South Fayette addresses concerns about speeding

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South Fayette administrators are working with The Berkshires Community Services Association to address concerns over speeding problems.

In a July 30 letter, Jeremy Galish, president of the housing association, requested township officials to take action, calling it ‘crucial at this point.’ Residents are asking for reduced speed limits and/or speed bumps.

Township officials toured the subdivision and discussed options with the Berkshires board about speed bumps, additional stop signs, and reducing the speed limit from 25 mph to 15 mph.

At a recent meeting, acting Police Chief, John Phoenik said under state regulations tickets can be issued at 11 miles over the speed limit.

“If it’s set at 15 mph, we can cite drivers at 26 mph,” Mr. Phoenik said. “Often, it is the residents who are issued the citations.”

Acting Public Works Director, Butch Truitt, said among the disadvantages of speed bumps are that they break municipal snow plows and make it more difficult for township crews to clear the roads.

Public Works superintendent, Nick Nickolas, said bumps also pose a potential liability.

“If it’s on a downhill slope, and you put a speed bump from curb to curb, you’re creating a dam, which creates ice in the winter time,” he said.

The township plans to install additional stop signs over the next two weeks in the Berkshires subdivision to address some immediate issues.

In the interim,manager Ryan Eggleston is studying the procedures used in Decatur, GA, and Peters Township. Mr. Eggleston said in McMurray, the process begins with organizing input from homeowners associations.

During the recent workshop meeting, officials realized speeding was a townshipwide problem. Commissioner Lisa Malosh suggested a community wide effort be set forth. Mr. Eggleston said a public meeting will take place in the next 30 to 60 days. The township may also consider organizing a committee of HOA’s to contribute ideas and input.

“I am absolutely in favor of this,” Ms. Malosh said after the meeting. “I have already spoken to folks about moving forward with the creation of a working group to come up with pro-active ideas that can be trialed.”

Berkshires resident Jenn Iriti suggested increasing public awareness, citing other successful campaigns: “’Stop smoking’ and ‘Wash your hands’ were effective in changing behavior. I think we can learn from that.”

Commissioner Deron Gabriel agrees. “Yes, public awareness is the best tool. We can work together in a neighborly manner to resolve these issues, I am sure we can.”

Amy Philips-Haller, freelance writer:

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