Friday, November 06, 2015
Brown Ordered Removal of Pedestrian Crosswalk at Courthouse
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.