To many area motorists, the name Bridgeville is synonymous with traffic congestion.
That reputation is somewhat unfair, as much of “Bridgeville’s” traffic originates and grinds to a standstill in neighboring communities like South Fayette and Collier.
Local officials, however, are acutely aware that “Bridgeville’s” traffic is a multi-community problem that impacts the entire region, and that a real solution will require collaboration.
On Monday night, the Bridgeville planning commission discussed potential remedies to the traffic congestion that has long plagued Washington Pike from Great Southern Shopping Center in Collier Township down past the Bridgeville border.
“Right off the bat, our big partner would be Collier,” said planning commissioner Mike Tolmer. “They are on board with addressing this because it’s a problem for them just as it is for us.”
Collier officials have noticed the progress that Bridgeville is making at the other end of town—the border with South Fayette—where PennDOT is planning extensive traffic improvements, including a widened bridge. Duplicating that sort of success at the Bridgeville/Collier border would be a major coup for both communities.
Traffic mitigation at Bridgeville’s north end could also lead to aesthetic improvements and new investments in a part of town that has notably lagged behind the the rest of the community’s main business district.
A planning commission document offered numerous suggestions, including:
- Adding four traffic lanes near the Bridgeville/Collier border
- Creating dedicated-turn lanes where needed
- New sidewalks, lighting, signage and other improvements that match Bridgeville’s central and southern business district
- Rezoning parts of the the North End “either high density residential / mixed to encourage more of a downtown feel throughout”
However, finding necessary buy-in from state government won’t be easy in the current economic climate. PennDOT has recently reduced funding for these kinds of projects and shifted its focus to what it considers larger-scale traffic issues.
That puts the burden on Bridgeville, Collier, and possibly other agencies to make the case that daily, near-standstill traffic congestion in a busy, multi-community business corridor is indeed a regional problem.
“If we could get everybody on the same page, maybe we could force their hand a little bit,” said William Henderson, president of Bridgeville Borough Council.
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.
You can watch the entire, hour-long planning commission meeting below: