Father Pitt

Why should the beautiful die?

Belasco Safety Island, Beechview

Belasco stop, Beechview

A passenger waits for a Red Line car on the Belasco safety island on Broadway, the main street of the Beechview neighborhood. His wait will not be long.

This 4200-series car rolled up seconds after the earlier picture was taken.

Pittsburgh used to be full of safety islands like these; wherever there was a broad street, the streetcars usually ran in the middle of it, avoiding the chaos of parking and double-parking along the edges. Broadway is the only street that has kept its safety islands, since elsewhere the streetcars mostly have their own right-of-way. (Warrington Avenue, used by the Brown Line when it is active, is narrow enough that passengers board from the curb.) There are three stops along the street trackage in Beechview; two others were eliminated a few years ago. Now Belasco is scheduled to be replaced with a platform-level station, which will be a boon to handicapped riders in Beechview. That will leave only the safety islands at Shiras and the single safety island at Hampshire (outbound passengers there board from the curb).

Above we can see the inbound safety island on the left. Behind the outbound stop, incidentally, is a typical Pittsburgh cliff house: a house whose street entrance is on the top floor, with the rest of the house clinging to a steep slope down from the street.

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