Baldwin intersection 'accident waiting to happen'
By Stephanie Hacke
Published: Wednesday, July 24, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
The white lines already have begun to fade at the Streets Run and Prospect roads intersection, and Baldwin Borough officials say that it is likely not from normal wear and tear.
Instead, they say, people are using the extra road space — added during a Pennsylvania Department of Transportation bridge construction project in 2010, meant to give trucks additional turning space — as a turning lane, where drivers often cut off those following the rules.
“All PennDOT has done, as we all know here, is paint white lines on that road to show that that's restricted,” council Vice President Michael Stelmasczyk told his colleagues at their agenda-setting meeting on July 9. “The white lines don't stop people. I think that's just an accident waiting to happen.”
Baldwin Borough officials planned to send a letter to PennDOT leaders this week asking for a review of traffic patterns at the intersection.
“We want to see if they can come up with anything that's safer,” borough Manager John Barrett said.
No accidents at the intersection have been reported to Baldwin Borough police since the bridge construction project, Chief Michael Scott said. Baldwin police receive frequent complaints about the setup of the intersection and reports of “near misses,” the chief said.
“They widened it, but if you can't use it, it doesn't make much sense,” Scott said.
Baldwin police patrol the area, but the topography makes any police vehicle obvious to passersby, officials said.
“It's difficult because if you're sitting down there, nobody does it,” Scott said.
Several residents a month contact the Baldwin manager seeking changes at the intersection.
“I get emails and phone calls from people basically screaming that it's unsafe,” Barrett said.
Any changes at the intersection would need to be made by PennDOT, because it is a state route, Barrett said.
However, Baldwin officials do have recommendations for PennDOT.
“Make that lane a right turn lane,” Stelmasczyk said. “I know they're saying that people coming down Prospect will have trouble making that left. But they've always had trouble making that left. I just think that with this situation, widening that bridge, I think it's going to end up causing an accident.”
Another idea is to add raised stripping in the area, Barrett said.
Stephanie Hacke is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5818 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
- Jefferson Regional volunteers downplay individual achievements
- Vocal resident banned from all Baldwin-Whitehall district property