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Residents urge Quaker Valley to find alternate plan

| Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2012, 8:59 p.m.

Members of a citizens group are urging Quaker Valley school directors to find an alternate plan to reduce traffic back-ups at the high school in Leetsdale.

“Safety is paramount,” said Beth Carroll, a representative of the group Concerned Taxpayers of Quaker Valley. “If so, then why are we waiting any period of time to solve the problem? There are ways to solve the safety problem right now, this year, on the current footprint of the school.”

Carroll asked board members and administrators during a meeting last week to “be a good neighbor.”

“Discontinue the efforts to overtake your nearest neighbors and return the homes to the market,” she said.

District officials have become concerned that the number of vehicles passing through the high school area could pose a safety risk. Drawings made public in March show plans for a parking lot with a designated on-campus, student drop-off area that could be located next to the high school. The school district purchased two homes in the spring for $400,000.

Homeowners of a third property have said publicly that the district's offer to them is low.

Results of a traffic study the district approved in the spring could offer recommendations for how best to handle traffic congestion. The results are expected to be released in October.

In a prepared statement, Quaker Valley administrators said the district has been a “good neighbor at each of its four building locations.”

In Leetsdale, the district “envisions improving safety while increasing green space within that small section” of Beaver Street, district officials wrote on the school website. “The high school's neighborhood encompasses a much larger area than the nine properties (only three of which are being considered for purchase) between the high school and Village Drive.”

School administrators said the parking lot and drop-off area would allow drivers to unload passengers on campus and off the street.

Leet Township resident Debbie Franzen said during last week's meeting that she, too, is concerned about the traffic situation at the high school, but questioned whether signs placed in many nearby residential yards also could create safety issues.

“When I look at those yellow signs, especially the two original ones, I was a little concerned about the danger that they were,” Franzen said. “When you have a sign with 14 words on it, and you have to take your eyes off the road to read it, that is no different than having to take your eyes off the road to read a text message, which is illegal.”

Plans to purchase and demolish homes near the school continue to draw the ire of residents.

“We, the Concerned Taxpayers of Quaker Valley, your constituents, do not want this administration (or) this school board spending any of our available financial resources on the acquisition of property adjacent to the high school for any reason,” Leet Township resident Tom Weber said.

Bobby Cherry is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-324-1408 or rcherry@tribweb.com.

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