Canonsburg residents at odds over closing of local road

September 12, 2017
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Karen Mansfield/Observer-Reporter
Canonsburg resident Tom Bouchard addresses council members Monday about the possible closure of McEwen Road, which residents in the East End use to get to Southpointe and avoid heavy Canonsburg traffic at certain times of day. Order a Print
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Celeste Van Kirk/Observer-Reporter
The intersection of McEwen Road and Breezewood Drive Tuesday Order a Print

A group of Canonsburg residents opposed to a proposal to close McEwen Road at the border of Cecil Township attended Monday’s Canonsburg Borough Council meeting to urge council members to keep the road open.

The residents’ attendance at the meeting was spurred by a petition presented to council members in August by a group of residents who were seeking help to stop motorists from speeding and running stop signs on McEwen.

McEwen Road, in the borough’s East End, serves as a through-way to Southpointe and enables motorists to bypass traffic on Morganza Road, a main entrance to the business and industrial park.

The residents who appeared at Monday’s council meeting believe that if the road is closed, it will negatively affect their property values, increase emergency response times and increase commute times for motorists who work in Southpointe and use the road to avoid heavy traffic on Morganza during certain times of day.

Residents who live on McEwen say motorists disregard the 15-mph speed limit on the road and ignore stop signs. They also contend traffic in the neighborhood has increased as a result of people using the road to get to Southpointe.

Tom Bouchard, who lives on Shamrock Lane and works in Southpointe, said many of his neighbors who live on the road bought their homes because of the access to Southpointe.

“I do know (McEwen) is the lifeblood for our neighborhood to get to Southpointe, without having to go all the way down through Canonsburg,” Bouchard said.

He proposed that instead of closing McEwen, the borough address speeding concerns.

Borough council President R.T. Bell assured residents in attendance that the borough is not “going to run up there tomorrow and close it off.”

“We’re looking at other options. We’re going to look at what we can do to make it better over there for everybody,” said Bell.

Bell said those options include increasing enforcement of the speed limit on McEwen and installing speed humps to slow traffic.

On Tuesday, police put additional patrols on McEwen and plan to strictly enforce the speed limit.

The borough had contacted Cecil Township by letter to discuss the possible road closure but has not yet talked with township officials about the matter.

Said Bell, “We’re not leaning one way or the other. We want to do what’s best for everyone up there.”

Karen Mansfield is an award-winning journalist and mom of five who has been a staff writer for the Observer-Reporter since 1988. She enjoys reading, the Pittsburgh Steelers, a good glass of wine and nice people.

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