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Letter to the Editor: Speeding in Cranberry's Residential Neighborhoods

Earl Grubbs writes that he believes Cranberry's public safety department does not have sufficient resources to protect residents from speeders.

Does it bother you to constantly see speeders violating the 25 mph speed limit on the streets of your neighborhood where children play? Do you ever wonder what our police force is doing or not doing to protect us from the perils posed by speeding vehicles that constantly endanger our children, elderly citizens, our property and our well being in general?

Can you imagine the external obsolescence this speeding problem causes to your property value? Do you wonder why this insidious problem never seems to abate?

Cranberry Township has budgeted in its 2012 budget $4,783,890 for public safety and this amount equates to 29 percent of the overall $16,520,134 general fund projected expenditures. Of this amount, Seven Fields (which was part of Cranberry Township until 1984) ponies up $337,074 for its 7.5 percent share of the 2012 CT police budget, a 2000 agreement for CT police to provide support for Seven Field’s population of 1,986 citizens and associated business.

CT’s public safety department consisting of one director, 28 policemen (one currently on medical leave), three admin and two part-time employees provides police support for 30,084 residents (CT’s 28,098 and Seven Fields 1,986) and a multitude of commercial and industrial businesses covering a 24 square-mile area.

It is my understanding that the recommended formula for public safety support is one police officer per 1,000 residents, which would equate to a staff of 30 police officers to support CT and Seven Fields. Considering CT’s staff of 28 policemen, of which one is convalescing, it appears that CT is understaffed by a minimum of two policemen and three when accounting for the tragic accident that imperiled Officer Hahn.

It is my understanding that the public safety department requested additional officers to fill the aforementioned shortfall for the 2012 budget, but was denied by the CT Board of Supervisors (CT BOS). This was the same CT BOS who approved the 2012 budget, which granted 10.5 net new personnel positions for other CT departments while denying the public safety department their critically required additional police officers.

Now, if you are still puzzled as to why CT cannot provide the requisite police support to mitigate the speeding problem in all of our residential neighborhoods, then wonder no more as this was a self-induced problem directly attributable to the inefficiencies of the CT BOS and CT township manager.

I am confident the CT BOS and township manager will tell you “we do not have the financial resources we need to fill every staffing requirement” and I accept that postulate only if 10.5 net new positions had not been added to the 2012 budget and only if every budget line item had been validated by the CT BOS. And sadly, $132,000 has been budgeted for overtime pay for police who constantly work additional hours due partially to the manpower shortage.

I do not believe the CT public safety department has sufficient resources to adequately protect its residents from incessant speeders who constantly run amuck through our neighborhoods. While I do not personally know of any person who has been visibly harmed from these scofflaws, one day it will surely be in the cards if CT does not take preemptive, corrective action to abate this problem in the very near term. 

As I have viewed the excesses in the 2012 Cranberry Township Board of Supervisors-approved budget, there are many budget line items in which the fat can be trimmed without raising taxes to pay for additional police officers.

And going forward, God forbid if just one CT speeder hits one of our precious few!

