Catasauqua Press

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

More delays on making Front St. two way

Wednesday, March 29, 2017 by PAUL CMIL Special to The Press in Local News

Councilwoman Christine Weaver dropped a bombshell on Catasauqua Borough Council at its workshop session Monday when she proposed a further delay of converting Front Street to two-way traffic. The workshop session had been preceded by a special meeting to ensure that the project to convert Front Street to two way was delayed to June 15, but Weaver proposed the project be further delayed until Aug. 17.

“We have three options on how we can handle parking on Front Street,” she said. “The committee is recommending Option 3 to best meet our needs.”

Option 3 has pockets along Front Street where cars can park.

“We have 149 parking spaces along Front Street now,” she said. “Option 3 allows us to end up with 129 spaces.”

Piddock Company, the consulting engineers on the project, estimate the cost to make the changes at $33,000.

“We would hope that we could recover the cost from a developer,” she said.

There was some discord over spending the dollars to enhance parking and almost no consensus that a developer would reimburse the borough its costs.

“It just doesn’t seem realistic that someone is going to give us the money once we have the parking in,” said Councilman Brian Mc-Kittrick.

Option 2 was rejected by everyone. In that plan, the centerline of the roadway would shift so that parking spaces could be accommodated. The plan was dismissed as unworkable.

The first plan, Option 1, removes parking on one side of Front Street. It wipes out 44 parking spaces.

“I have been asking the fire chief to get two fire trucks down a two-way [Option 3] Front Street,” said Councilman Eugene Schlegel after the meeting. “It won’t happen. At least with Option 1, someone would have room to pull over when a truck comes screaming out of the municipal building.”

McKittrick also favors Option 1.

“It’s not something that we need to decide on right now,” he said. “We have a delay that makes this something we can study further.”

Another factor in the delay decision is a Pensylvania Department of Transportation requirement.

“I didn’t know that PennDOT controls all the traffic lights, no matter where they are,” said borough Manager Eugene Goldfeder after the meeting.

The light at the corner of Pine and Front streets requires modification. Controls need to be set for emergency vehicles and the proposed turning lanes. PennDOT did not think the traffic light renovations could be done by the original June 15 date.