Franklin limits parking near lake
Franklin Township supervisors adopted a new parking ordinance Tuesday to curb issues on roads near Beltzville State Park.
The ordinance prohibits parking along certain roads within the township including Fresh Meadow Drive, portions of Green Street and portions of Pohopoco Drive.
With the adoption of this ordinance, the township hopes to decrease the number of parking violations within the area.
Residents voiced concerns regarding traffic surrounding the park on summer weekends.
Complaints varied during public participation.
Stephen DeLello said he was forced to drive on the wrong side of the road due to the amount of parking on the streets. Another resident said he could barely drive back to his own home from the lake and that he was forced to take a series of back roads.
Concerns were also raised regarding the fact that emergency vehicles could not safely pass through the area due to traffic.
Residents noted that parking issues started as early as 5:30 a.m. on some days.
Supervisor Barbara Beltz explained that the township was trying the best that they could do to resolve the problem.
“It’s not for lack of trying, honestly it’s not. We have spent a lot of time with Doyle Heffley, we’ve had meetings and we’re trying.”
Beltz said that having the fire police at the park every weekend was not the answer. She noted the importance of shutting down the park once cars got backed up to avoid a backlog of vehicles and other issues.
Residents said towing was not as frequent as last year. They proposed that if more cars were being towed away, parking violations would not be as severe.
Towamensing Township officials have also fielded complaints about the traffic surrounding the state-owned park. Last year, state Rep. Doyle Heffley called for the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to limit Beltzville’s day-use areas to Pennsylvania residents only, citing concerns about potential spikes in COVID-19 cases.
DCNR manages the 2,972-acre park in Towamensing and Franklin townships, including the 949-acre lake on behalf of its owner, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The Army Corps built the dam and lake for flood control along the Lehigh and Delaware rivers.
The next Franklin Township meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 17 at the township municipal office.