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Speeds on W. State Street Concern Council Member

Coopersburg Borough Council vice president Dennis Balascak said sidewalks along a section of W. State Street could help improve pedestrian safety in the area.

The lack of sidewalks along a section of W. State Street near the Upper Saucon Township border was the subject of a recent discussion by members of Coopersburg Borough Council.

The area in question is on the south side of W. State Street between N. Hillside Drive and S. Ninth Street.

The two properties at the eastern end of the block have sidewalks, but two properties—one of them a vacant lot—at the western end don't.

Council vice president Dennis Balascak, who broached the subject, said the fact that there isn't a sidewalk there concerns him because of traffic speeds.

"It is very difficult—it takes concentration to travel 25 mph on W. State Street," he said.

Twenty-five miles per hour is the posted speed limit on that section of the road.

He said a small knoll drivers crest as they're entering the borough from the west can prevent them from seeing pedestrians or children on bikes, who are sometimes along the south side of the road.

"I've asked in the past that speed be monitored and controlled [on W. State Street]," Balascak said.

Councilman Richard Nalichowski asked whether a sidewalk should also be installed on the north side of W. State Street, where there currently is none.

Borough Manager Tim Paashaus, however, said runoff issues on that side of the street could make their construction there more difficult.

Borough Engineer Dennis Erdman told council the borough can require that homeowners install sidewalks even without a property changing hands.

In the past, Balascak said the borough has typically given property owners ordered to install sidewalks one year to do so.

If they aren't installed within the predetermined time limit, the borough can install them at the owner's expense, Erdman said.

Balascak said he brought up the subject "just to bring it to council's attention" and "to think about, do we want to initiate a letter [to those property owners]?"

Council took no action on the matter at the meeting.

Image: A screen shot of an aerial view of W. State Street in the borough of Coopersburg (source: Google Maps).

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