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O'Connor to seek Waterfront study

| Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2002, 12:00 p.m.

Homestead enjoys growing success as an entertainment destination, but Pittsburgh faces the headache of getting people there, Councilman Bob O'Connor said Monday.

He plans to introduce a proposal today asking the mayor's office to conduct a study of traffic headed to The Waterfront in Homestead and the commuter overflow at the morning and evening rush hours.

Besides looking for better routes to the retail, entertainment and residential complex, the study would consider commuter traffic at the Squirrel Hill Tunnel and neighborhood routes through Regent Square, Squirrel Hill, Greenfield, Hazelwood, Hays and Oakland.

The study's cost should be shared with Allegheny County, the state and private developers, O'Connor's bill states. His office said the cost had not yet been determined.

"Although Pittsburgh is the transportation hub of this region, traffic problems do not begin and end at the city's borders, and it would be unfair for the city alone to bear the financial burden," O'Connor said in a written statement.

Continental Real Estate Cos., which owns the Homestead development, has concentrated its efforts recently on studying traffic flow around its property to get traffic signals installed there, said Bruce Englehardt, vice president and general manager of The Waterfront.

The development attracts a lot of traffic on the weekends, but the congestion is not any worse than other places in the area, Englehardt said, adding that he has not talked with anyone about participating in a regional traffic study.

Pam Goldman, who lives on Saline Street in Squirrel Hill, says traffic not only clogs the main roads there, but has started spilling into the neighborhood as well. She complains that her street now has too many cars traveling too fast and that drivers sometimes swerve onto the curb to avoid oncoming vehicles.

"It's gotten to the point where you're not only afraid of your child going into the street, but you're also afraid of having them on the sidewalks sometimes," said Goldman, who has an 8-year-old daughter and a 14-year-old son.

O'Connor's bill is scheduled to come up for discussion Wednesday, with a final vote Oct. 1.

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