South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

By Margaret L. Smykla
Contributing Writer 

Slopes residents ask police commander about public safety issues


The October 13 general meeting of the South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association (SSSNA) began with the new Zone 3 commander, Karen Dixon, introducing herself and answering attendees’ questions.

For the last five years, she has worked on the Zone 5 night shift. She became Zone 3 commander in July.

“It’s a nice area. I enjoy learning about it,” she said.

SSSNA President Brian Oswald began by telling her there are streets so narrow that fire trucks sometimes cannot get in or out, especially when cars are parked on them, and often near intersections.

Compounding the problem is cars parked by hydrants.

Commander Dixon said if a car is parked too close to an intersection, call 911. An option is drawing lines on streets.

If a car is parked by an intersection or hydrant, the department will run the license plate and probably talk to the owner. She said it costs a lot of money to tag and tow, whereas results occur sooner if the police can have the owner move their vehicle.

For cars with all four wheels parked on sidewalks, she said to call 911.

An attendee raised concerns about the closed Angel’s club on Josephine St. She said for years there were accidents, and trash and parking problems, at the site before it shut down.

These days, there appears to be activity there again.

Kevin Kerr, chief of staff for city Councilman Bruce Kraus, said the owners’ attorney said they are just winterizing the building.

But Mr. Kerr added they are doing so under the watchful eye of the district attorney, and Mr. Kraus’ office.

Mr. Oswald next told the commander that the SSSNA began a trash initiative, and some Mission and Eleanor streets addresses are having problems with trash.

Commander Dixon said she would look into the history of the addresses for citations.

An attendee said she frequently walks by the Rite Aid at 23rd and Jane streets, and motorists do not stop at the stop signs.

The commander said she would monitor the site, and tell the shifts to assign someone to it.

Another attendee said weekdays between 3:30 and 6 p.m., about 500 cars an hour come up Salisbury St. as a shortcut from Arlington Ave. Her car has been hit three times.

“I feel like I live on a highway,” she said.

Commander Dixon said she would look into the situation.

To a question about what do to when observing youngsters ages 12-16 being truant on local streets, she concluded her question-and-answer session by saying to call the school police.

Next, Mr. Kerr said $1.3 million was received from the federal government to restructure the 18th and Josephine streets intersection. The reason for the funding is to keep the public and drivers safe. There will be a community process on how best to secure the area, including installing a traffic light.

He said the reason a “no left turn” sign was posted at the intersection was the frequency of accidents there.

In announcements, Grant Gittlen, manager of the city’s Office of Community Affairs, said the fall city-wide public safety meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 21 at the Pittsburgh Project, 2801 N. Charles St.

The guest speaker will be Mayor William Peduto.

He also said the deadline is Nov. 2 to apply for the Love Your Block 2016 program. Twenty projects will be selected to transform their blocks with $1,000 grants.

In his update on the 15th annual StepTrek on Oct. 3, Mr. Oswald said despite the rainy, cold weather, the total revenue of $13,631 beat the previous revenue by $600. The gross amount raised was $20,066.

There were 496 total sales, and $14,500 raised in sponsorships.

Next, Peter Kreuthmeier said a $10,000 grant was received for a plaque, or gateway marker, at the intersection of McArdle Roadway and Windom St. The plaque will display a “Welcome to the Slopes” and a “Welcome to the Flats” message, depending on which direction the motorist is driving.

Once the city Dept. of Public Works approves the plan it will proceed.

To a question about the 18th St. pylon, Mr. Kreuthmeier said it had a poor engineering design. Lamar Advertising has offered free electricity to turn the lights on.

In SSSNA news, the organization received a $15,000 grant from the Birmingham Foundation for South Side Park development.

The grant will go toward building trails and funding a youth program in the park.

In elections, Mr. Kreuthmeier chose not to run for reelection, and retired from the board. Gavin Robb was elected to fill his seat. The slate of current board members up for election was approved.

The annual holiday party will be held at 7 p.m. on Dec. 8 at the St. Paul of the Cross Monastery Retreat Center, 148 Monastery Dr.


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