PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — If you asked your customers how well your business was serving them and 76 percent said “poor,” it would definitely get your attention.

That’s just what PennDOT is hearing from its “customers” that use the Parkway East every day. Poor when it comes to the rush hour traffic.

PennDOT asked for it, literally. District 11 conducted a survey of those who use the Parkway East at least three time a week to commute and got the results it pretty much expected.

But this was far more than a satisfaction survey.

From that pot of money called the Transportation Funding Bill, there is $5 million for improvements on the Parkway East over the next few years and PennDOT wants to know what the drivers would like to see done first.

“We don’t have a mega project to reconstruct the entire parkway east,” says District 11 Executive Dan Cessna. “We want to focus on things we can afford that will bring improvements to safety and mobility to the Parkway East.”

Already from the survey, drivers have identified areas they would like to see improved. Included in what Cessna is calling the “menu of possibilities” would be:

Reworking the outbound Squirrel Hill Ramps before you get to the tunnel to eliminate weaving which snarls the traffic daily.

Finding a way to prevent the cars entering eastbound at Churchill from cutting across three lanes of traffic to exit at Rt. 22 Monroeville.

Consider eliminating one of the eastbound on ramps at Swissvale. There are currently two ramps with dangerously short acceleration ramps.

The most often repeated suggestion is one PennDOT simply can not afford to, “Do something about the Squirrel Hill Tunnel.”

Everything from widening the existing tunnels to drilling a third tube to creating a bypass around Squirrel Hill have been suggested.

Cessna says those ideas are all out of the question, “We could spend millions of dollar to investigate that and never have the billion dollars to build it.”

So instead PennDOT will now study the suggestions and hopes to begin some meaningful improvements sooner rather than later.

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