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Friday, November 06, 2015

Brown Ordered Removal of Pedestrian Crosswalk at Courthouse

Yesterday, I told you about the strange disappearance of a crosswalk at the Northampton County Courthouse. First installed when the courthouse expansion got underway, it has enabled and members of the public to cross the street to and from a few adjoining lots. But in its infinite wisdom, the County decided to paint over the crosswalk and direct workers to take their chances by crossing at 7th and Washington, and then take their lives into their hands as they try to make it across Butler Street.

It's sheer lunacy.

Three county officials with whom I spoke pointed their fingers at Easton and the Panto Parking Police, who apparently sent an email instructing them all on what is wrong. Director of Administration Luis Campos said they were still studying their options.

In an angry comment published here, Easton Mayor Sal Panto insisted that "the city has and will continue to ignore the crosswalk issue for the sake of safety."

Who's being honest and who is shading the truth? In this instance, it appears that Panto is being honest and that Northampton County officials were shading the truth. At last night's meeting of Northampton County Council, Executive John Brown admitted to Ken Kraft that he made the call, at the recommendation of the County's mysterious safety committee.

Amazingly, he decided to remove the sidewalk, not out of safety concerns, but "to minimize liability."

So we apparently have a "safety committee" more interested in protecting the county from lawsuits than the safety of its people.

According to Brown, Northampton County "assumes liability for whatever happens in that crosswalk." I've got news for him. If he thinks painting over it shields him, he's nutz. The imprints are still quite visible, as can be seen in the above photograph. I would think the County will be exposed to even more liability now. Failure to use any kind of warning signs or pedestrian traffic control device on a crosswalk the County knows is being used, appears to be negligence per se, at least to me.

In addition, workers and members of the public forced to cross Butler Street will rightly be able to assert liability against the County for any injuries suffered as a result of an auto accident.

Lamont McClure asked Brown if this unnamed safety committee even has a lawyer or sought any legal advice.

Brown does not know.

In an effort to avoid a lawsuit, Northampton County has just managed to make one more likely next time there's a pedestrian accident. What is worse, he's done nothing to protect the safety of members of the public and his own workers.

And this guy wants to be state auditor general.

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

This dimwit decision has Cathy Allen's fingerprints all over it. She and Chris Rothwell of C3 who was on the safety committee. Rather than finding a better way to make the crosswalk safer, they just eliminate it. People will continue to cross there regardless. Now there will be no signage or road markings to slow vehicles down. The Clown administration strikes again!

Anonymous said...

Da fug?????

Anonymous said...

Your constant fall back position is to blame everything on Brown, even when there is no blame. There is a crossing at the intersection. The county cannot be liable for people crossing in the middle of the street.

However, this was stared under the Stoffa Admisntration. They should have reviewed all the legal ramifications and had the matter resolved rather than just do it and hope for the best. Once the county assumes responsibility for a crossing it assumes liability.

The liability for encouraging people to cross and therefore vouching for a level of safety is greater than telling them not to cross. The law should have been reviewed and more legwork needed to be done. ,The lazy method of just throwing up a sign was insufficient. Lighting and other signage should have been pursued. However, those in charge took the quick attention grabbing way without regard to all the possibilities.
Once again sloppy and lazy administrative effort by the last administration will be blamed by you on Mr. Brown. You should know better but you have an agenda.

Anonymous said...

Not sure a government entity can be sued? Why Brown would deliberately be cruel is beyond explanation.

Anonymous said...

However, those in charge took the quick attention grabbing way without regard to all the possibilities.
Moravian College has solved this crossing situation in the most beneficial manner.

Anonymous said...

Liability was always on the tip of Brown and Allen's tongues while in the service of the people of Bangor..to the same ends. Nothing has changed in that regard. Public safety was never a concern of theirs so why would it be so now. And yes..any governmental entity can be sued for negligence including the county.

Anonymous said...

Brown/Allen fired the police chief illegally in Bangor and never replaced him. The crime rate increased, surprise!

Again: Worst executive, worst mayor ever= John A Brown of BangorPa.

Anonymous said...

Did I miss something? Brown wants to be Auditor General?

Anonymous said...

Brown did not fire the Bangor police chief..council did. Stop making stuff up that is not true. Did he advocate the action..yes he did but he did not get a vote.

Anonymous said...

Brown was a better mayor than you ever were.

Anonymous said...

Who was head of counsel, who got rid of 2 fire chiefs, who wanted to close a fire company and use the bilding for town hall. Who wanted to sell the Bee Hive , a gift from the slate belt to the town. who was Browns hatchet person in bangor. CATHY ALLEN

Anonymous said...

You owe Sal a public apology

Anonymous said...

your narcissitic rage toward John Brown knows no boundaries....the unlimited an illegal Stoffa perks came to a screeching halt in Jan of 2014, and now you must pass through security like all others....that wont change.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Your constant fall back position is to blame everything on Brown, even when there is no blame. There is a crossing at the intersection. The county cannot be liable for people crossing in the middle of the street.

However, this was stared under the Stoffa Admisntration."


The sole defender of this abandoned crosswalk is Tricia Mezzacappa, who can't sign her name. First, the crosswalk was established by Glenn Reibman, long before Stoffa was in office, and for very good reason. It was a matter of public safety. Second, the County will beheld liable if someone is injured because the paint job fdoes not cover the crosswalk, as shown in the picture above, and the county has taken steps to make the are more unsafe by removing sign and trying to paint over the crosswalk. It has actually created liability and has demonstrated a callous disregard for emplyee and public safety and its motivation for doing so is money. The tape od last night's meeting make that clear and, played in court, will demonstrate negligence per se. It is perhaps the most idiotic conclusion it could have reached.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Did I miss something? Brown wants to be Auditor General?"

Yes, I reported here that he has sent a letter to R state committeemen expressing his desire to seek the position.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"You owe Sal a public apology"

Actually, as indicated yesterday, Panto owes me a public apology. Easton did send instructions to the County concerning that sidewalk, but county officials made it seem that Easton wanted the crosswalk removed. Luis Campos may owe panto a public apology, but I don't. I determined the truth, and the truth is that the county was behind this change, not easton. I did exactly what i told Panto I would do. I told the truth.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"your narcissitic rage toward John Brown knows no boundaries....the unlimited an illegal Stoffa perks came to a screeching halt in Jan of 2014, and now you must pass through security like all others....that wont change."

Tricia Mezzacappa, if I am supposed to be stalking you, why are you posting so many comments here anonymously? I had no unlimited or illegal perks o=under John Stoffa or under John Brown. I am treated like every other person who uses the courthouse regularly. I have never been given special benefits nor am I discriminated against. I am treated the same as everyone else. Your constant lies about special perks being given to me by anyone is just another of your many lies. Can't you tell the truth about anything?

Anonymous said...

Judging from the size of many county employees, a walk to the corner to cross the street would do them well. And it would protect the county from liability. Our moms and dads taught us not to cross in the middle of the block.

Anonymous said...

10:16 is Cathy Allen who does not have to worry about crossing dangerous streets with her county car and private parking space. Instead, she just pollutes the air by the employees' entrance with her smoking habit.

Anonymous said...

I'm really having a tough time understanding something. Isn't this a city street? Isn't it the city's prerogative to remove (or add) crosswalks?

If the county can just remove it, could other landowners similarly get rid of crosswalks?

I'm wondering if this isn't a case of the county getting rid of something it had wrongly added, and the city not wanting to put one in.

Just my perspective from afar, by what I can glean from the articles and the comments.

Anonymous said...

Looks like there is an existing problem involving use of the county's courthouse, in that people who need to enter it have to get there via automobiles, which have to be parked, and from which the persons need to go from parking space to courthouse entrance.

It seems it is the city and county working together who need to set up a safe workable system to facilitate this. All the rest of this is blather.

Yes, I am a crazy old lady, but, I have been watching things for seven decades now, and I know that The Nameless Faceless Ones are everywhere and they do lots of damage. It is an almost feral throwback, to our days in the forest, when we had to be vigilant of dangers lurking behind trees there. Back then, humanity was on its own; nowadays, we have governments, who reach into our pockets to take our money in the form of taxes so that they can be our leaders and protectors. They are bound to use those dollars for our benefit, not the benefit of their egos or worse.

