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Leechburg residents to protest street closings

| Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, 12:37 a.m.

Leechburg Council next month will hear concerns from residents who object to the borough's plan to close two streets.

Council last month agreed to vacate Byron Avenue between Maridon and Pitt streets and Third Street between Summit and Campbell avenues.

Vacating the streets means the borough would not own them, they would not be public roads and the land would be deeded to adjacent property owners. However, a few residents living near Byron Avenue indicated they objected to its closure.

Borough Solicitor Jim Favero said that constitutes a formal objection to the ordinance council passed last month. That means council must hold a public hearing to listen to the concerns before the ordinance takes effect.

Favero told the residents to come back at 6 p.m. Dec. 3 for the hearing.

Councilman Tom Foster said borough streets should be at least 20 feet wide, but Byron's widest point is only 17 feet and its narrowest point is 7 12 feet — a foot narrower than an ambulance.

He indicated it's unsafe to keep the street open as is, but would be very costly to bring it up to code.

Council also intends to pursue making Kiski Avenue and a small portion of Siberian Avenue one-way streets.

Foster said there are safety issues with people using the roads as shortcuts off Route 66, especially due to speeding near a playground on Kiski Avenue.

Siberian Avenue could become a one-way street heading west from Route 66 toward Kiski Avenue. Siberian already is one way in that direction to the east of Route 66.

Kiski Avenue could become a one-way street heading north from Main Street to Route 66.

Council intends to send a letter about the proposed changes to all property owners on those streets and gather input before making a decision.

Liz Hayes is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4680 or lhayes@tribweb.com.

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