Town­ship seeks to broaden res­i­dents’ role in traf­fic mat­ters

Last pol­icy re­view was 10 years ago

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - - Local Xtra - By Margie Smykla

A pro­posed up­date to Up­per St. Clair’s traf­fic­calm­ing pol­icy is de­signed to in­crease res­i­dents’ in­volve­ment in the process and more.

“We are look­ing at things [ad­min­is­tra­tors] can do that are more com­mon sense,” Adam Benigni, plan­ning and com­mu­nity de­vel­op­ment di­rec­tor, said at the town­ship board of com­mis­sion­ers meet­ing on Oct. 2.

Board mem­bers will present pro­posal rec­om­men­da­tions to staff in the next few weeks, with dis­cus­sion con­tin­u­ing at the com­mis­sion­ers meet­ing on Oct. 30.

“There is some fine­tun­ing to do,” town­ship man­ager Ser­akowski said.

Cur­rently, if a res­i­dent wants to im­prove safety within a neigh­bor­hood by re­duc­ing mo­torists’ speed, for ex­am­ple, the res­i­dent sub­mits a writ­ten re­quest to the town­ship man­ager.

The re­quest must in­clude a pe­ti­tion signed by res­i­dents from at least 20 house­holds in the neigh­bor­hood. The ad­min­is­tra­tion then re­quests an el­i­gi­bil­ity re­view by the town­ship’s traf­fic en­gi­neer.

But there might be faster, sim­pler and more com­mon-sense op­tions, Mr. Benigni said. If driv­ers are rou­tinely run­ning a stop sign, for ex­am­ple, a so­lu­tion might be to have trees trimmed to in­crease the vis­i­bil­ity of the stop sign, he said.

Af­ter a plan is de­cided on, the town­ship’s cur­rent pol­icy re­quires that at least 50 per­cent of the neigh­bor­hood house­holds ap­prove of the plan be­fore it may be rec­om­mended by the ad­min­is­tra­tion to the board of com­mis­sion­ers.

An­other pro­posed change to the 2007 pol­icy would in­crease that re­quire­ment to at least 60 per­cent.

“This is a more thought­ful process,” board Pres­i­dent Mark Christie said.

The com­mis­sion­ers’ ap­proval is re­quired for any traf­fic-calm­ing project.

Four to five re­quests for a traf­fic-calm­ing plan are sub­mit­tedMatt by res­i­dents each year. The most re­cent one to re­ceive the go-ahead was a project to re­duce speed­ing on Hunt­ing­ton Drive. It in­cluded in­stalling two speed humps plus speed hump warn­ing signs and a stop sign on We­ston Drive ap­proach­ing Hunt­ing­ton along with signs warn­ing of the stop sign ahead.

Dur­ing dis­cus­sion of the is­sue early this year, the board was made aware that the town­ship’s traf­fic-calm­ing pol­icy had not been re­viewed for the past 10 years, which sparked the cur­rent re­view.

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