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Oakmont examines 'simple improvements' to enhance pedestrian safety

Michael DiVittorio
| Thursday, June 7, 2018, 5:12 p.m.
An Oakmont police car sits at the end of the Hulton Bridge with his lights on to slow traffic in the school zone at Riverview High School on Tuesday, May 17, 2016.
Jason Bridge | Tribune-Review
An Oakmont police car sits at the end of the Hulton Bridge with his lights on to slow traffic in the school zone at Riverview High School on Tuesday, May 17, 2016.

More traffic flashers and curb extensions along Hulton Road, better signage and improved sidewalk and construction standards were among the recommendations in a plan to increase walkability and promote healthy living in Oakmont.

“I would start with physical problem areas that have a priority around safety,” council Vice President Patricia Friday told Andrew Schwartz, managing principal at Pittsburgh-based Environmental Planning & Design, at a council workshop meeting June 4.

Friday suggested having more rumble strips at the end of Hulton Bridge, particularly where the speed limit changes from 35 to 25 mph.

The main areas of concern were Hulton Road by the high school, at the intersection of Allegheny Avenue and walkways around Tenth Street Elementary School.

“Allegheny Avenue has become a freeway, a cut-through,” Councilwoman Carrie DelRosso said. “We need more safety on this. We need a safe route to walk. I think we're all on the same page with that.”

Other recommendations included collecting data on the borough's trail system, reinforcing 15 mph school zones and other slow zones around parks and Americans with Disabilities Act training for borough staff.

“I think the notion of addressing safety issues first makes a lot of sense,” Schwartz said. “Simple improvements in terms of crosswalks would address a lot of things.”

Improved timing of pedestrian walk signals at traffic lights would help as well.

“In some cases they don't give the pedestrian enough time to actually cross the street,” Schwartz said.

The plan's been in the works since December. Community input was gathered via a survey and meetings.

Council is expected to approve the plan at its June 18 voting session. It will then be posted for public view.

The plan is also under review by the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, which funded half the plan through a $10,000 grant.

The other half was paid for through a University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health's WalkWorks program grant.

State approval is not a requirement for council to start implementing recommendations.

Michael DiVittorio is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-871-2367, mdivittorio@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MikeJdiVittorio.

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