The Advantages of a Better Community: Proximity and accessibility to other good places

Advantages Explored!

To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men, — that is genius.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson, Essays, On Self-Reliance

I’ve always found comfort in those words.  Hasn’t each of us realized that we probably have more in common with each other than we first thought? I’m not saying that our likes and tastes are all the same (that would be boring), but that our basic hopes and desires look – in the end – very similar.  

Over the next few months, I want to explore in more detail the Advantages of a Better Community, one at a time, in no specific order. These are, to me, the “common denominators” of good community. In some ways, they are reflective of the foundations that already exist here in Coraopolis; in other ways, they are aspirational. Some will resonate with you more than others, but I think you’ll agree they all are advantages we seek. They are the advantages I am working for each day.   I look forward to your own thoughtful comments!



Isn’t it funny how many people from our region have never been to Coraopolis?  Even those from surrounding towns or townships haven’t been here for years or, in some cases, ever.  What they don’t know keeps them away, and keeps the advantages of Coraopolis some of the best-kept secrets around.

Earlier this week I was talking to a friend (and former Coraopolis resident) about the reasons why I decided to run for mayor. He and his wife moved away about ten years ago to take an overseas teaching job, and are now living in New York.  Our conversation led to a refresher on all that is around us – and all that we can access quickly.  I like to always mention that I could be at PNC Park or The Strip District inside of a half-hour, at the airport in less than twenty minutes, and on the Montour Trail inside of five.  Chicago, DC, Baltimore, Philly, and Manhattan: all less than a day away.  The ease of those journeys alone could make Coraopolis the envy of many other towns, however we have much more to offer.

If you’ve ever driven from the Midwest to our region, you will likely have found gratitude in the topography of Western Pennsylvania.  Interstates 70 or 80 can be snooze-fests in Ohio and Indiana, with the flat, long stretches adding to the mundane of many car rides.  Our rivers and hills here are easy on the eyes, and create interesting landscapes in all seasons. We happen to sit on the banks of the storied Ohio River, adjacent to a major US Interstate, a short drive from several other walkabout communities, and the potential starting point for a thousand journeys.  We have it all at our disposal: city, suburb, woodland, farmland, and everything in between, plus the public transportation to provide the ride.  We are the perfect location or launch for a day-trip, including:

  • 384 miles: The Statue of Liberty
  • 258: The Lincoln Memorial
  • 131 miles: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
  • 24 miles: Raccoon State Park (hundreds of miles of hiking trails)
  • 21 miles: Kennywood Park
  • 15 miles: Monet’s Water Lillies (and other stunning works of art) at the Carnegie Museum of Art
  • 13 miles: The cheese counter at Pennsylvania Macaroni (and the rest of the famed Strip District)
  • 8 miles: PNC Park and YOUR Pittsburgh Pirates
  • 3 miles: Sewickley Farmer’s Market (Saturday mornings)
  • 1 mile: start of the Montour Trail, one of our area’s greatest advantages

Thus begins ten possible journeys, because of our proximity and accessibility to so many other good places.  What about you? What is YOUR idea of a great day out or road trip?

We are not stuck in the middle of nowhere; we are in the middle of everything!

Where do you go from here?  Share a favorite activity or jaunt that you have that departs from this town we love? 

Shawn P. Reed
The Candidate for Mayor