Let me clarify
In Fran and Joe Tarkett’s letter to the editor on July 29, entitled We Understand the Problem, there are several claims made that warrant clarification.
The letter states the two have made “20 plus pleas to 311 and Bruce Kraus’ office” in an effort to address their concerns regarding speeding on Pius St.
Submissions of requests or concerns to the City’s Response Center are often called, emailed, or tweeted to 311 directly from residents of the City of Pittsburgh.
When calls come in from constituents to the city’s 311 line my City Council Office is not notified directly a submission has been made regarding the Third Council District. My office does, however, have access to search all submissions made within the district as a matter of official record, and we looked into the history of Mr. and Mrs. Tarkett’s concerns.
According to the official 311 record, a total of seven submissions have come in from Fran and Joe Tarkett regarding speeding on Pius St. These submissions were made on 3/28/11, 2/09/12, 1/31/13, 3/5/13, 4/1/13, 6/13/13 and 7/14/14.
The first four of these submissions have been marked “Completed” by Pittsburgh Police, with notes stating either “will advise sector vehicles to monitor and act accordingly” or “will assign to appropriate department to take under advisement or begin an investigation.” The following three submissions are presently marked “Acknowledged,” which means they have been successfully submitted to the police to act accordingly.
The letter also states “20 plus pleas” have been made to “Bruce Kraus’ office.”
My office maintains a meticulous record of constituent contact (which is a matter of public record) and compiles a District 3 Report with a full analysis of calls and concerns of the residents who reach out to us. To date, my office has not received a single form of communication from Fran or Joe Tarkett regarding speeding on Pius St. None.
The letter also states at a meeting in the South Side Slopes, I responded to a question from the Tarkett’s saying “Keep calling 311,” rendering them “speechless.”
What I instructed them, and countless others who have witnessed problems with illegal behavior to do, is to keep calling 911 and reporting to police what is happening. The reason for me telling them and others to do this is to help establish a record with the Bureau of Police that will clearly demonstrate the need for increased police presence and monitoring, and provide the funding to do so.
My staff is very firm in our policy that we will never instruct constituents to “just keep calling 311;” our role is to assist them directly and we always submit reports to 311 and follow up for them on their behalf.
The Tarkett’s letter also referenced the City Traffic Engineer, Amanda Broadwater, and the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control.
Speaking directly with Ms. Broadwater again today, she again confirmed for me section 2B.04, Paragraph 05, clearly states “Yield or Stop signs should not be used for speed control.” The city, unfortunately,cannot simply install a stop sign as a solution to the problem as we are not permitted to do so under state law. In that regard, my hands are tied.
My office is always happy to assist in finding solutions to the problems facing residents of District 3, and I believe our record of constituent services reflects that policy. All they have to do is call.
Bruce A. Kraus
Councilman, Third Council District