Another hit-and-run on Liberty Ave

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the b.rad

There was another hit-and-run on Liberty Avenue yesterday (3/30/2013). That makes two hit-and-runs in Bloomfield this month.

Here are links to the coverage of yesterday’s hit-and-run:

Here’s the tweet about MJai’s:

There has been little to no coverage about MJai.

How can we get more coverage for her?

How can we prevent more hit-and-runs from happening? How do we convey to people that leaving the scene of a hit-and-run is UNACCEPTABLE? How do we change the mindset that a hit-and-run can be committed with little to no legal penalty or community backlash? People must understand that a hit-and-run is a CRIME.


Yet another? Incredible, and horrible. Sounds like maybe the driver stopped this time, tho. Condolences to the Vida family. This just sucks……


Brad, a couple of years ago the city’s clearance rate for homicides was 50%, meaning if you shot somebody, you had a 50/50 chance of getting away with it. (That might not exactly be true, not sure how the numbers changed over time)

We let kids starve in this country and abroad, we blow kids up, we let kids shoot each other and don’t stop the flow of guns or bullets, we’re a domination society that uses force to solve our disputes at home, with our children and abroad. We are a culture permeated with violence.

I imagine the vast majority of this board membership is fairly insulated from this violence, or doesn’t recognize their participation in it, but it’s there. Work towards a less violent society, and I bet you can reduce hit and runs.

Criminalizing murder didn’t stop murder, didn’t stop people from selling drugs, didn’t stop rape, spousal abuse, etc, etc. I’m dubious it will stop hit and runs.


We’re sending all the mayoral candidates our election questionnaire today. There is a question specifically about hit and runs and what they as mayor would do to put a stop to them.

I’m making phone calls today to find out more information about Saturday’s hit-and-run. Hearing lots of strange things about that one. I’ll report more when I have good info.

MJai – there will be two fundraisers coming up for them and it will be a great opportunity to get media attention for their life-altering crash.

Dan Yablonsky’s trial is coming up soonish. Possibly as early as May, but it could be postponed. This will also be a great opportunity to raise awareness around devastating hit-and-runs going into election season.

I think there’s also opportunity to do a campaign at various intersections with signs that range from “Help put a stop to hit-and-runs” “Hit-and-runs must stop” “We are not road kill, render aid!” and then signs with victims names on them. I would suggest waiting till late April/early May for this to coincide with the last push for the Mayor’s race.


If anyone reading this thread hasn’t signed our petition, please do so.


FYI: Jon Schmitz@pgtraffic is the Twitter handle for this traffic writer for the Pittsburgh Gazette. I just sent him a msg asking him to please help add us to the stream of consciousness (if they have one!) of motorists. Maybe some of you could, too.

Perhaps if we assemble a useful list of Twitter addresses (of councilmen, journalists, mayor, etc…) on this site, we can use it as a starting point when these incidents happen, as they will.

It’s no quick fix or silver bullet but perhaps if leaders and representatives or other players receive a barrage of e-attention in the first 24 to 48 hours post-incident EVERYTIME, it may be one of the easiest ways for us to raise our visibility on the radar. Thoughts?


Here are the people running for mayor:
AJ Richardson is not on Twitter, but you can contact him here

There’s a lot on council. Maybe someone else can help dig those up?


Thank you, Scott. I plan on starting an informal message campaign of my very own. I’m getting ready to ride right now but will check back later or tomorrow, and add anyone I can think of or research on the internet.

Here’s a thought. I was reading some PGH-centric magazine the other day and there was a write-up of a local guy who’d set up an international Human Rights umbrella organization of sorts…

I am not proposing anyone campaign against hit-and-runs on an HR basis (although it may not be a bad idea, either), but was mostly thinking of this guy’s network. He’s tied into all the campuses and various information chains. Obviously, plenty of the people he works with use cycling and might possibly be on board with a peripheral issue like Cycling in Pittsburgh.

Theoretically, he could mobilize a metric shit-ton of people that probably have smart phones, use Twitter, and ride a bike or have friends that ride bikes in PGH.

Does that sound too farfetched? The squeaky wheel gets the grease….


When I ride on weekend nights after 10, I try to NOT let cars pass me on the street.

If a car comes, I assume the driver is falling down drunk. I’m wrong some of the time (maybe). I get off the road.

This is slow. I mean, I’m famous for being slow, but this is really slow. When I go from Edgewood to Oakland, I do it at about half flock speed.

Liberty avenue is huge frustration. The lights are all blinking yellow.

That means, instead of waiting for a bolus of cars to pass when they have a green light, and having a free road(!) when cars are stopped for the red light, the drunkards are spaced out along the road. A few drunkards will obey the speed laws and other drunkards running up to tailgate the next driver as fast as they can.

And it’s not like you can trust drivers on Liberty at midnight Saturday, is it?

I think that keeping the lights red and green instead of blinking yellow on the weekends might make a difference in all these hit and runs that the police don’t seem to care to investigate.

In any case, it would make a huge difference in how fast I could go up or down liberty.


I’d be interested in a list of what these people have done with cycling before they started running for mayor

Candidates seem to promise the world when they’re running and then settle for the status-quo when elected, so I’d be more interested in their history as opposed to their future promises

I imagine we’re going to get a lot of “I’ve always been a supporter of riding my bike on the trails!”

buffalo buffalo

scott wrote:There’s a lot on council. Maybe someone else can help dig those up?

Every member of council has a twitter account, somewhat to my surprise, but they vary widely in how much they use them. As far as I can tell, only Dowd has a separate account for his office, but several have separate personal, campaign, and/or office facebook accounts.