Earl Grubbs

Cranberry Township

John February 10, 2012 at 04:30 PM
Earl, I am not totally sure what neighborhood you live in, however, if you are so concerned with speeders in your neighborhood, may I make a suggestion? Try talking to your neighbors first. Most of the subdivisions in Cranberry Township, and Adams Township where I live, are "one way in, one way out" neighborhoods. In other words, the only people who have any real business being on these roads are those who live in the subdivision. You would be surprised at how many people hold the attitude of "Well, YOU can't speed in my neighborhood, but I CAN!". So give the ol' talking to your neighbors thing a try, hold a community meeting if necessary, you would be surprised at what can be accomplished my simply talking to people. Besides, your letter reads more like a complaint about theCranberry Township public safety budget not being used wisely, than a complaint about speeders.
Earl Grubbs February 10, 2012 at 05:53 PM
John, I live in Ehrman Farms subsidivision of which our roadway is a two way system consisting of three entrance and exit points. Ehrman Road is a main artery which connects to Garvin Ext. and Gate Dancer connects to Old Ehrman Road. Before Garvin Extension was extended past Ehrman Farms circa 2009, mainly the speeders in EF were the residents. As a former EF HOA Board Member, we sent numerous "speeding" letters to our homeowners, announced it many times during our annual meetings and via letters so the EF residents have been duly informed. Since the opening of Garvin Ext., non-EF traffic cuts thru EF via Ehrman Road and Old Ehrman Road thus adding more speeders to the mix. As a condition of the Garvin Ext., CT police agreed to more actively enforce the 25 MPH limit of which they did at first but since have long ignored. Additionally, I was instrumental in CT purchase of the speed timing trailer in which we have used at least twice a year in EF. Additionally, I have repeatedly talked with CT mgmt, called 911 numerous times and even reported speeding vehicles when I could read their license numbers. And yes the EF community continues to speed in EF along with numerous other cut-thru traffic, and my writing this article was my last stab at trying to get CT off the dime to protect our residents and home values when other repeated atempts to do so have failed. If my efforts can mitigate just one future accident/incident, then I submit my concerted efforts have been worthwhile.
KS February 11, 2012 at 10:00 PM
Come one, come all, to the Pinehurst 500. Bring your minivans and escalades. In a hurry to get Ricky to swim practice? No worries..that stop sign is optional. Late for that manicure? Speed…not an issue. Need to get that important text off…go for it. We welcome all ignorance, disrespect and remember..... it’s all about you!
Carolyn M. February 13, 2012 at 01:14 PM
Our stop signs are optional in Seven Fields too! You don't even have to slow down and pretend anymore.
Carla Robinson February 14, 2012 at 11:38 AM
I am sorry to say, but it seems as though the school buses are the worst offenders. I have a daughter who is not yet in school, and honestly, I am thinking I will drive her. There is a high school bus which I had the instance to follow (203) who was literally flying through the Pinehurst plan, well over the 25. He's not the only one, but he is by far the worst. I got behind him one day as I was headed to the YMCA and the speed limit is 25 through Ehrman Farms. The driver was going so fast he lost me in the "new" section of Garvin Rd. I called the school, who assured me something would be done, but never heard anything. I am also in total agreement with KS above, someones going to get hurt someday.
Christine Iwanski February 14, 2012 at 06:07 PM
I live a block away from an Elementary school and people blow the stop sign like it's cool. The stop sign also doubles as the bus stop. It's only a matter of time before a car rams the back of the school bus or hits a child crossing to get on/off of it.
Lorri February 15, 2012 at 02:07 AM
Earl, I have to agree with you, on the speeding problem in Cranberry area. Daily I feel like I am on an race track. Stops signs mean nothing.School buses red lights , mean stop, but people run right thur. Does any body realize, that there are children crossing the road! Cell phones, news papers & make up, is done behind the wheel.WHY? Why? What has happened to people? I use to enjoy shopping in CT, but choose not to dael with the traffic, the rude drivers and value my life. How do I know all this about Cranberry Twp,, because....... I drive one of thoses school buses, that picks up your children, fight the trafffic, People running my red light, and hope in my life time,, I never see a child hit by a car. Every day is a gamble. I wonder where the Ct police are also, as I never see them either,, Please!!! people Stop, look, listen and slow down...
Lorri February 15, 2012 at 02:10 AM
Well Said KS
JJ February 15, 2012 at 02:34 AM
Every neighborhood in America feels that it alone has a speeding problem that needs special attention. Hiring a new LEO solely for that purpose is a solution looking for a problem. Rather than citing anecdotes, cite some facts. Where does Cranberry stand against communities of equal size and LEO staffing for accidents and/or injuries due to speeding. It's my own anecdata, but I'll wager Cranberry is no better or worse than anywhere else. So what's the problem? I'm enjoying the NIMBY-ness in these comments. Everyone sees the problem in their neighborhood by people passing through...so where are these speeders coming from? They're the same people who complain when it's happening in their backyard but are happy to put the pedal to the metal when they're not in their own neighborhood. Earl (and others), I don't disagree that speeding is a problem and it's good to see an HOA try to take some action, but hiring someone just for that purpose might not be the best use of money. Now, hiring someone fulltime to watch the 19/228 light for red light runners...that's another story... :)
JenD February 15, 2012 at 01:42 PM
228 / 19? With all due respect, who cares. The common theme and concern of this article in neighborhood speeding and keeping children safe. In our neighborhood, Southridge Estates, a speeding teenager crossed over the side walk while driving, ran down 2 trees, a mailbox, & hit a parked car in a driveway. What If the weather had been nice that day & my children were riding scooters or using sidewalk chalk. People - this situation is a ticking time bomb. Unfortunately, people drive well over 40mph+ in our neighborhood, I wish I was exaggerating. As parents of small children, our level of anxiety is incredibly high when our children play in the yard, only a few steps away from drivers who would surely be unable to stop if our child chased a ball into the road. Patients are running thin in Southridge Estates. We have had it with people cutting through Seven Fields, our own speeding neighbors, & the CT police that have chosen to ignore this situation after several pleas and complaints. Spend a few hurs in these neighborhood, hand out some tickets, send a message. The current message says, "We don't care about the safety of your kids".

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