Catasauqua Press

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Council extends traffic restrictions in Catasauqua

Wednesday, August 14, 2019 by PAUL CMIL Special to The Press in Local News

McKittrick says better preparation was needed during bridge construction

During Catasauqua Borough Council’s regular meeting Aug. 5, Councilman Brian McKittrick was successful in an attempt to make changes to the traffic patterns around the borough.

New ordinances change Linden Street to one way between Second and Pineapple streets. Pineapple Street is one way from School Street to Race Street.

Councilman Brian Bartholomew and Councilwoman Jessica Kroope objected, claiming there should be no new restrictions during the Race Street bridge construction.

Police Chief Douglas Kish backed the restrictions. According to Kish, drivers routinely use the DnD Market and Deli parking lot as a launchpad to go east on Race Street over the restricted lanes when there is a break in traffic. Kish contends this is a dangerous practice.

Council also made changes to restrict truck traffic on roads near the municipal park, Walnut and 14th streets.

According to McKittrick, the majority of the local traffic problems are caused by construction on the Race Street bridge over Catasauqua Creek.

“We should have done a much better job of preparing for this bridge closing,” he said. “We did not address the problems as well as we could have.”

McKittrick added that more adjustments are coming with the addition of future Pennsylvania Department of Transportation changes.

“When PennDOT implements the new traffic signals, we will have different traffic issues to contend with,” he said.

He asked council for a detailed review of traffic control that could result from the proposed changes.

Mayor Barbara Schlegel issued a proclamation at the beginning of the bridge construction project. Her restrictions were extended and new ones were added to restrict traffic around Poplar and 10th streets. McKittrick pointed out that in the future, more emphasis needs to be made on alternatives that commercial truck drivers take when confronted with PennDOT-designed detours.

In other business, Kroope discussed compensation for borough pool season pass holders who lost pool time during the season. The pool was closed at times during the summer for emergency maintenance issues.

Kroope proposed giving season ticket holders a buddy pass to be used this year; the rest of the committee proposed a reduction in next year’s fee.

Kroope also expressed concerns about a George Taylor House website, saying there are discrepancies between the official website and a secondary website set up to coordinate volunteer organization. The discrepancy, she said, is causing some problems.

According to Kroope, there are people who read about an upcoming tour of the George Taylor House, but when they arrive, there are no tours scheduled. There have not been any tours of the George Taylor House since the July 4 weekend due to a lack of volunteers.

Kroope wants the solicitor to take legal action to close down the website.