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It’s been warm, cold, sunny and dreary lately. What is this season’s nature? Will spring remain as we remember it from earlier in our lifetimes? How many new episodes of “The OA” can I sneak in tonight? These are things pondered, as this year progresses, the weather warms and I stretch the fibers of my walking shoes.
There are four pedestrian bridges in Honesdale Borough. Three downtown, two over water, one over train tracks and one where my high school buddies once tossed a mannequin off of for a video productions assignment as unsuspecting teachers drove by in horror. There’s a bridge for all kinds.
A recent borough council meeting held a crosswalk discussion. To paint them or not to paint them? Because it’s a topic of present interest, the following is a Pennsylvania walking primer:
In PA, with some exceptions, intersections are crosswalks. This applies at intersections in Honesdale and at all painted crosswalks, including mid-block, and automobiles must yield to pedestrian crosswalk crossings. Painted lines and flashing lights are helpful, but they aren’t required. Crosswalks are legally baked into our transportation network. Interested in the weeds of transportation issues, like me*? Check Chapter 35 of the PA Vehicle Code (Title 75).
Anecdote/municipal regulations notwithstanding, pedestrians in PA can also cross the street anywhere. They just need to yield to cars when not it a crosswalk. Seems reasonable, right? But wait—isn’t jaywalking illegal? Not necessarily. Many of the earliest “jaywalking” laws and fears were born out of manipulations from the automobile lobby on its imperial march across our built landscape. Walking should be accessible and comfortable, yet jaywalking remains a partially political and revolutionary act. See you on the sidewalk.
If you’re already out and about, weave around and over the walking bridge by Wayne Memorial Hospital and continue east, up the West Branch Lackawaxen River, along the hiking trail built by Wayne County. Here you’ll find the Stourbridge Project. It’s part co-working space, media studio, business incubator and prototyping lab packed into a renovated, 1920s school building. Beyond these offerings and the fact that working there, using the fastest free internet connection around, usually means you’ll run into somebody also working on an interesting project. The Stourbridge Project also holds workshops and events.
On Second Saturday, April 13, there’s an Arduino Day event taking place at the Stourbridge Project. This is the local instance of an international celebration of Arduino, “an open-source electronics platform based on easy-to-use hardware and software.” (www.arduino.cc) For more info, find the Stourbridge Project on Facebook or visit www.arduinodaynepa.weebly.com
*Sarah Jones-Hopkins, one of several pseudonyms used by Honesdale’s Derek Williams, makes maps, movie festivals and other things under the project umbrella of Canaltown. You can find more H’dale stories and other items like Borough Council meeting recordings at canaltown552.com or social channels @canaltown552.