Port Authority riders to now board at safer Brentview Drive-Route 51 stop

| Tuesday, July 2, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

The brim of the curb was tricky to navigate as residents attempted to get off the bus at the edge of the busy state route. Even finding a place to stand and wait for the bus at the cusp of the four-lane highway was a struggle for some residents.

“We continually get concerns,” Baldwin Borough manager John Barrett said.

Moving the Route 51 bus stop by about 100 feet, from the Grace Street intersection to Brentview Drive, should solve some of those problems and give people a more spacious place to wait for the bus, Barrett said.

The southbound bus stop on Route 51 at Grace Street was set to move across from Brentview Drive this week in an effort to improve pedestrian safety, Barrett said.

“The bus stop before was almost forcing you to cross two streets to catch the bus,” said Barrett, noting many pedestrians would exit the southbound Route 51 bus, cross Grace Street and then cross Route 51 to get to their vehicles in the park-and-ride lot.

Resident concerns prompted borough leaders to approach Port Authority of Allegheny County officials about the changes, Barrett said. Port Authority leaders conducted a safety review of the site and OK'd the change in bus stops, he said.

Moving the bus stop is the latest in several changes along Route 51 that Baldwin leaders, with the assistance of county and state officials, have made to improve pedestrian and vehicular safety in the last year and a half.

Multiple vehicular accidents and pedestrian accidents, one of which was fatal, led Baldwin leaders to review changing traffic patterns along the congested state highway.

A turning light was added at the Irwin Drive intersection and crosswalks were re-striped, in an effort to improve pedestrian safety, Barrett said.

“We've made some improvements,” he said.

And more are still to come as the PennDOT plans to resurface Route 51 in the next two years, Barrett said.

Along with the moved bus stop at Brentview, borough officials had the traffic signals adjusted to give pedestrians more time to cross the road at that intersection, Barrett said.

Stephanie Hacke is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5818 or shacke@tribweb.com.

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