I am writing in reference to the article, “Church Avenue residents say speed issues returned,” published March 17. This one block of Church Avenue has St. Mary’s Church and rectory and Leo Meyer Manor on one side and seven homes on the other side. Two of these homes have not been occupied for some time. The block had been two ways for years and in 2020 all of a sudden it was made one way. This presented a great inconvenience to us. I called the former mayor’s office and asked why. The answer I was given was that people were avoiding the lights on Chartiers Avenue. Excuse me, but as far as I know, people try to avoid lights in many places, if they can.
When reading the article, it sounds like there are an awful lot of cars speeding down our one block. I haven’t seen 25 cars in a day outside of a funeral at St. Mary’s Church or Sunday Masses. Yes, every once in a while someone speeds, but people speed everywhere. It is not a race track.
The article says that a petition was taken. I wonder how many names were on it. We have 45 residents in our building and I don’t know that any of them was asked to sign a petition. I live here and nobody even mentioned a petition. I know many of my residents were upset when the road was made one way and I was too. Recently, I talked with a couple neighbors and they said they signed the petition, but regret doing so, because they want the street to be two ways.
When it was one way, the only route out took you to Chartiers Avenue via Catherine Baker Knoll Street. There is no light and the on-coming traffic is blocked from view by cars parked on Chartiers Avenue. That is very dangerous! I told the mayor that it was an accident waiting to happen. It would have made more sense if they made it one way in the opposite direction, then people could get to Chartiers Avenue using the light on St. John’s Street.
A week after our block was made one way, there was a fire on Chartiers Avenue and all the traffic, including many semis, came down the alley and had great difficulty trying to get back on the main road because ours had been made one way and cars were parked on both sides of Catherine Baker Knoll Street.
You seldom see any neighbors on our street, so I cannot imagine why someone is insisting on the street being one way. I don’t think the ambulance personnel need the hassle either, and we get quite a lot of ambulances at our facility.
Instead of worrying about our side street, which is not a major problem to the residents of McKees Rocks, the mayor and council members’ time and energy – and the borough’s money – would be better spent on tearing down dilapidated houses, cleaning sewer lines, cutting branches back from utility lines and providing some safe areas for children to play.
Sister M. DeLourdes Macurak
Manager of Leo Meyer Manor