Line painting planned for next year as part of Oakmont’s pedestrian safety improvements

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An Oakmont pedestrian safety project, inspired by a traffic study and a borough Girl Scout, is planned for next year.

Borough officials earmarked $40,000 in the 2021 budget for line painting for crosswalks along Allegheny River Boulevard and Allegheny Avenue.

It is unclear how much painting could be done with that amount of money.

The decision to improve the crosswalks was done after reviewing a traffic study by Wooster and Associates of Pittsburgh and a report from resident Audrey Myers, a ninth-grader at Riverview High School.

“I think she inspired us to move forward on it, and she has given us a wonderful tool to work with,” Councilwoman Nancy Ride said. “We’re able to use it rather than doing our research with our own staff, and we thank her.”

Audrey examined about 120 intersections this past spring and noted the quality of the crosswalks and whether there were sidewalk ramps. Audrey also took photos of all of the intersections.

She submitted her data to the borough in March. Officials put that data into an interactive dashboard for Oakmont’s geographic information systems a few months later.

According to Audrey’s report, 53 of the intersections examined had crosswalks while 61 only had sidewalk ramps.

Out of those crosswalks, seven were listed in good condition, 20 in fair condition, 21 were poor and three earned mixed reviews.

Myers is a member of Girl Scout Troop 52359 in Oakmont and Boy Scout Troop 9143 in Monroeville.

Her efforts will go toward her Girl Scouts Silver Award.

The traffic study was released a few months ago. It included an analysis of traffic along Allegheny Avenue, Third Street and Cedar Way from Hulton Road to College Avenue.

The study showed several intersections were dangerous for walkers.

“We have a vehicle/pedestrian conflict in a lot of places,” borough manager Scot Fodi said. “If we did some improvements on signage and paint on the streets we’d have a better chance of lessening the conflicts.

Fodi said there were a lot of near misses this year and previous years, but no one was actually struck.

“There’s been no pedestrian incidents,” he said. “The accidents we are seeing at intersections happen to be driver incidents when they make bad judgments. If there’s an accident along Third Street and Hulton Road, typically it’s a driver trying to push the envelope and try to cross when they shouldn’t have.”

Wooster and Associates officials said most of the study data, such as how many cars travel throughout the borough, would likely be different now due to the covid-19 pandemic.

The crosswalks are expected to eventually look like piano keys and be uniform on the main streets and mid-block intersections.

Fodi said he plans to work with local contractors to find the best paint price. Bids could go out sometime in February.

Michael DiVittorio is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Michael at 412-871-2367, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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