We're thinking PennDOT officials haven't spent too much time trying to navigate their vehicles around or through the Five Points intersection in the hub of Tamaqua's downtown.

If they did, they would probably rethink their recent decision, which met a lot of disapproval with Tamaqua Borough officials.

Tamaqua recently learned that PennDOT has made some last minute changes to the central business district trransportation project that is scheduled to begin construction next spring.

First and foremost, the state officials decided to not include the left turn arrows at the Five Points, along north and south on SR309. The arrows were included in the original plans.

Anyone who drives through Tamaqua on a regular basis knows this is a mistake. The arrows are needed.

Currently it's like a game of Russian Roulette dealing with the traffic at the intersection. With no delayed lights, there is almost always someone running a red light after being caught up in the middle of the intersection during a light change. Drivers who move out immediately when the light changes are taking a real chance on getting themselves in an accident. The fact that there aren't more accidents at the Five Points is a tribute to the commuters who drive it each day.

Tamaqua officials are calling the PennDOT "unacceptable". We couldn't agree more. The whole point of the project was to make the intersection safer, and assure a smoother flow of traffic, both on Rt. 309 and on Broad Street. Without the left turn signals, the work that will be done will be mostly cosmetic. The Five Points problem won't go away.

Tamaqua has waited a long time to get this problem straightened out. We are glad to see that they voted to approve letters to local state and federal officials informing of the decison, and requesting them to get involved to get the project back to the initial proposal.

Residents are urged to express their viewpoints to their local representatives also.

The motorists who risk life and limb at that intersection every day should have the final say.

Bob Urban

rurban@tnonline.com