Lehigh Valley

Northampton Borough council approves traffic study

NORTHAMPTON, Pa. - The Northampton Borough Council agreed to spend $1,500 to conduct a traffic study to see if a stop sign should be erected to address concerns from about one dozen residents who attended Thursday night's meeting.

The study will be conducted regarding traffic flow at Fourth and Main streets in the borough after residents in the immediate neighborhood told council that many motorists were speeding through the area, causing accidents, and making the area unsafe.

"If it comes up for a vote and if the people want the stop sign, I will support it," said Councilman Edward Pany, who made the motion for the study.

Pany told those in attendance that he was notoriously "cheap" when it comes to spending money, but that if it meant that much to the residents, he would consider it a worthy investment.

During his initial response to residents, President John Yurish was not in favor of adding a sign.

"There is nothing there that would warrant a stop sign," Yuirsh said. "I could see that becoming a real quagmire."

Councilman Anthony Lopsonzski, a retired veteran of the borough's police force with more than 30 years experience, also stated his opposition.

"During my years that was one of the least accident intersections," he said.

He blamed the problems at the intersection on something the borough simply cannot control: careless and poor driving habits.

"You could put a mile of stop signs and if they don't care..." Lopsonzski said. "...Some drivers here have no courtesy."

While he acknowledged the residents' concerns and their passion for the issue, ultimately the decision had to be grounded in law.

"The law does not allow for emotion," he said. "...It's not a safe place to put a stop sign."

The study could be completed in time for the next council meeting, scheduled for June 19th.

In other business, council awarded a contract to F. A. Rohrbach, Inc. of Allentown to construct handicap-friendly curves and other improvement at Laubach Avenue and Smith Lane in the amount of $143,604.30.

The company was the lower of two bids the borough received.

In addition, council voted to adopt a summer meeting schedule in which they would meet once per month instead of twice a month.

Council will meet on the third Thursday of the month during July and August, before returning to the twice monthly meeting schedule in September.

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