Catasauqua Press

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Front St. parking issue delays 2-way traffic

Wednesday, June 28, 2017 by PAUL CMIL Special to The Press in Local News

Catasauqua Borough Council looked at parking along Front Street at its meeting June 5. The borough had an ordinance prepared to ban parking on the west side of the street for a distance of 120 feet north of Church Street.

“The road narrows at that point, and it’s necessary to ban parking so we can convert the street to two-way traffic,” Councilwoman Christine Weaver said.

Although there could be as many as six parking spaces in the banned area, there are only four legal spaces. The borough is taking measures to expand parking along Front Street at the business area that includes Blondie’s and Blockers.

Councilwoman Jessica Kroope asked why the ban had to begin now.

“If two-way [traffic] is not going to go into effect until August, why ban parking now?” she asked.

Councilman Brian Bartholomew agreed with the assessment.

“We want to expand parking like we have in the business district, but there is a water line box [at Church Street] ... as soon as a curb line can be established, we can get that area widened,” he said.

After some discussion, the measure was tabled, delaying implementation for at least one month.

“We do want to have the ban implemented before we convert to two-way traffic,” Weaver said.

Once things settle down, the parking could be opened up by expanding the roadway. By expanding the Front Street roadway and potentially adding parking at a borough lot on Willow Street, there could be a net increase in available parking spots.

Amy Roth asked council for status on her neighbor’s collapsing wall. Several months ago, her husband asked the borough to look into the situation. A neighbor built a retaining wall from railroad ties and installed a deck onto the fill dirt. The retaining wall has deteriorated, and the fill is now retrained by Roth’s fence. The borough engineer reviewed the situation and determined it to be dangerous. Roth’s insurance company agreed. Roth’s neighbor had a repair company review the problem, but they are unable to come up with an acceptable solution. Their proposal would remove the Roth’s fencing, which could potentially damage Roth’s property if the fill dirt were let loose.

Borough Manager Eugene Goldfeder directed code enforcement to issue a citation.

“My concern is what happens if this comes barreling into my yard,” Roth said.

Goldfeder explained the process needed to get the borough to take action.

“We need to get the magistrate to order the problem fixed. If it isn’t done, we need to go to court,” he said.

The expected time before the borough could act is probably a year or so.

Roth seemed to expect something would happen sooner. Unless the courts can show criminal intent, which is unlikely, the matter is a civil dispute and the borough is unwilling to take any action because of liability concerns.