What's it going to take?
When I moved my family into the Southeastern Pocono Mountain area of Pennsylvania in 1983, I could not understand why the political representatives serving in the Tamaqua district over the many years gone by, had never looked into having a bypass constructed on Route 309 to move traffic around the town, and also to eliminate many of the large truck transports.
When I had mentioned this to several prominent town residents, and political figures on occasion, I was always given this same reason; "It would have cost too much money for the taxpayers." This is why I believe, the Conservation Corps Program should be reactivated in America once again, to not only improve the infrastructure where needed to maintain safer and more practical roadways, but also to create jobs in economy oppressed areas.
Furthermore, does anyone really know how many lives have been lost over the years which could have been prevented, if more care and concern would have been taken to rectify this traffic congested town of Tamaqua? Most of the fatalities probably resulted from tractor trailers traveling too fast while entering town either from the North or from the South, and unable to stop when traffic was at a standstill. How many still remember that tragic Summer day, when a large flat bed truck carrying heavy steel piping spilled their load, and crushed a woman to death while she sat in her car in a traffic jam?
Now, I just read in the newspaper where two million dollars will be spent to improve these unsafe traffic conditions through Tamaqua, since this most recent trucking accident has taken the life of an elderly woman, while critically injuring her husband. Tell me how two million dollars will be spent to make any kind of a difference, in how much better the traffic will flow through the town of Tamaqua? In my opinion, this money should be put towards some kind of a 309 bypass to get these large, heavy load trucks out of our town, if they are only passing through.
How many more lives do we need to lose in the town of Tamaqua resulting from careless truck accidents, until the cost of constructing a bypass around the town will be well worth the price tag? Anyone who shops in Tamaqua, especially if you frequently travel into town, or own a small business in town, should whole heartedly support this project, because it would benefit everyone in the long run by reducing the aggravation of facing a continuous traffic tie-up. We need to encourage our political representatives to find ways of funding the construction of a Route 309 bypass, to redirect traffic not intending to stop in town for business purposes.
Undoubtedly, there will be a high price to pay in completing a redirected Route 309 roadway around the town of Tamaqua, but the loss of precious human life which could be preventable, needs to be considered "priceless".
John M. "Jack" Selby