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Valley Brook Road Construction

What is going on with the road construction on Valley Brook Road?  So frustrating!  Never see any work being done...  Anyone know what is going on?
Roger January 10, 2014 at 05:57 PM
JEM, even though it was some distance from the intersection, Farmhouse Coffee's closure was directly attributed to the reduced traffic. Businesses on Rt 19 that had patrons coming from Valley Brook Rd undoubtedly have felt the pinch as well (e.g. print shop, Szabo, strip at the window/solon store). Businesses west of Rt 19 that relied upon traffic coming from E McMurray and the Venetia area also had to have been impacted. The businesses at the creek, Pooch Pit, Ballet Studio, probably have not felt the pinch much because they are point destinations. Yes, all the businesses are accessible, but, for those relying upon drive-by traffic, the closure is very important. Many of these are small businesses with little room for a slack time.
JEM January 10, 2014 at 08:09 PM
Roger, I was crushed to see the Farmhouse Coffee's closure. It was a favorite place for me. But I doubt that it was the VB construction that was the 'cause' of it's closure since it was located on an extremely accessible piece of property. Parking was a problem and probably the business model. (And I believe it was a point destination for most people, and did not rely on drive-by traffic. And let's face it, lots of small businesses everywhere are being affected by the economy. You can find empty storefronts across Peters, USC, Bethel, etc. Being a small business owner is extraordinarily difficult and I have a great deal of sympathy because I come from a family who owned a small business. But what would everyone suggest? Should the construction plan have been aborted before it even started? I doubt that anyone would think so. It's a project that needed to be done for the benefit of all, including the small business owners in the area. Are their glitches? Of course. One can expect that most small construction projects like that are going to have delays. Even the constructions of the new Giant Eagle Express was delayed. It happens. It's tough. I just don't think people should suggest that Szabo's should be held responsible in some way......and certainly not someone who is 'an expert in human communication.' It's a poor way of communicating the frustration that is inherent in being inconvenienced.
Sally Adams January 10, 2014 at 08:47 PM
For the record, my husband was a regular at Farmhouse Coffee. There every morning, first one in the door many days. He is also a business owner and had many peer conversations with the owner who told him repeatedly that the VB closure was one of the, if not THE, primary reason they could not afford to remain in business.
JEM January 10, 2014 at 08:59 PM
Thank you for correcting my misunderstanding of the situation. Like I said, I felt terrible when it closed. It truly was a "destination" for me and my friends. I feel badly for any small business impacted by construction, natural disaster, economy, healthcare, etc. I stand by my assessment though that the solution is not to suggest that Szabo's should suffer a serious slowdown -- especially since it seems unclear that the legal problem is the issue that is currently stopping construction. We should not get into a mean-spirited debate. Let's leave that to Congress!
Roger January 10, 2014 at 09:16 PM
To echo Sally, ... the reasons for closure, as stated by the owner, were directly related to the closure. Not my hunch or speculation, rather directly from the owners. Parking and business model reasons are speculation. It existed on that property with the parking and business model for many years. To be sure, many small businesses have been hurt in recent years. Only about 20% of new businesses survive after five years. On the other hand, new businesses can't seem to open fast enough on Rt 19. How many new pizza shops alone have been opened in the past year? I return to the frustration about communication. There is nothing about week-by-week progress on the Peters FB page, or web site. The repeated observations of nobody working has largely driven the frustration. Yes, we had some bitter cold days recently. But, December had no days like those of Monday and Tuesday this week. As for communication, the small clip in the recent O-R about the new schedule said nothing about the lawsuit delay. Since that story had been posted a few weeks ago, communication as follow up would be helpful. What are we going to do with the information? Well, not much. But, reasoning would help with the community's frustration. Just for completeness, there is some progress reports on the Township web page. The last one is Oct 8, three months ago. I went to shoot pictures so that others could see what was happening, and to help with the understanding of the scope of the project. Earlier in this thread, Amy had a good question about connectivity of Valley Brook Rd and Old Washington Rd. But, without understanding what is happening, there is no reason not to ask these kinds of questions. As for Mr. Szabo, his property is involved in the project. From the project drawings (and from Council meetings many years ago), a portion of his parking lot has to be taken for the ramps. As of a couple of weeks ago, some excavation work has been done for the ramps, but the arborvitae bordering his parking lot remained in place. Excavation has been done right next to the edge of the lot. Perhaps the details surrounding the removal of his parking lot is part of the lawsuit and delay. Did something expectantly arise on the removal of his parking lot that has caused a delay? Projects always don't go quite as planned when many parties/properties are involved.

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