Rick Sebak visited Polish Hill this fall to film a segment on his show, “25 Things I Like About Pittsburgh”. PHCA board member Valerie Testa was passing by while he was filming, and introduced herself. Valerie was excited to meet Rick, and had a lengthy conversation with him about our neighborhood. When he told her that he was there to do a segment about a secret shortcut that goes through Polish Hill, Valerie voiced her concerns about highlighting Gold Way on a television program. She told him that there had been several accidents along that street in the past year, and that cut-through drivers, who are often speeding as well, are a big problem in Polish Hill — particularly on the very route he planned to feature. After their conversation, Val told several of her neighbors how glad she was to be able to make Rick aware of an issue that’s so important to us.
A few months later, the program aired, and not only did Rick Sebak talk about how great it was to cut through Polish Hill, #15 on his list was “short cuts,” which highlighted the very short cut that Valerie discouraged Rick from promoting. In fact, he showed it turn by turn from Baum Blvd to Liberty Avenue. Due to the number of accidents and speeding cars that already plague this part of our neighborhood, many residents were particularly dismayed and angry that this short cut was highlighted, for fear that it would increase the amount of traffic using this road as a short cut.
PHCA president Alexis Miller issued this statement on Facebook:
The PHCA would like to express our regret and disappointment with Rick Sebak’s portrayal of Polish Hill as a shortcut in the recent show “25 Things I Like About Pittsburgh.” We have been working very hard to discourage the use of Melwood/Gold Way as a shortcut and to make our streets safer for our residents. In fact, one of our board members talked to him (on film) about our concern of promoting this dangerous road when he came here to shoot. We would like to invite him back for a tour to see that there is a lot more to like in Polish Hill, especially if you get out of your car.
We do appreciate that Rick also said some very nice things about Polish Hill too, and that #16 was the view from Dobson. We agree that this is one of the best neighborhoods in Pittsburgh. We can only hope that if people do take his suggestion to visit Polish Hill, they come here by a different route.