In response to public concern over long wait times at many signal-controlled Tamaqua intersections, PennDOT subcontractors are spending time updating the current time intervals in which people have to wait at a stop light.

Ronald J. Young, Jr., M.P.A., district press officer, Engineering District 5, PA Department of Transportation, said yesterday that signal timing at 11 signalized intersections in the borough were reviewed and retimed in an attempt to improve traffic flow.

He added that damaged signal poles are being repaired or relocated to minimize future damage by turning trucks.

In addition a signal is being added for the Hess Windows business driveway.

"The main intersection of US 209/PA 309 (also called Five Points) now has a so-called 'all red pedestrian phase' so that no one should be turning during the pedestrian walk phase," said Young. "At other times, when the lights are green, pedestrians should not be walking."

The 'No Turn on Red' at Pine Street (west bound) approaching Mauch Chunk Street was also recently changed to only apply during Sunday mornings from 8 a.m. to noon when church parking is allowed on the street. At all other times, turn on red is allowed.

To keep all traffic on the same clock, all the intersections are controlled wirelessly via a main control station located at the Five Points intersection.

"This is all part of the $1,784,487 project to help improve safety and mitigate traffic congestion in downtown Tamaqua," Young added.

Included in the project were traffic signal upgrades, railroad/emergency services traffic signal preemption devices, pedestrian signal upgrades, new curb ramps and new signs on PA 309 between Spruce and Elm streets and on US 209 between PA 309 and Greenwood Street.