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Residents want road blocked

By Fritz Mayer
June 15, 2011

Back in November 2009, the Hawley Borough Council agreed to close a portion of Wellwood Avenue that ran in front of the Hawley Silk Mill building when Lackawanna College was considering opening up operations in the large renovated building.

It turned out, however, that many drivers used Wellwood as a sort-of by pass to reach Route 6 without having to travel through the borough. And much of that traffic now uses the narrower Atkinson and Academy streets for the trip, causing congestion and annoyance to the residents.

One of them, Orlando Marrero, turned out to the borough council meeting on June 8, to ask the council to consider closing the roads, at least part of the time, to keep the additional traffic out of the neighborhood.

Marrero proposed a “movable barrier,” that could be opened at times to allow school buses to have access in the morning and afternoon.

The borough solicitor Robert Bernathy said that he was not aware of any provisions in the law that would allow the borough to temporarily close the roads, and said he would do research on the matter if the council wanted him to do so. The council did not ask him to look into it.

Council member Joseph Faubel said that he was looking into the use of speed bumps or other devices to slow traffic down or otherwise control it on the two streets.

Another problem with the roads, said resident Michael Rizzi, is that some of the global positioning systems that come with new cars are still indicating that Wellwood is an open street, and frequently large vehicles, sometimes with trailers, arrive at the gate and then must navigate a way to turn around.

Council president Donald Kyzer said that eventually there will be a cul-de-sac at the spot in which drivers will be able to turn around.

Police chief Daniel Drake said police have been actively trying to help control traffic in the neighborhood by enforcing the speed limit and ticketing drivers who don’t stop at the stop signs.

Merraro also said that he and the other residents were concerned by a suggestion at a previous meeting that one way to deal with the problem would be to turn the bridge on Church Street into a one-way bridge, which would prevent people from using the short cut in at least one direction. Marrero said if the council did that they would simply be moving the problem “from one neighborhood to another.”

Kyzer said while that suggestion had been discussed briefly, the council had no plans to move forward with it.