Puckety Road speeding woes continue

| Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Though people who live along Puckety Road say motorists regularly exceed the road's 25 mph speed limit, state police say it is virtually impossible to enforce the posted speed limit within Export's border.

“We've let troopers know there's a problem there and to go devote specific times,” state police Sgt. Ryan Maher said. “But there's only so much we can do.”

That's because of the regulation that details how long a driver has to obey a posted change in speed limit. In Pennsylvania, Maher said, drivers have 1 mile within a reduced-speed zone — such as Puckety Road — to slow down. Puckety Road, which stretches into Murrysville and Penn Township, isn't even 1 mile long in the borough, Maher said.

“That puts you outside of Export (before you have to slow down),” Maher said.

Outside of the borough limits, Puckety's speed limit is 35 mph.

Gerry Hooper has approached Export Council four times during the past 12 months with worries about speeders along the road, where her 85-year-old mother lives. She and her mother's neighbors said that drivers have made the road hazardous by using it as a “cut-through” to get from Route 22 to Old William Penn Highway.

“This is not a road made for that kind of traffic,” Hooper said.

Council Vice President Dave Pascuzzi said enforcement is a problem because the borough doesn't have its own police force. Maher said officers were told to monitor the area when they have free time.

In February and March, that happened eight times. Maher said there were no citations issued.

Residents suggested targeting certain times of day for enforcement.

Officers will continue to monitor the area, but instead of looking for speeders, they will watch to see if motorists are obeying the stop signs along the road. That, Maher said, can be enforced easily.

In May, Hooper asked council to consider installing speed humps, a rubber alternative to speed bumps. Borough officials said there are liability issues with installing the speed-calming devices.

Councilman John Nagoda said installing speed humps on Puckety could set a dangerous precedent.

“We can't put speed (humps) down there,” Nagoda said. “We'd have to put them all over town. I'm against speed (humps).”

Councilwoman Melanie Litz said she shares some of Nagoda's worries.

“My concern is if we put them on one road, we're going to have to put them on every road,” Litz said. “I'm not arguing with the theory of the speed humps. I'm just looking out for the borough.”

Borough secretary Tonia Waryas said she approached Murrysville and Penn Township officials about placing speed humps on the portions of the road in their municipalities. Neither community's officials were interested, Waryas said.

Litz said she doesn't think installing speed humps would solve all of the borough's speeding problems.

“Just because there's a speed hump somewhere doesn't mean people are going to drive better,” Litz said. “There is still going to be danger.”

Daveen Rae Kurutz is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8627, or dkurutz@tribweb.com.

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