Rocky roads

Bad roads within the district causing problems


Sarah Levenson

Cluster of potholes on Foote Street in Conway. This group of potholes, and many more, can be seen all over the rest of Conway and the numerous bad roads throughout the district.

Sarah Levenson, Features Editor

Roads connect every community. When they are broken or damaged, however, the connection between the people in a certain community is also damaged. A weakened road is really just a path filled with problems and complications, and it affects the safety of those who drive it. All over the Pittsburgh area, and especially within the three municipalities that make up this school district, roads are becoming increasingly bad and unsafe. 

Any road that has excessive amounts of large potholes, uneven pavement, plants growing up through the pavement and many more issues, falls under the category of an unsafe roadway. 

Just last month on Oct. 28, a Port Authority bus fell into a sinkhole on 10th Street in Downtown Pittsburgh. Only one person sustained injuries, and although they were minor, the situation still caused people issues and put them in danger. The cause of the sinkhole was not confirmed, but city officials suspect that it is due to the age of the roads throughout the city. Western Pennsylvania is known to have mines and vaults hidden underneath many of its older developments, which is likely how this particular sinkhole formed. 

Like the event in Pittsburgh, a number of the roads within the towns that form Freedom Area School District are aged, deteriorating and structurally built incorrectly. However, due to financial restrictions, poor weather, time, building plan faults and more, our communities are failing to solve these issues and put the minds of those who drive these roads at ease. 

Freedom Road is one severe example of a dangerous road that is seen around the district. Construction has been planned out and done on this road for multiple years now, with most of it being completed at this point. However, a stretch of the road in New Sewickley Township known as Freedom Crider Road is not newly reconstructed and is polluted with dangerous curves and bumps. There has been a few occurrences of tractor-trailers going into and over guardrails within the parts of the road that are not straightened-out. Older roads that are not being structurally rebuilt, such as the entirety of Freedom Road, are already causing risks for drivers. 

The hill below the school campus on Harvey Run Road is also what is considered a bad road. Along with the fact that it is a very windy road, potholes trace its edges. When driving up the hill, a line of potholes and divots is seen going up the right side of the lane and continues after turning right towards school grounds. These holes are forcing people to swerve over the line a bit, and out into the left lane. This becomes extremely dangerous when two cars are making a bend at the same time. Students are noticing this issue and are feeling unsafe and insecure about driving down certain roads. 

When driving, drivers must refrain from swerving to miss potholes, deer, or other objects on the road,” said Assistant Principal Mr. Mott. “If students or any motorist feels that a road is unsafe, they should reach out to the municipality or PennDot to inform them of their concerns.”

All of these issues regarding bad roads are also affecting our school buses and some of the routes they take. Students suffer from being knocked out of their seats on buses due to potholes and excessive bends in roads, and want to see a change in road quality. Some of Freedom’s bus routes also take roads like Freedom Road to transport students and have been impacted by the incidents occurring on that road. 

Although there are limited times of bus route interruptions along Freedom Crider Road due to oversize truck traffic, these incidents create a hazardous condition as the damage created by the oversized trucks affects the overall safety of each motorist and at times has created delays to bus routes,” said school resource officer Liberty. 

This area has been around for a long time, and so has its roads. With only so much money to spend on repairing old roads and building new ones, many roads all over the district are filled with plant growth and cracks in their pavement. Western Pennsylvania weather does not treat our roads nicely as well, making it almost impossible to permanently fix potholes and uneven pavement. 

Issues with our roads make it dangerous and challenging for members of these three communities to drive around. These roads are meant to connect our entire school district. However, what they are really doing is connecting the people of these towns through the cracks that run down every one of our roads.