Release of committee-issued Quaker Valley traffic report stirs debate
While there's likely to be no immediate action following the release of a citizen advisory committee's report detailing ideas to improve student safety at Quaker Valley High School, some members say portions of the document should have been omitted.
Leet resident Tom Weber said long-term recommendations should not have been part of the document, claiming the report submitted to the school board supports the administration's attempts to purchase and demolish homes near the school.
“These final recommendations bear the mark of the administration's view and completely omit the most critical conclusion,” Weber said, adding that the purchase of two Beaver Street homes last year — and attempts to buy a third property — have nothing to do with traffic safety, but instead is a “convenience issue.”
Weber submitted what he called a “corrected” version of the committee's report, which was signed by him and three other committee members.
Members of the 18-person panel suggested a variety of options, including scaling back brush along an entrance to the high school campus on Beaver Street, to redesigning a hillside roadway to offer pedestrian and vehicle traffic access.
Many of the ideas shared were similar to those suggested in a $24,000 traffic study conducted by David E. Wooster and Associates and released last October.
Other ideas suggested by committee members included a parking garage and petitioning PennDOT for signage along Route 65.
Committee members achieved “unanimous or near-unanimous” agreement on short- and mid-term recommendations, according to the initial document presented to board members by committee spokesman Jason Richey.
The document says long-term recommendations “represent the majority of the committee.”
The initial document presented to the board suggests the acquisition of nearby properties if the current campus is to remain in Leetsdale.
Weber contends that through a “silent vote,” board members agreed that the purchase of nearby homes was about a “convenience parking issue,” not traffic safety.
Committee member Jerilyn Scott said she “vehemently” disagreed with Weber.
“It was by no means a unanimous conclusion of the committee that it was all about parking and not about safety,” she said.
School board President Jack Norris said “owning homes is not the same as tearing them down.”
But committee member Beth Carroll, who is a member of the grassroots Concerned Taxpayers of Quaker Valley, said long-term recommendations “were not given a full group discussion.”
“It was group consensus that we should not include anything relating to long-term recommendations … because we couldn't present anything of intelligence. We had no cost information. We had no timeline information. We knew it was contentious and we knew we'd never agree given the timeline we were given,” she said.
“The final findings come out, and they include the final recommendations as if the majority of people voted on things. We didn't vote on anything. We were asked to give information, but we never had discussion.”
School leaders said no opinions were omitted.
Some members of the group also suggested whether the school's current footprint along a hillside above Route 65 is a suitable location for the campus, Richey said.
“Is this where you want the high school for the next 50 years,” Richey asked board members.
He provided a personal, 10-page report on the school's location and suggested leaders should consider finding a 40- or 50-acre parcel in the district to consider a new campus.
Norris said board members and administrators will review the committee's findings before making recommendations.
No timetable was given as to when any recommendations could be implemented.
Bobby Cherry is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-324-1408 or email@example.com.
Add Bobby Cherry to your Google+ circles.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Sewickley Academy grad shooting for the stars at Smithsonian
- 20 communities asked for input on Route 65 issues
- Water Works Road in Sewickley closed for months
- Leet treehouse that drew national headlines will be removed by December
- Sewickley officials tackle rising odor
- Nice play, Pirates — on and off the field
- New Edgeworth principal brings experience, passion
- Developer makes $1,724,000 deal for downtown Sewickley properties