There’s no doubt that some Bridgeville residents are upset with cars speeding down their street.
But is speeding really a major problem for the borough, or is Bridgeville simply like most other suburban communities where nobody is actually happy with the speed or volume of cars going past their houses?
Tim Nath, of the Bridgeville Planning Commission, posed that question during the group’s meeting last week.
“I’m not underselling it,” he said, “but residents always want people to go slower past their street when they have kids. Do we all agree that there is a problem to be solved here, or is this something that would be nice to have?”
Moving forward, the planning commission might survey residents, or organize community forums where people can voice their concerns about speeding and offer solutions.
“I like the idea of a forum,” Nath said. “If people feel strongly about it, I want to hear from then. My sister lives on Bank Street and she wants people to slow down, I get that. Will that ever be sufficient, or will you always recognize the two people a day speeding?”
The planning commission recently began an issue-by-issue review of 10 challenges facing Bridgeville in the coming years. During the coming months, the group will prioritize those problems and recommend solutions to borough council.
Planning commission president Dale Livingston emphasized that these are initial, exploratory discussions, and should not be interpreted as definitive statements about various issues.
Traffic was the first topic on the agenda last week.
While it’s indisputable that traffic congestion is a problem for both Bridgeville and South Fayette, plans are already in motion to address some of the major contributing factors.
The speeding issue—both the severity and scope—are another matter.
“I find myself wondering the same thing—which particular streets have a speeding issue, and is it widespread? I don’t have the sense that it is,” said planning commissioner Larry Lennon Sr. “I can tell you that here on Gregg Avenue they don’t speed. I love my bumpy brick road.”
To truly understand the problem, Bridgeville must get access to PennDOT’s traffic studies of the community, said planning commissioner Justine Cimarolli.
“I’d like to get request at least five to 10 years of traffic data from PennDOT,” she said, “so we know exactly how traffic has built up over the past 15 or so years.”
Some of the commonly cited problem areas—Washington Avenue, Bank Street, McLaughlin Road—are state-managed roads, meaning that Bridgeville would need PennDOT cooperation to take steps to address speeding.
Thusfar, the state agency has not been especially helpful.
One recent PennDOT analysis determined that the intersection of Bank Street and Dewey Avenue does not require an additional stop sign. Cimarolli said that when she PennDOT asked for specific numbers, the agency was not able to immediately provide them.
Bridgeville could fund its down traffic study, but that could cost $50,000 or more.
Speeding is about more than traffic safety, said planning commissioner Dale Livingston. It directly impacts pedestrians and Bridgeville’s ambition to become a more walkable community.
Trying to cross the road at intersections like Dewey Avenue and Bank Street is akin to “taking your life into your hands,” said Livingston.
After analyzing the scope of the borough’s speeding problem, the planning commission will consider potential solutions, which could include traffic calming measures, including, but not limited to, radar speed signs and an increased police presence on problem streets.
The planning commission’s next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 19 at 7:30 p.m. It is not yet clear whether that session will be held online or in person at the borough building.
You can watch the entire April meeting below: