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Carnegie officials react to parking complaints

| Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

Carnegie borough officials are searching for solutions to traffic complaints by residents.

Residents in the area of Beechwood Avenue and Capitol Drive have expressed worries about parking in the area, Councilman Pat Catena said.

He has become a mouthpiece for residents' concerns in that part of the borough, which is where he lives.

“Residents approached me about parking. Some don't have driveways,” he said.

This is because visitors to Carnegie Towers are parking on Beechwood instead of using the designated parking lot, Catena said.

“If you don't want to get caught on camera, you're probably going to park on Beechwood,” said Catena, referring to Carnegie Towers' security cameras.

The second problem involves safety issues on Capitol, he said.

“You really can't fit two cars side by side on Capitol,” he said. “Throw into the mix a woman with a stroller or women with small children, and it's dangerous when you're coming up Capitol onto Beechwood.”

People walking in the street on Beechwood create a hazard for those turning from Capitol onto Beechwood, he said.

“It's not like there are no sidewalks there,” Catena said. “Some people just refuse to use the sidewalks. At some point, there is going to be an accident. Someone is going to get hurt.”

He said one solution would be to put sidewalks along Capitol or take the street to one lane of traffic.

“That would solve the problem,” he said.

Some residents, he said, voiced worries that such solutions would create increased traffic on Christy Street, which already suffers from an influx of parked cars from Boys & Girls Club visitors.

“That's not a deal-breaker,” Catena said. “I think we could work with the Boys & Girls Club to make Christy safer.”

A traffic study was done by the borough engineer, and the solution proposed by the study included making Beechwood Avenue one way toward Washington Avenue and restricting parking on Christy.

Residents attended a community-input meeting Sept. 9 regarding traffic issues on Beechwood, Capitol and Christy.

Judith Stadler, who lives on Beechwood, said regardless of the changes the borough might make on Capitol, the turn onto Christy will remain blind — and dangerous.

“The jaywalking on the street makes it always dangerous,” she said.

Borough officials also discussed making parking on each side of Christy illegal, but Danielle Bauer, executive director of the Carnegie Boys & Girls Club, which sits off Christy, said the club needs all the parking it can get.

“Between 3 and 8 p.m., we have 250 families coming to the club,” she said.

Bauer said she also feared changing traffic patterns would lead to more cars cutting through the club's parking lot.

Former Carnegie Mayor Bob Heinrich said he worried that changing traffic to one way would result in access issues for emergency vehicles and more speeding.

Catena said any traffic-pattern changes would include a sunset provision, meaning the ordinance expires after three months unless council renews it.

Megan Guza is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5810 or mguza@tribweb.com.

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