Public Safety Announcement – from Zone 2

At January’s community meeting, several residents raised concerns about public safety incidents in the neighborhood. Commander Kudrav and Lieutenant Vinansky from Zone 2 attended the meeting and were able to address a number of issues.  We thank the Commander for following up with the statement below:

Dear Polish Hill Residents,
On Sunday, Dec. 3, 2016 around 5 p.m., Zone 2 officers responded to a
call on Harmar Street for a domestic disturbance incident.  The
responding officer’s preliminary investigation brought forth an
indication that the suspect may return to the location later in the
day.  The officers appropriately prepared to apprehend the suspect.
When more officers are available for a higher risk task, we take
advantage of the opportunity with the goal to ensure the stability and
safety of the community and officers. I offer the following
information as a reference to provide context to why so many officers
responded and the importance of officer safety practices in any law
enforcement profession:

The FBI reports 96 law enforcement officers died in the line of duty
in the United States in 2014. 51 of those officers were outright
killed by suspects the officers encountered just doing their everyday
job.

Now on the other hand, each officer is held to a high standard of
professionalism in all of their actions and performance. It is
important that I am informed of poor interactions our officers have
with any community members. As an organization, we are learning that our community members can be equally effected by the processes of law enforcement in their neighborhoods as the end results. I am looking into concerns that were shared with me in this regard. I will inform your group leaders of my findings as appropriate.

Additionally, I alerted all shift supervisors of the armed robbery
reported by a group member. Zone 2 shift supervisors will assign
targeted patrols to Polish Hill. This was a serious crime of violence
that was not fully communicated to Zone 2 for a timely response. For
this I apologize. I notified Zone 2 plainclothes detectives of the
reported armed robbery and one of our detectives is working the case.
He has tried several times to get in contact with the victim. The
detective has also responded to the location to gather more evidence.

Looking toward the future, I will inquire as to what instruction is
available for community groups to better understanding what happens
when someone calls 9-1-1. Also, I am inquiring about the possibility
of community personal safety training.

Anna Kudrav, Commander
Pittsburgh Bureau of Police
Zone 2 Station
2000 Centre Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
412-255-2827
anna.kudrav@pittsburghpa.gov
FBINA #255

The traffic calming committee needs you!

PHCA_HerronAvetraffic

Speeding and cut-through traffic affect all residents to some degree. Those of us who live on or near the busiest streets: Melwood and Herron avenues, Brereton or Paulowna street, are probably the most affected, with speeding cars and the sheer volume of rush hour traffic causing daily aggravation.

The PHCA traffic calming committee is looking for people who are interested in traffic, bike and pedestrian issues. Even if you don’t have time to attend every monthly meeting, the committee could use your help to find solutions to the most pressing traffic issues in our neighborhood. If you’d like to be involved, email kalie@phcapgh.org to find out more.

Damage caused by speeding on Herron Avenue

120914HerronS-curve_sign hit

Last night a car drove up on the hillside at the Herron Avenue S-curve, knocking over the neighborhood sign and flattening the bushes and plantings. This part of the curve is hit frequently; the stone wall was badly damaged by another vehicle this fall. This is also where pedestrians cross, so the frequency of accidents is of particular concern.

Incidents like this highlight the need for long-term solutions to the problem of speeding and cut-through traffic. The issue is complicated.  Roads are public thoroughfares and Polish Hill’s location means that it’s the only quick route between certain points, so vehicles are going to come through. City traffic engineers and Zone Traffic Division are looking at the problem and have advised us that the best way to address the issue is to make it difficult for drivers to speed. If it’s not as quick and easy to cut through Polish Hill, more drivers will stay on the main roads, and the vehicles that do come through will move more slowly.

We’re collecting feedback from residents in order to see what traffic calming measures they want, and where, with the Polish Hill Traffic Calming Survey. The majority of responses thus far support speed humps (not speed bumps, which are higher). The most-requested location is Melwood Avenue, followed by Herron Avenue and Paulowna Street, all streets that are particularly affected by cut-through rush hour traffic.

Another way to support traffic calming solutions is to file a 311 report. Let the City know the impact that speeding and cut-through traffic have on you, and what solutions you want to see.

