Bridgeville council voted Monday nightto remove the unopened portion of Main Street from the borough plan of streets, effectively blocking the thorofare as an access road to the planned 136-unit Bedner Farm housing development in neighboring Upper St. Clair.
Council voted unanimously -- Councilman Bruce Ghelarducci who is recovering from surgery was absent -- to accept a petition from Neil Lyons of Pesavento Drive, who owns the property adjacent to the unopened section of Main Street.
Mr. Lyons' petition asked council to remove the unopened section of Main from the street plan and to cancel its layout as a street. An ordinance will be drawn up by solicitor Richard Ferris.
Council's action paves the way to use the land for another purpose. Creating a small park or just leaving it as green space has been discussed by council and residents.
"I have the ability to do this as an adjacent property owner, and I believe it is a step in the right direction," Mr. Lyons said.
Mr. Lyons, along with residents of Pesavento, Main Street, Cook School Road, and Ridge Road, have been packing borough meetings and meetings in Upper St. Clair since January to express their opposition to having their streets used as access roads to the new development, which was approved April 2 by Upper St. Clair Commissioners.
Residents maintain the development will increase existing traffic and speeding problems in their neighborhood by motorists using their streets for access to current housing developments in Upper St. Clair.
Upper St. Clair residents can access those developments via Cook School Road and Scarlett Drive. The developers of the Bedner farm project -- Heartland Homes and J. T. Thomas Homes are proposing those two streets as access points to their new development as well.
Representatives to Heartland Homes and Upper St. Clair were not available for comment regarding council's decision.
Alex Covi, a resident of Ridge Road, said his vehicle has been hit four times by speeding vehicles and not once was it somebody from Bridgeville.
Another Ridge Road resident said a recent effort by Bridgeville police to monitor speeding in the neighborhood showed that out of the 100 cars pulled over for speeding 92 were driven by Upper St. Clair residents.
Borough councilman William Colussy urged council to make Main Street a one-way street, and to make other streets in the neighborhood one way as well.
"That's the only way to stop them," Mr. Colussy said.
Borough manager Lori Collins said they are waiting for the results of a traffic study to be completed by HRG, Inc. that was commissioned by council at its March meeting before any changes to traffic patterns can be implemented.
The study will look at speed limits, traffic control, weight limits, lane widths, and will evaluate what can be done to slow down traffic in what is called a traffic calming evaluation.
Ms. Collins said that 70 percent of the residents on the streets studied must agree for the changes to be implemented. She said letters are going out to all the residences of Main Street, Pesavento Drive, Cook School Road, and Ridge Road. She urged residents who want to see improvements made to the traffic patterns on their streets to return the letter to the borough acknowledging they approve of the study.
Borough solicitor Richard Ferris said it is important to have the traffic study in place so that any changes made can "withstand a legal challenge."
Main Street resident Cee Cee McNulty, who has spoken out in several meetings about the safety problems from excessive and speeding traffic in her neighborhood, offered to go door-to-door to collect the letters and return them to the borough.
Bob Podurgiel, freelance writer: firstname.lastname@example.org.