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Honesdale police recognized, Park Street intersection discussed

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HONESDALE, PA — Mayor Sarah Canfield kicked off the borough meeting Monday night by offering thanks to Honesdale Borough Police Officers Vincent Mezick and Ray Gabikian.

The two officers revived two overdose victims in June by administering Narcan and CPR.

“These actions are a credit to your training, knowledge and duty to help others,” Canfield said.

The mayor also congratulated Dustin Etzel, a Honesdale High School senior who recently became an Eagle Scout by donating three benches and two picnic tables to Prompton State Park.

Borough secretary Judith Poltanis reported that the early stages of drafting the 2020 budget are underway. Officials will hold a special budget meeting on September 30 at 6 p.m.

Later in the night, councilor Jim Jennings brought up concerns about pedestrian safety at the four-way intersection of Park Street and Main Street. He said that he has nearly been hit by cars several times when using the crosswalk leading to Hotel Wayne. Currently, west-bound drivers who are turning right from Park Street onto North Main Street have a green arrow at the same time that pedestrians have a “walk signal.” Jennings asked if the issue warranted a letter to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT).

Borough solicitor Richard Henry said that sending a letter would be appropriate, arguing that the ‘walk’ signal gives pedestrians a false sense of security and makes them less likely to check for oncoming traffic.

Council president Michael Augello was opposed to the suggestion that turning right on red there be prohibited, because it might back up traffic.

Borough police lieutenant Robert Langman said it’s all in the timing: the driver in the right-turn lane should have a red light, while pedestrians have a “walk” signal. Once the signal goes away, drivers should get the green arrow, the lieutenant said. He also raised another concern: that drivers in the right lane, which is a right-turn-only lane, often continue straight onto Park Street, cutting off the drivers in the left lane. Nearly everybody in the room nodded as he said this, acknowledging that it has happened to them. Poltanis said it happens to her almost daily.

The council did not take any action on the issue, but seemed to be in consensus that the intersection, as well as the intersection at the other end of Main Street, should be reevaluated for safety.

The borough decided that the Parks and Recreation Commission will work with the Wayne County Creative Arts Council (WCCAC) to move the council’s trailer stage out of Honesdale’s central park for the season. Jennings said that people have been gathering at the stage after park hours, smoking and leaving trash behind, and that people have been found sleeping in it overnight.

“It’s become a hazard,” Jennings said.

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