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Health and safety first in Honesdale

By Linda Drollinger
July 17, 2013

One-way or two-way traffic? That is the question. Begun three years ago, the current one-way traffic pattern on Main and Church Streets in Honesdale has split residents and visitors alike into two unbending camps. Each is convinced that nothing less than the safety and prosperity of the borough is at stake. A perennial topic at Honesdale Borough Council meetings, it re-surfaced at the July 8 meeting of the council, this time in connection with safety concerns centered on the 89 reported vehicular accidents on Main and Church streets during the last three years.

Safety committee chair Robert Jennings proposed that the borough engage Bogart Engineering to conduct a study of the accidents, in an effort to determine if the one-way traffic pattern could have been a contributing factor in any of them. Because the initial cost of the Bogart study would be $2,800, president F. J. Monaghan asked police chief Joseph LoBasso if the review of those accidents that the chief had pledged to handle by himself could produce, at no cost to the borough, findings similar or identical to those anticipated from the Bogart study. LoBasso reported that, at this time, his review is ongoing, carried out as time and other job responsibilities permit; barring unforeseen circumstances, he expects to complete it within the next two weeks. But he could not guarantee that his review would determine if any of the accidents resulted either directly or indirectly from the one-way traffic pattern. The council voted to engage Bogart Engineering.

During the public comment portion of the meeting, a resident petitioned the council to lower the speed limit on Cottage Street. Quietly identifying herself as the mother of a child struck by a car while playing on that street, she noted that no speed limit is currently posted on the street and that it lacks signage appropriate for the area, specifically “Children Playing” and “No Outlet.” LoBasso informed the council that lowering the speed limit would require new legislation, but that the other signage could be put in place quickly and without the need for legislation. The council thanked the resident for her testimony and agreed to take action as needed.

LoBasso reported that data obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation speed-minders on Main and Church streets, from May 22 to May 28, was encouraging: of the 21,000 vehicles recorded, the average speed on Main Street was 22 mph; on Church Street the average speed was 26 mph. The speed limit on both streets is 25 mph.