Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

'A Classic Pittsburgh Intersection' Change Sought at Site in Observatory Hill

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

'A Classic Pittsburgh Intersection' Change Sought at Site in Observatory Hill

Article excerpt

The Rev. Charissa Howe calls it "a classic Pittsburgh intersection," the nearly X-shaped crossroads in Observatory Hill where Venture Street climbs a hillside to meet Watson Boulevard and Perrysville Avenue.

Her youngest kids - ages 8 and 10 - don't travel across that asphalt spaghetti without help. A rear-end crash close by on Perrysville just about totaled the family minivan a few years back. Last week, she said, a speeding car almost "mowed [her] down" as she crossed Perrysville near the intersection.

A child wasn't so fortunate Tuesday, when a vehicle struck him around the same spot. Allegheny County authorities said the injuries were not life-threatening for the boy, reported to be 7 years old. It wasn't clear whether the driver would be charged.

"It's a nasty corner. When you're crossing the street, you can kind of see the cars coming. But they're moving so fast, it's hard to tell they're coming," said Rev. Howe, 37, who has lived in the neighborhood since 2005.

Long worried about aggressive, lead-footed driving on that stretch of Perrysville, she and some other neighbors hope the city will take a fresh look at tempering the traffic. Pittsburgh City Council member Darlene Harris said she has asked repeatedly in recent years for an additional stop sign at the Perrysville-Watson-Venture intersection, where residents estimated that dozens of kids wait for school buses.

"I've been telling them: Someone is going to get hit," Ms. Harris said of her requests to the city Department of Public Works. "I'm not a traffic engineer, but I do have common sense."

Mike Gable, public works director, said his department would review the intersection.

"Maybe a stop sign will solve the problem. We'll certainly see what the records warrant," he said.

Complete traffic and accident statistics were not immediately available last week. It's possible that the city studied the spot in the past and declined to add a stop sign, but that conditions now warrant one, Mr. …

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