Pittsburgh’s Northern Suburbs
The northern suburbs are considered those areas north of the Allegheny River all the way up to, and beyond, the Butler county line. Rt 65 runs along the river to the west and services the areas of Bellvue, Avalon, Ben Avon, Emsworth, Osborn, Sewickly, Edgeworth and points west. Rt 28 runs along the river to the east and services the neighborhoods of Millvale, Etna, Sharpsburg, Aspinwall, Blawnox, Fox Chapel, Indiana Township and intersects with I-76, the PA Turnpike at the Allegheny Valley interchange. Running due north is I-79, furthest west, that serves Sewickley Hills, Sewickley Heights and Ohio Township. I-279, directly out of the city, serves the North Hills and Ohio Township and then merges with I-79 at Franklin Park. I-79 continues north through Marshall Township, Bradford Woods, Warrandale, Cranberry, and on through Butler County and points of northern PA. Rt 19 and Business Rt 19, also known as McKnight Road, is one of the cities busiest shopping districts. These pair of roads take commuters through the first tier suburbs of the North Hills, Reserve Township, West View, Ross Township, McCandless, past North Park, on to Wexford, Pine Township and Cranberry. Furthest to the east is Rt 8, traveling up through Etna, Shaler, Glenshaw, Hampton, Gibsonia, Richland and into Butler County at Valencia, Adams Township and Mars.
Growth in the north has benefited from the fact that I-279, constructed in 1989, is the only major route out of the city of Pittsburgh that does not have a tunnel to travel through. The intersection of I-79, I-279, Rt 19 and the PA Turnpike in the Warrandale and Cranberry Areas has led to enormous growth in these areas in the last 25 years and the homes in this area of the city are generally the newest in the Pittsburgh region. This is also the area that continues to see the most new home and business construction. A number of large companies, including Westinghouse Nuclear, have relocated to the area in the past 20 years, frequently just over the Butler County line due to the tax advantage over Allegheny County.
Closer to the city, the shopping district on McKnight Road and North Park have always attracted residents to this area for the close proximity to both the city and amenities. Five of the Top 30 school districts in the state, as ranked in 2015, are located in the northern suburbs, including Hampton, North Allegheny, Fox Chapel, Pine Richland and Quaker Valley.