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Dangerous Pittsburgh intersection to get traffic light by 2018

After years of complaints, several accidents and one death, a dangerous Pittsburgh intersection is getting a major safety upgrade -- eventually. The South Pittsburgh Reporter discusses this development in a Jan. 12 article.

City Councilman Bruce Kraus announced that a traffic light will be installed at the intersection of S. 18th and Josephine streets in the South Side Slopes neighborhood. The intersection has long been a problem spot. Kraus noted that a young bicyclist was once killed in a crash nearby, and that the intersection has been the site of “a number of accidents.”

A 2008 study of by the South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association concluded that 18th Street’s width at that intersection makes it difficult for pedestrians to cross safely, and for motorists to turn onto the street from Josephine. The association recommended narrowing 18th Street.

The city has yet to go that far, but in 2009 it installed a “No Left Turn” sign. Now, thanks to a federal grant, a traffic light will be installed, though Kraus admits there is no timetable for when this will actually happen. He estimates that the necessary redesign of the intersection will be done within two years.

When an intersection lacks stop signs, traffic lights, crosswalks and other markers, pedestrians must take a significant risk every time they step off the curb. No matter how much they look out for traffic first, there is little they can do to stop a speeder or inattentive driver turning the corner from hitting them.

Safety devices like traffic lights can make a big difference, but as long as there are negligent motorists on the road, the risk of a pedestrian suffering serious injuries in an accident will never be eliminated.

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