Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Smith Introduces Pedestrian Safety Legislation To Give Local Control

Rep. Matt Smith, D-Mt. Lebanon, will soon introduce legislation that would allow municipalities to alter or set speed limits on local and state roads within their respective boundaries without the approval of the state.

"This is part of an ongoing effort to make our neighborhoods safer and pedestrian friendly," Smith said. "Giving local governments this authority would reduce accidents, permit local officials to make decisions impacting our area, and foster strong communities."

Rosie Pesacreta, a Mt. Lebanon parent whose children walk to school along Washington Road is in favor of municipalities having more authority on this issue.

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Anonymous Bill Lewis said...

And to his added credit, Rep. Smith has also co-sponsored legislation permitting municipalities with state roads or highways running through their communities (ie. Washington Rd., etc.) to use radar devices. Current law allows only the state police to use radar....when was the last time anyone has seen a state trooper on Washington Rd., Cochran, etc. or any arterial roadway used by our walking school children or adults ?

It's great to be able to control speed limits, but you also need to be able to effectively enforce them.

January 20, 2010 5:15 PM  
Blogger Joe Polk said...

Bill, there was actually a state trooper in Mt. Lebanon a few months ago. Check out point #4 from this posting on Commissioner Dan Miller's site:

January 21, 2010 1:13 AM  
Anonymous Matt Hausmann said...

The article really gets to what I see as the real issue: in Mt. Lebanon the sidewalks on busy road directly abut the street while on quieter residential roads there is a grassy strip as a barrier. I walk on Washington Road a couple of times a week and can firmly state this: a large truck barreling by me at 25 MPH is just as startling as one flying by at me 35 MPH.

And for the all discussion of how dangerous the sidewalks on Washington Road are can someone tell me this: how many pedestrians have been hit while on the sidewalk on Washington Road in the last 10 years? I've only been here for 4.5 years but haven't heard of a single incident of a truck or car jumping the curb and striking a pedestrian.

The speed limit is fine...four lanes is's the location of the sidewalks that is the issue.

January 21, 2010 7:54 AM  
Blogger Marjie said...

This past snowy weather I noticed a 25 foot long tire track on the sidewalk of Bower Hill between Longridge and the next street up...luckily no one was walking, jogging at that time. This track appeared well after the roads had been cleared and so it was more of a speed/failure to navigate the curve incident. I walk along Bower Hill quite a bit getting my daughter to and from school folks don't realize how fast even a few miles over the speed limit is...there is a different sense of speed from inside the car versus standing/walking along a road side. Bower Hill is a state road I'm assuming??

In any event another good effort on the part of Matt Smith for our community.

January 21, 2010 9:05 AM  
Blogger Matt C. Wilson said...

I'm just glad to see my elected representative doing something surprisingly rare in government these days. That is, returning governmental control to the smaller, more local governmental bodies where it belongs.

Now if only the federal government could get the same idea...

January 21, 2010 12:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another great effort on Matt's part to serve the area well.
We live off of Washington Road and often walk along the sidewalks. It will be nice to see if this passes for the community.

K Fraasch

January 21, 2010 6:09 PM  
Anonymous Bill Lewis said...

I'm not current on recent statistics; however, during the mid-1990's when a mandetory sidewalk ordinance was being considered, public opposition requested a report from the MLPD.

The MLPD kindly complied with the request, and their records indicated that over the prior 10 or 15-year period, all then 12 pedestrian, moving vehicle related fatilities that had occured in Lebo had occured on sidewalked streets. One was a member of my daughters soccer team and a classmate.

Don't know if a current version of such information exists or might be available.

January 21, 2010 6:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Matt continues to demonstrate how to be an effective public servant. He has consistently raised the bar for others holding or seeking to hold elected office. Government works best when all levels of government are able to work together. Thanks Matt for your continued leadership!

~Gina Niewodowski

January 22, 2010 9:32 PM  
Blogger Tim Nolan said...

Thanks Matt! This is a solid step in the right direction.

I recall that Commissioner Miller assisted a pedestrian struck by a car last year on Cochran Rd.

In my opinion, one pedestrian-vehicle incident is too many.

January 23, 2010 12:09 AM  
Blogger Casey West said...

I bike on Washington and Bower Hill Roads. This is welcome safety.

January 25, 2010 3:47 PM  

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