Members of the Saucon Valley Partnership discussed their concerns about traffic safety near the Saucon Rail Trail at the group's Aug. 10 meeting.
The rail trail connected to the Upper Saucon rail trail portion this spring, with hopes of extending through Coopersburg in the future.
The partnership is a council of governments comprised of representatives from the Borough of Hellertown, Lower Saucon Township and the Saucon Valley School District. Northampton County is an alternate member.
Although there was not a quorum and the partnership could not vote on any matters, the members in attendance--Hellertown Borough Manager Cathy Kichline, Lower Saucon Township council member Priscilla deLeon, Saucon Valley School Board member Edward Inghrim and Northampton County Deputy Director of Administration Tom Harp--chose to discuss and update each other on the rail trail.
DeLeon said that although she sees some vehicles slow down at rail trail crossings on local roads, she also sees many motorists speed through the Water Street intersection in Hellertown.
“People forget about the crosswalk and it’s dangerous,” she said.
Inghrim questioned why there are stop signs at the less-traveled Meadows Road intersection and no stop signs at the Water Street intersection.
Kichline explained that the lack of stop signs at the Water Street intersection is due to state Department of Transportation rules and regulations, which are in effect because Water Street is a state road, whereas Meadows Road is not.
“PennDOT’s job is to keep traffic moving,” Kichline said.
Another concern members discussed was bicyclists not dismounting their bicycles at the rail trail crossings. They said that they have seen bicyclists zoom through intersections without looking or dismounting, despite signs on the trail telling them to dismount and walk bicycles across the road.
A concerned resident told the board that speeding emergency vehicles are also a concern at the Water Street rail trail intersection.
In other trail news, the color-coded mileage markers for the trail have been installed and it was announced that information about them will be displayed on the Lower Saucon Township website.