City Has Change Of Heart Over One-Way Street

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Some people who live on the North Side say they were caught off guard when their one-way street suddenly switched directions this week.

But after getting in touch with KDKA’s Jim Lokay, city officials have had a change of heart.

“You tend to not look at your environment when you’re so familiar with it,” said Barbara Luderowski, of the Mattress Factory art gallery. “That stood out. When I got to that corner, I said, ‘The sign’s going the wrong way!’”

Luderowski says it all started some years ago when neighbors petitioned the city to reverse the direction of Sampsonia Way to slow down speeders.

“Between then and a couple of days ago when they changed the signs, no one said, ‘We’re about to do this; we’re coming down the alley.’ Nothing,” said Luderowski.

“For them to change the road like [that], I think it’s going to cause an accident,” added Robert Steadman, who lives nearby.

However, there are others who want to see the change made permanent.

“They come up here 100 miles an hour,” said Irv Sauerman, who works nearby. “So, it’s a good idea in my opinion.”

However, just two days after those signs went up, crews spent part of Friday afternoon changing Sampsonia Way back.

KDKA’s Jim Lokay reports that Pittsburgh Public Works director Rob Kaczorowski says a petition did go around about a year ago to change the direction on Sampsonia.

After a study, the decision was made to put the signs up. However, they are down again for now pending further investigation.

  • Tim Nuttle

    This is dumb. I’m in favor of the direction change, but there should have been some advance notice to those who live on the street. You have to know what direction to go when you exit your garage, for example! That being said, switching it back–also with no notice!–is even worse. Well enough should have been left alone.

  • Henry Reese

    Owners of 21 of the 23 properties on Sampsonia Wa wrote letters to the City, requesting the change in direction. The other 2 did not object, but were unreachable when neighbors did the petitioning to the City (one is an absentee owner of a vacant building). The implementation could have been smoother, but all agreed that the idea was excellent. The change in direction was 100% endorsed by alley residents and institutions.

    Residents expressed concern about the volume of speeding traffic, using the alley as a short cut between Brighton and Federal Streets. One neighbor even posted a self-erected Stop sign to slow traffic down. The alley has no sidewalks and cars are parked on one side, leaving a narrow corridor shared by cars and pedestrians. The alley is a busy walkway, used by many people and children.

    Sampsonia Way is also a main walkway for visitors to the Mattress Factory and City of Asylum/Pittsburgh artworks. The visitors walk the alley to gaze at the facades of houses and stand in the middle of the alley (since there are no sidewalks), exposed to the speeding cars.

  • Heather Pinson

    Tim, Henry, myself, and any others who live nearby now how dangerous this street is. There are many people who walk on Sampsonia Way to visit the Mattress Factory Museum or City of Asylum’s “poetry row” houses who suddenly find themselves playing a loosing game of chicken between themselves and a speeding vehicle. It is unbelievable how fast people drive and blow through stop signs in residential areas throughout the city, and this particular street is worse with no signs of improving even with a petition to the city sent in years ago,

    Pittsburgh and police officials would benefit from the thousands of dollars they could make each month through speeding tickets if they witnessed the drivers on Sampsonia Way.

  • Don Orkoskey

    @Heather – you’ve got to pay for signs and labor yourself if you want them put up. Right By Nature in the Strip had to pay for the 4 way stop signs at 24th and Smallman and the labor to put them up.

  • Don Orkoskey

    I should say put back up.

  • tomsarver

    I’d like to see some speed bumps and a couple more stop signs on Sampsonia!

  • Henry Reese

    Is there anyone actually opposed to changing the direction? is this a tempest in a teapot?

  • heather pinson

    Hey Henry,

    No, I don’t believe so. I have talked to a few more people about changing the direction and they were all for it. They did not like the abruptness of the direction being changed before, but that’s it. Let me know if I can help in any way.

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