And yes, empirically, it seems that Mr. Brown is the worst administrator for the county in my lifetime. He is clueless about how governing works, all he knows about is being big cheese in a private organization. Maybe in fact he would be better at auditor than at trying to run the county.

Anonymous said...

12:11 likely voted for ethical oil slick, Sleepy Reibman. Some people just enjoy S&M - even into their 70s and 80s.

Anonymous said...

12:11......seeing how old you are, I assume you were taught how to cross a street safely as a child, and not needing government to intervene on this simple task. Its easy. Stop, look both ways, proceed when safe.

If you cannot handle that risk, you can always use the other crosswalk 1 block away.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Judging from the size of many county employees, a walk to the corner to cross the street would do them well. And it would protect the county from liability. "

Putting the aononymous personal attack aside, this step is going to INCREASE county liability. People are still going to use the crosswalk, especially members of the public, and they will sue the County for mnmaking things more unsafe. In addition, a requirement that workers cross busy Butler Street where it dumps out onto Washington, and where there is no crosswalk,will INCREASE liability.

Anonymous said...

Annon 12:18 is sofa Stoffa who had consistent nap tomes instead of making all this permanent.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Mezzacappa looks like the has had one too many vodka martinis already.

Anonymous said...

Bridges are in disrepair and Gracedale is heading toward a $10 million yearly deficit. What are the issues? We're discussing Ten Commandment plaques and adults who can't properly cross streets. We're screwed.

Anonymous said...

John Brown was the worst mayor and Cathy Allen was the worst council president. And the council members who supported the illegal activities of these 2 should be ashamed. Including councilman (for now) dave houser.

Anonymous said...

You are correct Bernie that Butler & Washington will be the cause of accidents. Most of the drivers exiting Butler on to Washington are going east and look to the left. They will not detect pedestrians in that crosswalk until they are ready to speed onto Washington. That is not a solution to the problem.

Anonymous said...

I beg your pardon, but I don't think that is Butler Street. That is Wolf Avenue. Big difference when you are a West Warder!!!

Bernie O'Hare said...

You are correct. Butler turns into Wolf Avenue, and it dumps out onto Washington. You know exactly what i am talking about.

Anonymous said...

The mayors job in a town is head of the police force., only job.

Anonymous said...

In PennDot's eyes it was an "illegal" crosswalk. Check with the PD I'm sure they will confirm this. Crosswalks need to be placed at official intersections. That is why the stop signs that were there a few years ago had to be taken down.

Agent 99 said...

I called PennDOT, they said that they had done nothing whatsoever in reference to this crosswalk and were not even aware of the controversy

Agent 99 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I am more concerned about students rioting in schools and beating up the teachers, the police and other students. funny how we haven't heard Allentown govt leaders speak up and out against this mess.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Yes, this is a topic for people around the courthouse and is probably not very interesting to someone in Allentown. I need to remind you that the primary focus of this blog is and always has been Northampton County. I try to cover other areas of the Lehigh Valley, but NorCo is my base. I suggest you post your comments in my Opinions Online thread instead of veering off topic.

Ken Kraft said...

I drive by Moravian college every day and in the middle of a block there is a crosswalk for all the students going from parking to school, a few flashing lights and signs, what could it cost to keep our employees safe, I say we replace the crosswalk and install the same thing Moravian college did on Elizabeth Avenue ASAP

Why would the county take this down because a safety committee (who I still don't know who they are) recommended it.?

Anonymous said...

Dear 12:18...see what I mean about blather. Seems to me, I was looking for a bit of change from Mr. Reibman, and I do believe, if my crazy old lady memory serves me well, that I voted for Mr. Brown. And have been disappointed.

Anonymous said...

Hello, 12:43. Yes, in 1950, when I was six, I was taught to cross the street safely on my own, for my walk to school. How many kids walk alone to school these days? Fact is, the traffic on city streets these days is more vehicles by a factor of infinity, and many of those vehicles are much larger than what I had to look out for in 1950. And we did not have school crossing guards back in those days, but today there are those. And, many of the people going to the courthouse today were born decades after 1944, and they may not have the kind of upbringing I had, so they may be more at risk. Etc.