|Barry Roth, from the bottom of the toilet|
This decision is the result of a traffic study performed by Engineer Brian A Dillman, after a September accident in which two East Hills Middle School students were hit by a car last month during a cross-country practice. One student was severely bruised and another broke an arm. One of the students is still undergoing physical therapy, twice a week.
Dillman told Commissioners that during peak times, as many as 50 pedestrians were crossing the intersection. He noted there were "numerous conflicts" between them and vehicular traffic. "There is support to have a fourth stop sign," he advised. He also recommended marked crosswalks and ramps.
This solution also has the support of the Bethlehem Area School District, advised Township Manager Melissa Shafer.
Though Commissioner Michael Hudak never voiced any opposition to this solution, he called it a "knee jerk reaction," adding that Township police noted there is no excessive number of accidents at the intersection. In October, Sgt. Daryl LaPointe told the Board there had only been 11 crashes at that intersection over the past ten years.
Those claims were disputed heavily at the time by Doreen Connelly and Nathan Stannard, parents of the two children who were hit.
"Do we need to have a child in intensive care", Connelly asked in October.
"The kids basically just ran in front of the cars," concluded Hudak on December 1, noting that no charges were ever filed against the driver.
"The traffic study speaks for itself," retorted Commissioner Tom Nolan. President martin Zawarski noted that he travels in that area all the time, but is still confused by the three-way stop sign.
Hudak asked Manager Shafer to contact the school district to arrive at a cost-sharing arrangement.
Parent Doreen Connelly stated she was "very grateful that our elected officials are actually listening. ... If it just slows down the intersection, it gives the kids a chance to cross the street."
In other business, the Board listened to a half hour of complaints from Chetwin Terrace residents Wayne Kresge, Roy Roth and Barry Roth. "I'm tired of sitting at the bottom of the toilet, waiting for it to flush," noted Barry Roth. These residents are concerned about stormwaters coming from William Penn Highway, across the bike path and flooding onto about 15 homes along Chetwin Terrace. Over the summer, Engineer Dillman directed that a swale along the western side of the bike path has been cleaned out. It is impossible to clean the swale along the eastern side without disturbing sheds and fences that have been constructed by residents.
Dillman noted that there has been no stormwater problem since the swale has been cleaned, but admitted that it will overflow in a heavy storm. He acknowledged the only permanent solution would be an underground stormwater collection system, which is not included in the funding for next year's budget.
Kresge complained that Commissioners are willing to spend $200,000 for bathrooms for the Bulldogs, but are unwilling to do anything for Chetwin Terrace residents. "Are bathrooms more important than 15 homes being damaged? he asked. Barry Roth, who sits on the recreation board complained, "The Bulldogs did an end run around us." He accused the Board of turning tail and running when the Bulldogs asked for money. "If you don't want the rec board, disband it," he concluded.
Finally, Commissioners agreed to a revision of the Madison Farms development, a 832-unit development being built along the north side of Freemansburg Avenue. Attorney Ed Murphy, representing developer KRE, sought and received approval to substitute a 1-story daycare for a 2-story office building.
Commissioner Pat Breslin was absent.