Catty residents voice concerns over two-way growing pains
At Catasauqua council’s regular meeting Sept. 5, Jodi Freyman took the microphone to explain difficulties she encountered with two-way traffic on Front Street.
“I don’t know why we did it so soon,” she said.
Two-way Front Street ends at Union Street and does not connect to Race Street without first going up to Second Street.
Front Street will be open to Race Street when PennDOT completes a program that provides traffic signals at Race Street intersections with Lehigh, Front and Second streets.
The date for completing that program is unknown. Original estimates were for 2018. New estimates for a completion date range from 2020 to 2022. The project is on PennDOT’s time frame and is not based on the borough’s traffic problems.
Congestion on Race Street has existed for a long time. The proposal for traffic signals at critical intersections is the latest in a long line of proposed solutions.
Freyman said she also had problems with parking. She claims that she needs to tuck her side-view mirrors when the car is parked.
“Tractor trailers have a tough time making a right turn on Front Street,” she said. “I thought the big trucks were banned.”
Councilman Brian McKittrick clarified that big rigs are not banned.
“They will get the word out that the turn is tight,” he said. “The trucks are supposed to be making stops in Catasauqua. Let’s see if the problem works itself out. If not, we can re-look at the situation,” he said.
Borough Police Chief Douglas Kish promised the borough is reviewing the effects of the new traffic pattern on Front Street.
Kish also addressed another concern.
“You are allowed to park at the last spot on the curved white lines,” he said. “Just be clear of the yellow line on the curb.”
Some residents had assumed that they had to fit between the curb and the white line.
Front Street residents contended that some motorists are not stopping at the Union Street intersection. Kish promised to address the situation.
In other business, Councilwoman Debra Mellish, also a member of the Historic Catasauqua Preservation Association, surprised the council with a request.
At most borough events, HCPA uses its liquor license to sell wine and beer to raise funds. Council authorized HCPA to sell beverages during the Sept. 16 Grand Opening Blast, which ends 5 p.m.
Local taverns are sponsoring a pub crawl after the Blast, extending the party.
Mellish requested that HCPA be permitted to sell beer and wine on borough property until 10 p.m.
Council members were reluctant to make a decision because they were not sure of insurance restrictions and the request to sell past the Blast closing was made at the last possible time.
Although there may be some concern from local businesses that promoted the pub crawl, the last-minute request did not allow time to address the impact.
HCPA still received support from council. A minimal quorum was present, and the measure passed 3-1, with Councilman Eugene Schlegel voting no.
The Grand Opening Blast has entertainment for all ages. The dedication of the municipal building takes place 1 p.m., followed by a host of family activities.
(See Blast article on page A1.)