Last week, a motorcyclist was struck by a car and seriously injured on the S-curve at Gold Way. She was knocked unconscious and doesn’t recall exactly what happened, but it appears that the speed of the vehicles and narrowness of the road were factors. The driver who hit her left the scene.
And on May 31, a woman in a sedan was hit head-on by a small transport van at the intersection of Melwood Avenue and Finland Street. A resident at that intersection told us that an off-duty firefighter pulled over to help the woman, who was injured.
We don’t know the details of each of these accidents, but both illustrate the increasing problem of speeding and too much traffic on Gold Way and Melwood Avenue. Many drivers are non-residents who use this small, quiet back route as a shortcut between Oakland and the Strip. Many drive much too fast on this stretch where, in many places, there is only room for one vehicle at a time. It seems that every resident along Melwood has stories about damaged vehicles, near-misses, and accidents.
For years, residents have been asking the PHCA and local representatives for help in solving this problem. A number of solutions have been proposed: speed bumps, reducing the speed limit, making the road one-way, or closing it to through traffic, as it was in the 1980s. Any solutions that would help reduce the problem would come at the cost of some inconvenience to residents.
If cut-through drivers and speeding traffic on Melwood Avenue and Gold Way (or elsewhere in the neighborhood) have affected you, we’d like to hear about it. One of the goals in the Polish Hill Community Plan is to address this problem, and we are collecting data on the situation. If you would like to share your experiences or be part of the discussion, please come to the next community meeting on Tuesday, June 5. The meeting will be held in the senior center on the lower level of West Penn Recreation Center.
If you can’t attend the meeting, call 412.681.1950, or email us, with your input. By sharing information, we can start moving towards a solution. And to contact local officials directly to share your concerns, here is their contact information: District 7 Councilman Patrick Dowd, 412.255.2140, or email here; Senator Jim Ferlo, 412. 621.3006, or email here.
(Top: The Gold Way S-Curve. Bottom: the intersection of Melwood Avenue and Finland Street. Both photos taken in 2010.)