D1: Harris. @Darlene4Pgh //
Personal FB::darlene.harris.35
D2: Kail-Smith. @Smithdistrict2 //
Personal FB::theresa.k.smith.5 //
Office FB::district.2
D3: Kraus. @BruceKraus //
Personal FB::Bruce.A.Kraus //
Office FB::PittsburghDistrict3
D4: Rudiak. //
@nataliarudiak //
Personal FB::natalia.rudiak.54 //
Campaign FB::58967253134
D5: O’Connor. @CoreyOConnor2 //
Personal FB::corey.oconnor.161 //
Office FB::PittsburghDistrict5
D6: LaVelle. @RDLavelle //
Office FB::LavelleDistrict6
D7: Dowd. @patrickdowdpgh //
Office twitter: @PghDistrict7 //
Personal FB::patrick.dowd.5264 //
Office FB::Pittsburgh.Council.District7 //
(Defunct) Campaign FB::54042377099
D8: Peduto. //
@billpeduto //
Campaign Twitter::PeopleForPeduto //
Personal FB::billpeduto //
Campaign FB::pedutoforpittsburgh
D9: Burgess. //
@revrickyburgess //
Personal FB::councilmanricky.burgess //
Office FB::51956628947

If there’s interest, I’ll consider working on one for County Council and/or local senate/house reps in HBG, though since I know fewer of the names to begin with it’ll take me a bit longer. (I can tell you right now D.20 Rep Adam (“Little-Bro”) Ravenstahl does not have a twitter account. I’ve looked. More than once.)


@mick: both recent Liberty Ave hit and runs were during the day… MJai’s around 8 a.m. (I think) and last saturday was 11:30 a.m. Blinking yellows had nothing to do with either incident.


thanks so much buffalo buffalo!!!

the b.rad

Scott, thanks for the follow up and for everything that you and Bike Pittsburgh are doing to help make the streets safer. All of the actions you listed above sound like great steps to raise awareness into bike/ped rights and safety. A sign campaign to raise awareness about hit-and-runs and to humanize bikers/peds is something that I’d be very interested in becoming a part of.

buffalo buffalo thanks for the City Council info.

Here’s some coverage/contact info on County Council Members.

Not sure about twitter/FB for these – I’ll look into it today.

I’ve only included members with coverage in the immediate Pittsburgh area, District 10-13 and some of the pertinent city/county committees (public safety, urban rec, land use/econ development)

I’m more than happy to help with gathering/researching anything else.

District 10
William Russell Robinson
(412) 350-6570

D10 Communities:
City of Pittsburgh, Ward 3 (Lower Hill District)
City of Pittsburgh, Ward 4 (Oakland – Soho)
City of Pittsburgh, Ward 5 (Upper Hill District)
City of Pittsburgh, Ward 8 (Bloomfield)
City of Pittsburgh, Ward 11 (East End Mall & Highland Park Areas)
City of Pittsburgh, Ward 12 (East Liberty)
City of Pittsburgh, Ward 13 (Homewood)
Forest Hills Borough
Wilkinsburg Borough

District 11
DBarbara Daly Danko
(412) 350-6575

D11 Communities:
City of Pittsburgh, Ward 7 (Shadyside)
City of Pittsburgh, Ward 14 (Point Breeze, Squirrel Hill & Frick Park)
City of Pittsburgh, Ward 15 (Hazelwood & Greenfield)
City of Pittsburgh, Ward 16 (Parts of South Side)
City of Pittsburgh, Ward 31 (Hays & Lincoln Place)
Homestead Borough
Munhall Borough
West Homestead Borough

District 12
James Ellenbogen
(412) 350-6580

D12 Communities:
City of Pittsburgh, Ward 19 (Brookline, Mt. Washington & Beechview)
City of Pittsburgh, Ward 20 (West End & Corliss)
City of Pittsburgh, Ward 28 (Chartiers, Westwood, Esplen & Crafton Heights)
City of Pittsburgh, Ward 29 (Carrick)
City of Pittsburgh, Ward 30 (Knoxville)
City of Pittsburgh, Ward 32 (Overbrook)
Dormont Borough
Green Tree Borough
Ingram Borough
Mount Oliver Borough
Rosslyn Farms Borough

District 13
Amanda Green Hawkins
(412) 350-6585

District 13 Communities:
City of Pittsburgh, Ward 1 (Downtown Pittsburgh)
City of Pittsburgh, Ward 2 (Strip District)
City of Pittsburgh, Ward 6 (Polish Hill)
City of Pittsburgh, Ward 9 (Lawrenceville)
City of Pittsburgh, Ward 10 (Morningside, Garfield, & Stanton Heights)
City of Pittsburgh, Ward 17 (South Side Flats & Slopes)
City of Pittsburgh, Ward 18 (Allentown & Beltzhoover)
City of Pittsburgh, Ward 21 (Manchester)
City of Pittsburgh, Ward 22 (North Side)
City of Pittsburgh, Ward 23 (Latimer Jr. High School – H. J. Heinz Co. Area)
City of Pittsburgh, Ward 24 (Troy Hill & Spring Garden)
City of Pittsburgh, Ward 25 (Fineview)
City of Pittsburgh, Ward 26 (Perrysville & Riverview)
City of Pittsburgh, Ward 27 (Woods Run & Brighton Road)
Bellevue Borough

Allegheny County Council Committee for Public Safety
Chair: James Ellenbogen
Member: John DeFazio, Heather S. Heidelbaugh, Robert J. Macey, Dr. Charles Martoni, William Russell Robinson

City Council Committee for Public Safety
Council Chairperson – Theresa Kail-Smith

City Council Committee for Urban Recreation
Council Chairperson – Corey O’Connor

City Council Committee on Land Use and Economic Development
Council Chairperson – R. Daniel Lavelle

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