City Councilwoman makes plea for safer streets for pedestrians, bicyclists

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PITTSBURGH —

Pittsburgh Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak on Wednesday called for the next administration to improve the quality and safety of the city's streets.

Rudiak joined neighborhood groups, cycling and pedestrian advocates, and residents of neighborhoods in her district at a press conference outside the Carrick Regency High Rise on Brownsville Road.

“People are literally afraid of getting hit or killed on our city streets, and we're here to talk about how the city of Pittsburgh and our government partners need to step up their game,” said Rudiak.

She cited Brownsville Road as the site of several of accidents that could have been prevented: Tyrique Snowden Hill, 6, of Knoxville was on his bicycle when he was struck and killed by a car in 2010; a woman and her two kids were injured when a car hit a utility pole that struck her on Brownsville Road in September 2012; Patricia Meinke, 59, of Carrick was crossing Brownsville Road in February when she was struck and killed by a car.

She said a study she commissioned with the Carrick Community Council found that traffic safety was the top public safety concern for residents of the Brownsville Road corridor.

“One of the benefits of living in our South Pittsburgh neighborhoods is the ability to walk to the grocery store or the pharmacy, or the bus stop or T station,” said Rudiak. “But more and more we are hearing that residents are afraid to let their children walk to school or that senior citizens are afraid to use the few crosswalks that are at their disposal.”

Ray Morgan, of Brentwood, said, “I have a 5-year-old that I walk with, and sometimes they fly up past here. It can be very dangerous sometimes.”

Rudiak is calling for crosswalks in areas with higher senior populations, increased visibility of existing crosswalks and better enforcement of traffic laws.

“It really relies on personal responsibility. People should be obeying the traffic signs, and I think the only reason they don't is they don't think they'll get in trouble if they don't,” said Susie Moran.

Channel 11's news exchange partners at TribLIVE contributed to this report.