Temporary ‘Miracle on John Street’ coming soon

You may have seen the last enormous tractor-trailer grumble its way up John Street, hoping to cut through to I-83 from Howard Avenue. Or maybe not. With luck, the Santas at the city’s  DOT will deliver a solution before the year (or at least the winter) is over.

Kevin Cross and his John Street neighbors have put in years of effort, documenting trucks, discussing possible solutions, and polling each other for opinions. Their effort has paid off, as they had all the info needed when BHCA finally achieved a DOT phone call in June.

Graham Young, a DOT planner who is tasked with traffic calming, had recently caused flex posts to be installed on Mt Royal, blocking left (north) turns from Lanvale Street. When the neighbors asked to close John Street, Graham was willing to try flex posts again. This is officially a temporary closure.

BHCA learned that a permanent closure requires a longer process (the mind boggles), as approval must go through the right-of-way division for a legal determination. We suspect that other neighborhood-proposed traffic calming solutions may have similar approval and legal challenges.

We leapt at the chance to implement a solution that DOT had, itself, proposed. The neighbors were able to demonstrate that they already had documented that over 70% residents approved of the measure–a key point for DOT. The neighbors and BHCA had also spoken with management of Sutton Place and obtained their agreement. That was in August.

Will flex posts be in this year’s gift delivery? Don’t hold your breath but do hope for the best!

–Amy Sheridan