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Addressing the bridge issues

Published July 14. 2012 09:01AM

Dear Editor:

I am writing this letter in response to a letter written to you by a person using the name Don Wilson. If anyone knows a Don Wilson from Jim Thorpe, please introduce him to me so I can explain my positions to him face to face. I do not believe he exists and the letter was probably written by a devious coward. However, if he does exist he obviously is new to the area and does not know the Jim Thorpe Borough well enough. He also will not be able to comprehend the positions stated in my letter to the editor published in the Times News, June 30, 2012 concerning the proposed new bridge location and traffic patterns in Jim Thorpe, PA.

I never open a letter addressed to me without a valid name and return address on the outside of the envelope. I also do not waste my time reading a letter unless I am sure of its author. I will make an exception in this case and answer the letter since it appeared in a public newspaper.

In answer to Mr. Wilson's address of my concern number l:

The proposed new bridge location where it intersects with PA Legislative Route 209, will be approximately 200 yards south of the Liberties Hill road intersection, the proposed Routes 209/93 bridge terminus will not be impacted by traffic traveling the Liberties Hill road to and from the Heights area of the Jim Thorpe Borough. However, however I do believe that it will be more difficult for traffic coming down the Liberties Hill road and trying to merge on to Route 209 if the new bridge is located as presently proposed.

The problem traffic that I wish to expose is traffic that will use Route 209 and will be coming from the direction of Nesquehoning. Constantly it will be backed up 100 yards beyond the Liberties Hill road intersection with Route 209 to and beyond the horrendous bad curve, 100 yards to the northwest. This danger will be greatly increased each work day when Kovatch Corporation's employees leave work at the completion of their work day and are traveling on Route 209 to Jim Thorpe, Lehighton and other places where they reside. Dear readers, have you ever been present on Route 209 when Kovatch employees are passing through Jim Thorpe? It always creates a dangerous traffic backup. This is solvable, let us get it done!

In answer to Mr. Wilson's address of my concern number 2:

I never have suggested replacing the bridge at the exact location of the present bridge; even you can figure that out. A new bridge must first be finished before the present bridge is dismantled and removed. The location for the new bridge I suggest is down river, next to the present bridge at the location where the bridge that the present bridge replaced was in existence.

In answer to Mr. Wilson's address of my concerns numbers 3 and 4:

The deaths that have occurred or will occur in the future when heavy vehicles loose their brakes coming down the mountain off the Pocono Mountain Plateau will not be resolved until a safety run off is constructed on Route 903. The runoff could be used by dangerous vehicles when in trouble and before entering the east side of town. It has nothing to do with the bridge location. If a safety run-off road is not constructed, a runaway vehicle will smash into other structures in East Jim Thorpe or continue across the proposed new bridge and smash into the rock formation and other vehicles at the Route 209 end of the bridge.

A new route off the mountain top plateau that does not use North Street through Jim Thorpe is possible in the future (I will explain this at a later date) if we are able to use the former Lehigh Valley rail bed as a bypass road through Jim Thorpe. Also if traffic could use the Lehigh Valley rail bed as a bypass, the new bridge that I propose could start/end on this rail bed on the east side of the river. It would rise up over the railroads on the west side of the river connecting it with Route 209. This bridge would be less expensive than any other bridge proposal making way for a downtown bypass. Using the Lehigh Valley railroad bed from Glen Onoko to the Lehigh River Narrows Bridge is the key to solving traffic problems in Jim Thorpe, including eliminating the Mansion House Hill road.

Today people wanting to pass through Jim Thorpe quickly and safely do not shop in Jim Thorpe because of the traffic problems. Getting the thru traffic out of the Mauch Chunk historic district, will encourage more of the people passing thru Jim Thorpe to stop and support and expand our local economy. Thru traffic and parking was a detriment to our business before the county condemned our property at 34-36 Susquehanna Street. The county redevelopment authority forced us to move our Jim Thorpe Auto Supply business after operating there from 1966 thru 1983. If the bypass, as I describe, was in operation our business would have been a lot better off as would the Blue Mt. Bike Shop that today operates at that location.

Mr. Wilson or coward, do not let problem solving "boggle your mind", our God has given us human beings dominion over planet Earth and the ability to solve problems. No decisions are "locked in stone" and can be changed even where railroads are concerned. Our governments, local, state or federal have long ago been instructed by "we the people" to interact with private industry. Check PNC and CSPAN for information of our government's daily workings.

Our "government" is formed by us according to the Constitutions "we the people" have made. Any one who is employed by government operations, works for us, "we the people." Also we do not have to "thank" former representative Keith McCall for his actions on behalf of "we the people of Carbon County"; he was paid very well as is Rep. Heffly, and Senators Yudichak and Argyl. We expect them to act in the best interest of the people who elect and trust them to do so. These employees must not act for their own best interests, or special interests, however, if they do we must remove them from elected office.

Since 1997, I have been one of nine school directors serving the citizen's wishes for the operation of the Jim Thorpe Area School District. Anyone attending school board meetings is aware of my desire for total transparency of the actions of the elected and non elected members of the board, and also the employees of the school district. Even if I know the answer to an important question, I will always ask it so it can be answered at the public meeting or reported on by the newspapers.

Complying with PA state education regulations, the school district's finances, supporting documents and board actions, are independently and state audited each year. These audits are available for public inspection. Also you can personally contact the school's auditor or the State Auditor General about your concerns.

I repeat again, if you are a real person Mr. Wilson, I look forward to meeting you and discussing your concerns about my ideas for solving traffic problems in Jim Thorpe, PA. I also invite you to attend meetings of the Jim Thorpe Area School District so that you can witness my actions protecting your interests and tax dollars as I tenaciously represent you and other school district citizens and students on the Jim Thorpe Area School Board.


for better government,

Gerald "Jerry"


lifelong resident

of Mauch Chunk/Jim Thorpe

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