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Identity & Community

Pittsburgh Community Starts Project to Protect its Trick-or-Treaters

Halloween, the scariest night of the year, is always filled with plenty of things that go bump in the night, but there is one thing trick-or-treaters shouldn’t have to be afraid of - a speeding car.

The Polish Hill Civic Association (PHCA) is launching a project to help protect trick-or-treaters this Thursday night in that Pittsburgh community. Drivers going through the historic neighborhood will be met by volunteers at intersections, holding signs and giving out treats to safe drivers.

PHCA community outreach coordinator Leslie Clague says that speeding cars are a recurring problem for the residents.

“We border five other neighborhoods… we’re very close to downtown so we get a lot of cut through traffic especially at rush hour. A lot of drivers who are just zooming here through on their way home, and I think a lot of cases… they’re not really aware they’re driving through a really small residential community that has kids,” says Clague.

Due to past problems with reckless driving, Dobson Street and Melwood Avenue will have volunteers stationed at their intersections to encourage cautious driving. According to Clague, neighborhoods such as Polish Hill were never designed for this amount of vehicular traffic. The narrow winding streets now see thousands more cars every day than was intended.  

“We have a lot of problems with this,” says Clague, “I mean people are hitting parked cars and keeping going - people have been hurt. So we’re always about how do you calm the traffic how do you slow down drivers and make them aware that they’re going through a place where people live.”

Residents are also increasingly concerned because rush hour overlaps the 5:30 to 7:30 time set for trick-or-treating. Clague hopes that commuters traveling through any part of the city will take caution while driving this Thursday.

“We hope if anyone drives through Polish Hill on trick-or-treat night keep an eye out for these folks and even if you don’t see them, and anywhere you go, look out for kids, look out for people on foot.”