Looking to the Future While Building on the Past: Toole Design Announces New Pittsburgh Office

Toole Design’s January newsletter shares the exciting news that we are opening an office in Pittsburgh, PA. In that announcement, Jennifer Toole notes that, “Establishing a presence in Pittsburgh is a natural next step with our growing portfolio of projects and clients in Western Pennsylvania. Also, Pittsburgh is a truly beautiful city that is making bold strides to expand its transportation network with more sidewalks, bikeways, and transit. It’s definitely a city on the move!”

I wanted to share a little more detail about the great people and projects that led us to Pittsburgh.

Toole Design staff have helped shape western Pennsylvania and the Greater Pittsburgh region’s multimodal transportation environment for more than 20 years, beginning with Jennifer Toole’s involvement in PennDOT’s 2001 Statewide Greenways Action Plan. That work continues with the more recent Active Transportation Plan for Southwestern Pennsylvania. Within the City of Pittsburgh, Toole Design’s innovative work comprises a wide variety of planning and engineering projects, including:

  • Bikes(+) Plan, the Pedestrian Safety Action Plan, and a Complete Streets Design Guide
  • Citywide Steps Assessment
  • Strip District Network and Parking Plan
  • Liberty Avenue Highway Safety Improvement Project
  • 28th Street Bridge Repair and Replacement
  • Smithfield Street Reconstruction

Our talented staff bring the full range of planning and engineering services to the Pittsburgh area. Toole Design’s Pittsburgh-based team has grown since the fall of 2019 from one staff member to a full-service engineering and planning office with four staff and a portfolio of exciting projects:

head shots of Katy Sawyer, Kristin Saunders, Emily Koehle, Melany Alliston-Brick

Katy Sawyer, PE is a licensed civil engineer with a background in transportation engineering and program and project management. She specializes in the design and construction of active transportation and traffic safety improvement projects. As a former City of Pittsburgh municipal engineer, Katy has insight into the planning, design, maintenance, and operations of city transportation systems.

Kristin Saunders, RA is a senior planner with a background in architecture and the public sector.  She brings expertise in stakeholder engagement, public involvement, multimodal planning, and complete streets design. Prior to joining Toole Design, Kristin worked on a variety of bicycle and pedestrian initiatives at the City of Pittsburgh, from long range planning to project selection and design.

Emily Koehle, PE is a professional engineer with extensive experience using traffic simulation models such as VISSIM, Synchro, SimTraffic, and SIDRA to analyze transportation improvement alternatives. She is a skilled modeler, and her attention to detail is a key asset in understanding the nuances of multimodal interactions.

I am delighted to round out the Pittsburgh team. I am currently Toole Design’s Civil Engineering Practice Director and a native of Pittsburgh who is very happy to return to my hometown! I bring more than 30 years’ experience designing and constructing a wide variety of civil infrastructure projects throughout the United States.

The work we are doing in Pittsburgh today is helping to create a suite of tools that will help guide Pittsburgh’s pursuit of streets that more safely and comfortably accommodate all modes of travel. It’s really a thrill to work on such important and transformative projects in places that I knew so well growing up.

Melany Alliston

Civil Engineering Practice Director, North America
Melany is a project manager and civil engineer with more than three decades of experience in civil infrastructure projects, primarily...
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