Aspinwall Council – Administrative Meeting Recap 3-3-2021

The Council Meeting on March 3, 2021, was informative.  The first portion of the meeting pertained to Freeport Road and the second portion of the meeting included a regular Administrative Council Meeting.  The three major topics covered were safety on Freeport Road, the continued road speed studies, and the implementation of a pilot program called the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (“LEAD”) program that would add a social worker to the police force to handle matters where police officers would not be the best responders to a particular incident.

This is a slide copied from the TranSystems presentation on Wednesday night, it shows shortcomings on Freeport Road. I utilized Snipet to caption the image from the presentation but the actual slides are available through the Borough.

With regard to Freeport Road, Council was joined by two members of TranSystems who provided a presentation on their August 2019 study with regard to Freeport Road and their corresponding recommendations with regard to the same.  TranSystem Representatives, Brian Krull and Todd Libengood, provided a presentation showing their findings and recommendations in the study.  During this meeting, borough members were able to ask questions about the Borough’s plans.  It was generally agreed that there is a large amount of traffic on Freeport Road and the engineers were able to make recommendations based upon this problem.  One notable recommendation was to incorporate signage onto Freeport Road that would reroute traffic more efficiently back onto Route 28 for the purpose of preventing unnecessary traffic flow onto Freeport Road and through Aspinwall. 

The engineers identified three broad areas within which Freeport Road could be improved, including making repairs and improvements to the sidewalks, intersections, and the corridor generally.  To mitigate and address safety deficiencies, the engineers recommended: placing a bike-way through the borough; making improvements and repairs to the existing signals, lighting, and crosswalks; and restructuring the corridor.  The actual study and recommendations are more thorough, however, above are the broad recommendations and concerns.  Councilperson Tim McLaughlin indicated that the Borough will have to form a plan for implementing portions of the study.

This is a slide copied from the TranSystems presentation on Wednesday night, it shows mitigation efforts to address Freeport Road shortcomings.

With regard to the roadway speed studies, Mayor Noro reviewed speed studies that had been performed between 2nd Street and 4th Street on Eastern Avenue.  The average speed of the vehicles speed displayed was 12.6 mph (during the study which occurred between 2 pm and 5 pm) and without the displayed speed was 13.5 mph.  The study also reviewed 2nd Street from Center Avenue to Eastern Avenue.  With the speed displayed, the average speed was 14.95 mph and without the display it was 16.1 mph.  The study will move to Center Avenue and Western Avenue next.  If you would like your roadway studied, contact Mayor Noro with the times, days, and roadways that you suggest. 

With regard to the new LEAD program, this pilot study will allow a social worker to be available to the Aspinwall Community currently without costs.  Councilperson Marcia Cooper introduced the initiative as a plan to work against domestic violence and drug abuse in our community.  This social worker would be a shared resource between Blawnox, O’Hara, Sharpsburg, and potentially Etna. 

Other key events during the meeting included brick repairs, continued work on the Comprehensive Plan for Aspinwall, approval of a 10 year Franchise Agreement with Comcast Cable, the introduction of an ordinance banning Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons, and updates on park projects and railroad crossing improvements.   

Blog By: Mary Hancock

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