 

Fill out the Polish Hill traffic calming survey!

slowdown

Some of the most difficult issues facing our neighborhood are related to traffic, particularly the number of vehicles that cut through Polish Hill and the speed at which many drivers move through our streets.  We’ve been working with Zone 2 traffic division, District 7 Council office, and the City of Pittsburgh to find ways to slow down and perhaps reduce the traffic that comes through our neighborhood.

To request traffic calming improvements such as crosswalks, signage or speed humps, we need to have data to make the case, including as much input as possible from residents.  To that end, we’ve created a traffic calming survey.  If this is an issue you care about, please take a few minutes to fill out the survey.

Fill out the survey online, or pick up a paper copy at the PHCA office.

And if you use the East Busway, you might want to check out this mindmixer document from GoBurgh.  You can add your own ideas to the document, which was created for residents to talk about what they like and don’t like about the bus way and the areas surrounding it.

Public meetings to help with search for a new police chief

city-of-pittsburgh-seal

Mayor Peduto and acting Public Safety Director Stephen A. Bucar have announced that the upcoming public phase of the city’s search for a new Pittsburgh Police chief will include six public meetings and a site for online remarks.  They’ll use that input to help write the standards profiling the best applicants for the position.

The first public meeting will be in Zone 2 and will take place on Thursday, June 26 at 6:00 p.m. at the Teamster’s Temple at 4701 Butler Street in Lawrenceville.

Throughout the summer, Public Safety Councils in all six of Pittsburgh’s policing zones will hold forums to provide residents with the opportunity to be involved in the process of selecting a chief.   During these community forums, residents in each zone will have the opportunity to share their ideas about how to improve policing in Pittsburgh, identify their priorities, and suggest the qualities they believe are essential in the new chief.

In conjunction with the meetings to gather feedback on this important decision, the city has set up a platform for citizens to register their opinions online. The formal launch this week of the city’s Mindmixer site is the latest digital component to the administration’s community engagement efforts.

Mindmixer is a site for encouraging and collecting community input on civic issues. Those interested in the search for a police chief may log on to http://pittsburghpa.mindmixer.com/ and answer three general questions:

– What priorities does your community need the new Chief of Police to address?

– What qualities and skills does your community need the new Chief of Police to have?

– What can you and others in your community do to help realize the vision of policing in partnership with the community?

Read the Post-Gazette article about the search for a new police chief.

 

 

 

Commander in Your Corner in Polish Hill

All residents are invited to meet Zone Two Commander Eric Holmes on Friday, August 23 from 10:00 a.m. to noon.  This is an opportunity for residents and stakeholders to walk their neighborhood with the commander and talk about safety and quality of life issues.

Representatives from the PHCA, the Mayor’s office, Public Works and Bureau of Building Inspection will be on hand.

Calling on the Polish Hill snow and ice clearing team!

It’s still snowing at the moment, and it’s very pretty, but we’re already thinking about what comes next:  clearing the snow and preventing ice from forming.  Our stair stewards have already begun their work.  For other neglected stretches of sidewalk or steps, we’re calling on any other residents who feel like helping out.  If you have a shovel, some energy, and maybe an extra bag of salt, your help is needed.  First, look around your street.  Are there sidewalks in front of empty buildings, or a bus stop?  Are there elderly or disabled residents who might not be able to clear their sidewalks?

If your street looks well-cleared, put that shovel over your shoulder and take a walk around the neighborhood.  It’s not just shoveling that’s needed.  The temperatures have been below freezing for so many days that already icy conditions become more dangerous for being hidden underneath a new layer of snow.

We’ve already heard from one resident on Phelan who reports a massive ice slick (water from underground streams flow over the street year-round) that is endangering pedestrians and cars alike.  There’s a salt box near the top of Phelan, left by the City to help residents battle the icing problems that have bedeviled this byway for decades.  As the icy patches are on a road, we’ve 311’d it, and the City salt trucks should show up.  But Phelan is a less-used side street, so help might not be for a little while.  If you live near Phelan, or just feel like helping out, let’s get some salt or other traction on the icy patches.

(A group of volunteers head out to shovel after the big snowstorm of February 2010.  PHCA photo)