By Juliet Martinez
The city will install safety measures to slow traffic on two stretches of Hazelwood Avenue late this summer, according to the Department of Mobility and Infrastructure.
The department confirmed in an email that it plans to install ramped platforms called speed tables on Hazelwood Avenue between Second Avenue and Gladstone Street, and between Bigelow Street and Greenfield Avenue.
“It’s a long time coming. Should have been done,” said Reverend Michael Murray, who lives on Hazelwood Avenue across from Gladstone School.
He said in his 26 years living there, he and other residents have complained repeatedly about speeders crashing into parked cars, side mirrors getting knocked off cars - including three of his – and pedestrians being involved in countless near misses.
“We are so glad to see what we believe is the end to that problem,” he said.
The mobility and infrastructure department, often known by the shorthand DOMI, reported that the traffic study conducted in late January and early February showed an average of 4,852 cars driving down the street every day. Half the drivers traveled faster than 35 miles per hour in spite of the 25-mile-per-hour speed limit. Almost all of the vehicles – 96% – exceeded the speed limit; 42% went at least 10 miles per hour over the speed limit. The fastest speed recorded was 86 miles per hour.
All cars will have to slow down to avoid a nasty jolt when they go over the speed tables, which the National Association of City Transportation Officials describes as “devices that raise the entire wheelbase of a vehicle.” Cars drive up a short ramp to the device’s flat top and then back down a short ramp to street level at the other end. Speed tables can be up to 22 feet long.
The traffic calming on Hazelwood Avenue has to wait for the completion of lead line replacement and other utility work happening now. It may end up coinciding with work on the Sylvan Avenue project.
On Sylvan Avenue, DOMI plans to re-pave the north-south side street and its sidewalks and installing traffic safety measures. One safety feature will be a pedestrian island to protect pedestrians crossing Hazelwood Avenue at Sylvan Avenue.
After finishing the work on Sylvan Avenue, DOMI plans to build a trail connecting it to Greenfield Avenue at its northern end.
The Sylvan Avenue work was slated to begin this month, but City of Pittsburgh press officer Emily Bourne wrote in an email that DOMI has yet to secure the necessary approvals and agreements with PWSA. The department now expects to break ground in late summer or early fall. For more information, visit https://engage.pittsburghpa.gov.