, there's the little matter of beating the Republican candidate, Josh Wander, who can only hope that every new arrival here is a Republican and that they come in great numbers.

WHOEVER the new arrivals are, they probably won't arrive on bicycles, but bike trails are one of the amenities that have made Pittsburgh a more enticing place for would-be residents, especially young people. The biggest trail of them all is the Great Allegheny Passage, which winds 150 miles between the Point in Pittsburgh and Cumberland, Md., and thence to the 184.5-mile C&O Canal Towpath to Washington, D.C. But until recently, a roughly one-mile gap existed in the vicinity of the Sandcastle Waterpark. Now the trail is complete, thanks to years of effort by the Allegheny Trail Alliance, among others. The trail officially opens June 15 with events including a ribbon cutting at Sandcastle and a ride to the Point. Come to Pittsburgh. Bring your bike.



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