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Churchview Avenue residents fed up with speeders

Wednesday, April 30, 2014, 9:01 p.m.

Cars speed by their homes on a daily basis. In some cases, they've crashed into their homes, walls and lawns, and residents in the 3300 block of Churchview Avenue said they've had enough.

“They're flying up and down this road. They're going to kill somebody. It's going to happen. They're going to run people over,” longtime resident Robert Politowski told Baldwin Borough council members, as he and his neighbors approached them on April 15 seeking assistance.

“People walk their dogs that way early in the morning... They're going to get run over. That's it. They're drunk or not, it's wrong. It's illegal.”

Residents asked Baldwin Borough Council members to do something to deter speeders on Churchview Avenue. They recommended a stop sign be added for traffic headed away from the borough building, toward Willett Road. A stop sign already exists in the other direction. The speed limit in the area is 25 mph.

The solution might not be that simple, though, borough officials said.

“You just can't plant a stop sign,” engineer Ned Mitrovich said. “There's certain conditions that need to be satisfied to place a stop sign, and one of them is not speed.”

To see if the road meets that criteria, a traffic study would need to be done, police Chief Michael Scott said.

A traffic study would look at the number of accidents in the area. There were three since last June. Of those, the driver of one of the vehicles was under the influence and another occurred in rainy conditions, Scott said. Two of the three accidents were identified as “reportable.”

Council members agreed to place a speed monitoring sign in the area and conduct a traffic study.

“Sooner or later, somebody's going to get hurt. We need to slow traffic down in that area,” said resident Jim Lemp. “To sit here at night, you can just hear them coming past.”

Politowski still has a broken telephone pole in front of his home that remains from an accident last June, that “ripped the wires” out of his home. The gas meter in front of his home was struck years ago by a passing car, he said.

“It was a mess,” Politowski said. “Someone is going to get killed there.... The pole in front of my house is still down. It's going to fall over.”

Councilman Kevin Fischer said borough leaders need to do something.

“If it happened to me once, I'd be awful upset that some guy comes zipping down the street, barreling into my yard. You take care of your yard. You pay your taxes. The assumable expectation is, I understand that the expectation in the world is that everybody abides by the rules and the policies, but if they're not, what can we do as a municipality and as a borough?” Fischer said.

There are traffic-calming measures, but they are costly, Mitrovich said. Speed bumps are “high risk,” he said. “Why can't we let the police officers and the chief figure this all out?” Councilman James Behers asked.

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




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