Speed humps in store for Mt. Lebanon's Newburn Drive

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Motorists on Mt. Lebanon's Newburn Drive will have to negotiate speed humps at least temporarily.

Commissioners Monday approved the installation of two traffic-calming devices on the street for 45 days, at the recommendation of the municipal traffic board and Trans Associates, municipal traffic engineer. After the trial period, Trans will provide a report and make a recommendation on permanent action.

Trans also will study the effect on nearby Morrison Drive, which intersects with Newburn near Beverly Road. Newburn then curves to run parallel with Morrison.

"We don't want to push the problem to a different street," said Mark Magalotti, Trans Associates principal.

The Newburn speed humps will be placed 285 feet apart.

"It's a fairly short section of the street," Mr. Magalotti said. "Two speed humps should be very effective."

Matt Kluck, commission president, voted against the installation, saying he would prefer to see a different type of traffic-calming measure put into place.

Mr. Magalotti also informed commissioners of the results of an evaluation by the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission regarding a traffic signal synchronization project along Bower Hill Road. The evaluation raises concerns about site-distance deficiencies at Bower Hill's intersection with Parkview Drive, two blocks from St. Clair Hospital.

"The crash data show there haven't really been that many crashes, even though these deficiencies have been identified," Mr. Magalotti said.

His recommendation is to install no-turn-on-red signs on both streets and monitor the situation. Commissioners are expected to vote on the measure at their next meeting, Oct. 8.

In other business Monday:

• Commissioners discussed a possible culling and sterilization program to reduce the deer population in Mt. Lebanon.

Such a program would follow recommendations by Anthony DeNicola, co-founder and president of White Buffalo Inc., a Connecticut-based nonprofit wildlife management and research organization.

The sterilization component involves methods that have not yet been used in Pennsylvania, said Tom Kelley, public works director. Municipal officials plan to speak with representatives from communities in Maryland and other states that have undertaken sterilization measures.

The Mt. Lebanon Community Relations Board plans to assist in providing residents with information about deer control, including setting up forums for discussion.

Commissioner Kristen Linfante reiterated her long-standing concerns about the local wildlife situation.

"We have too many deer here to safely manage," she said. "We have a safety issue that we have to address, because that's our job."

• A public hearing for Mt. Lebanon's new comprehensive plan drew no comments from residents. Commissioners are expected to vote on the long-range plan for the municipality at their Oct. 8 meeting.

"I feel very confident with this plan," Ms. Linfante said. "I feel it is something we will refer back to constantly as we move forward."

Consultant Carolyn Yagle acknowledged community input as being integral to developing the comprehensive plan.

"All in all, there were thousands of people who participated in this effort in one way or another," she said.

• Commissioners allocated $5,000 from the municipality's unassigned fund balance toward the purchase and installation of two benches and a trash container at the traffic island along Spalding Circle, off Longuevue Drive near Washington Road.

The configuration will be determined later. Commissioner Dave Brumfield recommended placing some type of markers at the site to give residents and opportunity to see where the items eventually might be situated.

Transportation - neigh_south

Harry Funk, freelance writer: suburbanliving@post-gazette.com.


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