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Stop sign

Published October 05. 2009 02:55PM

A most unique intersection is the one at Third and Bridge Street in Lehighton. Bridge Street and Third Street intersect to a triangle. Also at the triangle is a street passing the parking lot of the American Legion Post.

There are several stop signs. A part of the intersection which has been controversial for the past year is the point facing east on Bridge Street.

Last year, a woman attended a meeting of Lehighton Borough Council. She is legally blind and explained the difficulty she has crossing Third Street because there's a slight curve in Bridge Street and motorists often drive faster than they should. As a result, there have been times when she was halfway across the street and came very close to being hit by a car.

She says a stop sign facing east on Bridge Street makes it safer for her and her children to cross the street.

The council obliged and put up a stop sign.

This brought complaints month after month from an individual who lives on the Heights section. He says traffic back-ups at the stop sign make it dangerous for him to pull from Millway Street onto Bridge.

The council listened to those complaints and took the stop sign away.

This week, the blind woman was back as well as several other individuals who stated the intersection was much safer when the stop sign was there. The opposing man also attended the meeting and made it clear he doesn't want the stop sign put back.

Lehighton Borough Manager John Wagner volunteered to referee the dispute. He said he has a degree in traffic surveys and will be willing to do one at the intersection in question.

The borough council said one of the main criteria on which they want Wagner to dwell is safety.

Councilman Darryl Arner said he doesn't want to wait until a youngster is struck by a car before a stop sign is re-installed, if it is deemed the intersection needs such a traffic control mechanism.

The council is taking everybody's viewpoint seriously and checking first-hand into a fair and safe solution.

The mere fact that a stop sign forces motorists to stop and look before proceeding into a 45-degree turn onto Third Street from Bridge, instead of coming around the corner blind, makes it seem likely a stop sign will be recommended.

Whatever the council's decision, it is to be commended for listening to borough residents and acting appropriately to address their concerns.

By Ron Gower

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