There are 130 separate municipalities in Allegheny County, dividing up the county's 735 square miles in some unique, and in some cases historic, ways.
Like those boundary lines, some of these communities are anachronisms, struggling to maintain relevance and viability amid economic and cultural upheaval. Others are thriving beyond their ability to manage the amount of people, associated traffic, and service demands that are set upon them. Some of those demands spill over into other jurisdictions, requiring changes to the relationships between existing governments, or perhaps the creation of relationships where none previously existed.
This series is designed to illustrate and educate about some of the more interesting ways these boundary lines affect the lives and decisions of citizens, their leaders, and others who make our towns, counties, and state the place that it is - for better or for worse.
This time, I've found several examples of how shopping plazas, malls, and other similar areas challenge the assumptions we as citizens make about who has responsibility for public safety and other services.
Each illustration above provides a little insight, or links to it, into how a particular area became what it is today, and in some cases how the towns responsible for the area cooperated - or not - in the creation of these areas, and how their existence affects a community's quality of life.
There were more of these areas than I thought there would be, but it's not really surprising. In most cases, the involved towns are benefiting jointly from the revenue that their slice of particular retail pie is generating, which would kind of explain their existence in the first place.
There are also a few jurisdictional quirks unique to the Commonwealth that are near to and/or affect those who may frequent a shopping plaza. I've included some of these as well.
I focused on construction that occurred in the midst of a border line, instead of highways where development crept outward across a municipal, or even county boundary. There are plenty of examples of that (Cranberry, Peters Township, Hopewell) to go around.
Your insights are appreciated, as always. Have a great month ahead.
The opinions expressed in this weblog are solely my own as an individual and private citizen, and do not represent the opinion or policy of my family, my employer, or any other private or public entity.