Pittsburgh Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak today called for a strong partnership with the city and its next mayor to address traffic safety in its southern neighborhoods.
For too long, the District 4 councilwoman said, Pittsburgh's southern neighborhoods have been left out of discussions about how to create a citywide network of safe streets for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers.
"And this is us staking our flag in the ground and elbowing our way into the conversation," she said.
Local advocacy and organization leaders, along with residents from the Carrick Regency Senior High Rise, joined Ms. Rudiak at a press conference outside the apartment building along busy Brownsville Road.
It was an apt choice to illustrate the problems they were talking about, serving as what Ms. Rudiak called a "microcosm" of what's happening in all of the city's southern neighborhoods.
A survey this year of Carrick and Overbrook residents revealed traffic was the top public safety concern, a result Ms. Rudiak said was surprising and alarming.
"These people are literally afraid of getting hurt and even killed on our streets," Ms. Rudiak said, "and we're here to talk about the fact that how the city and our government partners need to step up our game in terms of better engineering our streets and educating the public and enforcing traffic safety laws to make our neighborhood safer."
Some at Carrick Regency asked for a pedestrian walkway to the shopping plaza across the street. Two residents who were hit by vehicles along Brownsville Road spoke about their experiences.
The city's southern neighborhoods are "held back by poor design," Ms. Rudiak said, and are "more than just places to speed through."
Bike Pittsburgh advocacy director Eric Boerer said: "It's much easier to fix a road than it is to fix a life, but it does require significant infrastructure and investment."
Moly Born: email@example.com, 412-263-1944 or on Twitter @borntolede