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Walkers told to share streets in Southwest Greensburg

| Monday, May 14, 2012, 1:15 a.m.

Southwest Greensburg apparently has a new traffic control problem, as Mayor Shaun Teacher reported Wednesday that he has received complaints about recreational walkers blocking the streets.

"We're always talking about skateboarders and bicycles on the streets. I received two letters about walkers in the streets. They're walking three wide and when vehicles come up behind them, they're not moving," Teacher told borough council.

Last month, a Green Street parent asked council for clarification on the borough's policy on bicycles and skating. The mother said her 14-year-old daughter had been stopped by police three times for skating in the alleys.

Solicitor Dan Hewitt said then there is no ordinance prohibiting skating in the borough.

Teacher said yesterday the borough has no law against walking in the streets either. "There is no ordinance that says you can't walk in the streets. We're not arresting anyone for that. Pedestrians have a right of way in the intersections, but they need to give vehicles leeway," the mayor said.

Police Chief James Santmyer said he was aware of the complaints about walkers and asked them to consider drivers and move to the side when vehicles are approaching.

In other business, council voted to advertise an amendment to the construction code regarding fire protection systems.

Council President Ed Benson said the amendment includes a requirement for multifamily dwellings and commercial operations to have a fire protection signaling system that transmits alarm and trouble signals to an approved central station system. The borough may request a certification or verification of the system connection and operation.

Benson said property owners may connect to the borough's Gamewell Fire Alarm Loop in place of the central station system, which could give a three-to four-minute response time advantage.

Hewitt said he has received favorable feedback from businesses that have connected to the borough's system because it is also a cost-saving measure.

Also regarding emergency response, Teacher said residents must display 3-inch address numbers to be in compliance with the borough ordinance.

"Some people don't think that's important, but they may pass up your house in an emergency," he said. The mayor said violators will be sent letters asking them to display visible addresses, as well as a copy of the borough ordinance.

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