Residents call for traffic light at dangerous intersection in Reading

Study shows intersection doesn't meet necessary criteria, PennDOT says

Posted: 8:00 PM EDT Aug 01, 2013   Updated: 6:51 PM EDT Aug 02, 2013
South Fifth and Bingaman streets intersection in Reading

Residents of one Reading neighborhood are drawing a line in the sand over a problematic intersection.

They're demanding a stop light be installed at 5th and Bingaman streets immediately, but PennDOT officials say not so fast.

"We live in a dangerous area right here," said Lourdes Torres. "These cars go by like you would not believe, speeding like crazy."

PennDOT said a traffic study was conducted and it was determined that the intersection did not meet the criteria for a stop light.

"If we were to arbitrarily put a traffic signal in there, it could mean that if a crash or something happens at the intersection, legally, someone could say, 'Well, you put the signal in when one wasn't warranted,'" said Ron Young, PennDOT spokesman.

Concerns from residents also include future construction coming to the Penn Street Bridge. Some neighbors fear detours will bring excess traffic through the area, making the area unsafe without a stop light.

"We have to think about the children and us elderly people crossing by," Torres said.

PennDOT said it will continue to hear complaints from residents, but currently, there are no plans to put a stop light at the intersection.

Officials said residents could consider the option of an increased police presence and more crossing guards.