Etna, PA an Ode to the fiery furnaces of Mt. Etna Italy

I excluded most of the undeveloped and industrial areas from my evaluation area when assessing Etna.  Etna was named after the volcano Mount Etna, an allusion to the blast furnaces, steel mills, galvanized-pipe works, and other manufacturers located there.

Etna is another example of the many steel towns in the Pittsburgh metro hugging either the Monongahela, Allegheny, or Ohio Rivers.  Etna’s population peaked in 1930 near 7,500 souls. But like most steel towns, it now has less than half of that at 3,300. Yet there is much hope for this community’s rejuvenation and much progress has already been made. Etna boasts a mostly in-tact main street where more and more businesses are opening up. It’s housing market has stabilized with plenty of attractive product selling in the 100Ks and low 200Ks. It has convenient access to Downtown Pittsburgh and boasts decent density allowing many activities to be walk.

There are several areas were Etna could improve helping solidify itself as a viable urban community… bike infrastructure is sorely needed and more recreation space and parks (this may be changing soon with plans for a riverfront park). There is also need for a walkable school to locate within the borough limits. One day, hopefully the market will be strong enough to support tasteful in-fill construction. 
Click here to view the full Etna album on my Flickr Page

URBAN STRENGTHS:

* ADA infrastructure is great in the downtown Etna along Butler Street. Sidewalks are consistent in the residential streets but ADA curbs are limited.
* Easy access to dwtn via the automobile. Ok access via public transit.
* Great economic diversity. Good generational diversity as 50% of households are family households.
* Nice diversity of for-sale housing ranging from 50K-250K depending on condition and size. Rentals are pretty limited but inexpensive.
* Great tree canopy due to the hill sides and creeks.
* Etna has two medium sized parks (Shaler Crest Park & Dougherty) but not much else. There are plans for a sizable riverfront park. Hopefully these come to fruition!
* Cultural amenities include several restaurants & bars, and cafes, and a couple art galleries.
* Some  neighborhood retail (i.e. hardware store, candy shop, boutiques, game store, etc.), post office and an Aldi’s and shop & save on the edge of town.
* Good historic architecture especially in the urban biz district.
* Etna’s urban form is solid and the streetscape is generally good until you go north of the downtown area. 

URBAN WEAKNESSES:

* No bike infrastructure in Etna
* Poor racial diversity as Etna is more than 90% White.
* Some grit remains but overall a safe community.
* Sadly no schools within the Etna limits. But it is in a the solid Shaler School Districts with drivable options.
* Really no urban in-fill here.

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