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Recap of September Lawrenceville Happenings: Traffic Calming

On Thursday, September 14th, the Lawrenceville Happenings Meeting was hosted at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh – Lawrenceville (279 Fisk St) from 5:30-7 PM by Lawrenceville United and Lawrenceville Corporation. This meeting was hosted in-person with 12 attendees and online via Facebook Live to roughly 16 attendees throughout the meeting. The focus of this Happenings was on traffic calming — a longstanding neighborhood issue.

LU and LC invited Better Streets Lawrenceville (a neighborhood advocacy group), Zone 2 Police, the Mayor’s Office (in connection with the Department of Mobility and Infrastructure), and Councilwoman Deb Gross’s office to contribute. A lot of discussion was centered around Main Street traffic, as sideswiping and speeding incidents have been high in past weeks especially.

The meeting opened with introductions for Dave Breingan (LU) and Kara Kimicata (LC), who shared an overview of their organizations and an agenda for the meeting.

They then passed the mic over to Zone 2 Police, including Commander Matthew Lackner and Sgt. Tagmyer. Commander Lackner shared that they are most open to receiving community feedback on how the community wants to approach the traffic issues in the neighborhood. They do not want police driving the efforts, but instead be in collaboration with the community.

Community members shared that the issues on Main Street, in particular, have been years long problems. The main issues are parking on sidewalks, high congestion, emergency vehicles/hospital buses using Main, lack of stop signs at important intersections, and speeding. Sgt. Tagmyer who is in charge of traffic-related enforcements, shared the importance of using 311 to report any traffic related incidents and suggested that residents used DOMI’s Traffic Calming Request Map (see link in bottom section) to request speed studies.

Following Zone 2, James Murray from Councilwoman Gross’ office shared their work in traffic calming advocacy and updates on moving forward with the Mobility Enhancement District (MED) legislation. The councilwoman is invested in traffic calming advocacy, however, there is more demand for traffic calming than the City’s capital budget can afford. Of the 1000 requests for this year, only 8 projects could get funding. That is why the MED legislation, if passed, could help Lawrenceville in having a pot of funds that are solely for the neighborhood to use for traffic calming measures and pedestrian/cyclist safety. The public hearing for MED will be set for either October 4th, 5th or 11th. As soon as a final date is selected, LU and LC will share with the community.

The final speaker was Jan Raether, the Infrastructure Management Specialist at the Mayor’s office, who works closely with the Department of Mobility and Infrastructure (DOMI). Jan shared that traffic calming efforts on 39th, 40th and Main are of top priority for Lawrenceville and is clear from the requests that are shared on DOMI’s Traffic Calming map. He offered a potential, low cost solution for Main St may involve painting parking lines that will visually assist drivers in understanding the space between themselves and parked cars, to ideally curb speeding and decrease sideswiping. Residents, LU, and LC will continue to work with the Mayor’s Office and DOMI to find potential solutions that work for all involved.

The meeting closed with a call to action for residents to express public comment on the MED at the upcoming City Council meeting and to get involved with LU and LC in door knocking along Main St about sidewalk parking. If you would like to get involved, please email info@lunited.org or call 412-802-7220. You can watch the meeting, review the PowerPoint, and get involved in traffic calming efforts by visiting the links below.

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