By Juliet Martinez
When city services jump to solve a problem, people notice.
On July 6, a tractor trailer took a wrong turn off Hazelwood Avenue onto Bigelow Street. By the time it reached Kaercher Street, the truck was stuck.
A tractor trailer that got stuck on Bigelow Street near Kaercher Street on July 6 in front of Deborah Murtagh's home damaged her flower bed and the handrail on her steps (Photos by Deborah Murtagh). The city put up a sign on July 27 prohibiting tractor trailers from entering Bigelow Street from Hazelwood Avenue (Photo by Juliet Martinez).
Deborah Murtagh was sitting on her porch watching her grandson play when it happened. As the driver tried to reverse course, the truck hit the railing on her front stairs and took out some of her flowers. She called the police.
First responders then oversaw a three-hour extraction process. They knocked on doors, asking residents to move their cars. Then they guided the tractor trailer as it reversed more than 2,000 feet to get back to Hazelwood Avenue.
Ms. Murtagh said it was not the first time a truck got stuck on Bigelow Street.
“This has been a problem for years, and nobody did anything,” she said.
So, Mrs. Murtagh called the office of District 5 Councilperson, Barb Warwick. She asked them to do something to prevent this happening in the future. Daniel Brown, an aide to Councilperson Warwick, leapt into action. Three weeks later, new signs went up to prevent future stuck trucks.
“I just want to say thanks!” Mrs. Murtagh gushed, praising Councilperson Warwick and Mr. Brown. “Her office worked so fast and got it done.”
Mr. Brown emailed that the response from residents has been enthusiastic, with one exception.
“Everyone seems happy with this outcome except for Deborah's 4-year-old grandson, who loved the big trucks and emergency responders tasked with shutting down the street,” he said. He described the incident as “an avoidable waste of time/resources, but at least entertaining to the toddlers of Pittsburgh!”
Juliet Martinez is the managing editor of The Homepage.