Peters Township, a backwards town

Published Jul 24, 2013 at 6:19 am (Updated Jul 18, 2013 at 3:38 pm)

My family moved to Peters in 1995 from the Borough of Whitehall. At that time, much of the business real estate that lines Valley Brook and McMurray roads was not there.

The subject of my letter refers to Peters Township as a town, as a community spot where residents gather, socialize, do business, bank, church, et cetera. I travel quite a bit regionally, and I’m always envious of towns that have a business district with parking out front; a main street with a bank, church, variety stores, bars, VFW and so on. Towns with these amenities prove that past/present community leaders had a vision for their town. Somebody somewhere, and more than likely many residents, provided input along the way, establishing plans as to what they wanted their town to be when it grew up. Most likely, they established five-year, 10-year, 15-year, 20-year plans. Then as time passed, progress was marked and prior visions came to life. Thus, a town center and sense of community were realized.

What surprises me and disappoints me about Peters Township is that apparently the community leaders of our township over the years have been proven to have no such vision in this vein. Let’s see now, 25 years ago, more than likely, both middle/elementary schools hadn’t been built. There were not four banks within a stones throw of each other, and the Dairy Bar may have been the only forward facing establishment to the road, but I’m not certain on that. In any case, what I’m saying is that the opportunity, time and place to make Peters Township a real “town” appears to have passed our community by. And apparently, their vision for the township was to have all commercial and public buildings through what is supposed to be town center, facing backwards to the roads.

E. McMurray Road and Valley Brook Road should have gave way to, as the English call it, a “round-about.” In other words, a giant intersection with perhaps a veteran or Indian patron the township is noted for in the center on a pedestal. Then both sides of Valley Brook and E. McMurray roads would be lined with businesses with diagonal parking in front. There would be a couple of banks, a couple of churches, stores, bakery, restaurants and the like. This community could have been a suburban Shadyside for that matter, with the number of influencial people and families that reside here.

Instead, we have to fight to get into the Starbucks, which is also backwards to the road along with that entire row of shops. And your vehicle needs to be equipped with a zero-radius turning front end to navigate the obstacle course once you’ve purchased your beverage. Anyway, this is a topic that I proceed to vocalize at every social gathering I attend. So now, I can omit that topic from future conversations. Peters Township, a great backwards facing town to live in. Last, ask any person not familiar to drive through Peters – then ask them if they drove through town.

Dale Palamides


Peters Township, a backwards town

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