Now that improvements to Penn Valley Drive have been completed through Penn Valley Park, midtown resident Jeffery Psota is concerned that the overhaul has done little to protect a series of light poles in the median, which motorists had been knocking down on a regular basis.
“It seems nothing was straightened out in the curvature of the road, the light poles are in the same median, and they are already being knocked down again.”
As the Watchdog reported in May, the city’s project to upgrade Penn Valley Drive wasn’t designed specifically to protect the poles from errant drivers. Instead, it was to create a more parklike road with slower speeds, a gentler curve and narrower lanes. But parks officials thought the poles would be less vulnerable once the work was finished.
“Since all four lanes were opened in early November, only one pole has been hit throughout the entire stretch of Penn Valley Drive. This is a drop from previous years,” said Jimmi Lossing of the parks department.
Moreover, she said, no light poles have been lost on the stretch south of 29th Street where the department relaxed the curvature and increased sight lines. Among other things, Lossing said, the poles also are protected by a more robust curb, streetscaping and quicker removal of stormwater from the roadway, which many drivers think of as Broadway.
Several years ago, when Psota first raised the issue, the Watchdog was told that rock formations along Broadway limit the ability to move streetlights to the side of the road.
The Watchdog has an idea for the next improvement at Penn Valley Park: Make that off-leash area way bigger. As it is, there’s no place to talk in private with the perky papillon of his dreams.
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