I am writing with regard to the Post-Gazette’s Aug. 7 article that discussed a plan to move a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration office from the South Side of Pittsburgh to Penn Center in Wilkins (“Federal Immigration Office’s Move to Wilkins Criticized by Agencies”). The article highlighted criticism of this plan from several employees and other individuals who felt that the site would not be sufficiently accessible, a characterization that I would like to counter.
Wilkins Township is located just a few miles east of the city of Pittsburgh and is adjacent to two large municipalities, Monroeville and Penn Hills. Penn Center, located on William Penn Highway, is quickly accessible from Interstate 376 and is only a few miles west of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. It offers ample, free parking as well as other amenities such as a diverse selection of restaurants.
As the aforementioned article states, the Port Authority’s 67 bus route that travels from Downtown to Monroeville serves the area and even stops at Penn Center itself. I, of course, would always welcome additional transit options for our residents and businesses, though the site in question is currently well-served by Port Authority buses. The location is also accessible by bicycle for anyone willing to tackle a few hills (I regularly commute by bike to work in Shadyside from my home in Wilkins).
Should the move happen I hope that the office’s employees might also come to appreciate the convenience of easy access to both the city of Pittsburgh and Monroeville’s commercial district, as well as Wilkins’ attractive neighborhoods that feature varied and affordable housing. The Wilkins Township Board of Commissioners would welcome the presence of this office and the diverse constituency that it serves to our community.
Wilkins Township Board of Commissioners