Results of a much-anticipated traffic study at Quaker Valley High School are expected to be revealed next week at the school board meeting, according to the district.
Tina Vojtko, district spokeswoman, said the school board will receive the results at the meeting, which begins at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 16 at Edgeworth Elementary School.
Pittsburgh-based firm David E. Wooster & Associates was hired in the spring to study the area surrounding the high school and to explore solutions that would alleviate safety issues in the long-term.
School officials say the traffic flow behind the school--and especially on Beaver Street during arrival and dismissal times--is a safety hazard that must be addressed.
No final decisions on long-term solutions will likely be made anytime soon.
In a statement read at last month’s legislative meeting, Board President Jack Norris cautioned that final plans are a ways off.
“A decision regarding a permanent solution – including the potential use of the properties adjacent to the school – cannot begin to be debated until after we receive guidance from our traffic experts based on data, research and best practices," Norris said. "Careful and thoughtful consideration is critical as we consider the long-term impact of a future high school renovation project that will likely occur at the end of the decade. Therefore, please know that a decision regarding a long-term solution will not be made in haste.”
Norris noted that Superintendent Joseph Clapper has had discussions with Leetsdale Mayor Pete Poninsky in regards to hiring a crossing guard during arrival and dismissal times.
Leetsdale resident John Kroeck asked Leetsdale Council Thursday night to consider placing a crossing guard at the high school.
Council President Joseph McGurk said he believes a better solution would be flashing lights, but if the district is willing to pay half, the borough would be “more than willing.” If split two ways, the district and Leetsdale would each pay about $1,800 for the remaining school year.
Vojtko said the traffic study is also expected to make recommendations regarding interim measures to improve pedestrian and traffic safety.
Forming a taskforce
After Tuesday's presentation, Vojtko said the district will establish a taskforce to further explore the traffic study and its recommendations. The committee will be comprised of a cross-section of the community that includes at least one neighboring property owner, she said.
The school district purchased two homes next to the high school and has had discussions with a third homeowner with plans to build a student drop-off, bus turnaround and parking lot. School officials say the school property is “site challenged” due to topography and size restrictions.
Members of the Concerned Taxpayers of Quaker Valley grassroots group contend that there are plenty of solutions to resolve the safety issue that don't involve tearing down houses.
Vojtko said the school board has no plans to acquire any additional property beyond the three homes.
The full report and a PDF of the traffic study presentation will be posted on the district’s website immediately after the meeting.