Soriano estimated if Salisbury pays to provide two free trash containers with wheels to each of the 5,000 homes in the township, the cost could be $300,000.

Township officials discussed the possibility that automated pick-ups might not even be feasible, especially in mountainous eastern Salisbury, where many roads may be too small for such trash trucks to negotiate.

Brinton questioned whether those trucks could do the job without taking down utilities lines when they lift trash containers to dump them.

Soriano said he's not advocating going to an automated collection, only advising commissioners that it's an option.

He stressed automated pick-up also is not related to whether or not the township decides to go with once-a-week trash pick-up.

The manager said sections of the township's solid waste ordinance need to be modified before it seeks bids, saying that's not been done since 1990.

Lehigh Street improvements

During the commissioners meeting before the workshop, Salisbury police chief Allen Stiles announced the township and Emmaus, its neighboring borough to the south, are working together on a Lehigh Street traffic signal improvement project.

Stiles said the goal is to upgrade signalized intersections and coordinate traffic lights at all the intersections "so they are changing in sequence, which will increase traffic flow, making it both easier and quicker. There won't be so much stop-and-go traffic once we're done with that."

But he warned that, after the study phase of the project is completed, it may take two years for all the traffic signal improvements to be made.

Stiles said the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission and PennDOT are involved in the project, which already has begun.

Only abut a half-mile-long section of Lehigh Street is in Salisbury.

Stiles said the only Lehigh Street traffic signals within the township are at 33rd Street, Regent Way and Bevin Drive.

The chief said most of the project area is in Emmaus. When Lehigh Street gets to Emmaus, it becomes State Avenue, then Main Street, then Chestnut Street.

Stiles said the traffic signal improvements will go all the way through Emmaus to the intersection of Chestnut Street and Cedar Crest Boulevard.

The chief said a similar project was done with PennDOT and the planning commission on Cedar Crest Boulevard in Salisbury four years ago, which resulted in upgrading those traffic signals and coordinating their timing. "It helped us a great deal," said Stiles.

Bike lanes being planned

Commissioners authorized the township manager to seek a state grant to install bicycle lanes that would connect Green Acres Park and Lindberg Park in western Salisbury.

The proposed bike lanes would begin at Newgate Drive, go west on Lindberg Avenue past Lindberg Park, then north on Flexer Avenue and east on Green Acres Drive to Green Acres Park.

Soriano said it's a 1.5 mile-long bike lane path.

If the township wins the grant, five-foot-wide bike lanes will be marked off with paint in both directions of Lindberg and Flexer avenues. He said the driving lanes on those two roads will be reduced to 10 feet wide.

Soriano said Green Acres Drive will only get bicycle logos - called sharrows -- on the road surface, not the five-foot-wide bike lanes.

He said the proposed project includes adding sidewalks and curbs where needed along Flexer Avenue, but not along Lindberg Avenue. He indicated tiny Louise Lane Park also is in that area of the township.

The manager stressed the project is only in its conceptual stage and will be further developed if the township wins the grant and hires an engineer.

That proposed project will cost about $396,000. Soriano indicated 80 percent of that money will be provided through a state PennDOT grant that will be used to make the improvements.