East Greenville officials heard some additional concerns on Tuesday night about the suggested solutions to safety issues in the streets around the Upper Perkiomen Middle School.
The subject was raised at June’s work-shop meeting by Mayor Ryan Sloyer, who talked to the school’s principal, Duane Wickard Jr., and asked him to weigh in on previous discussions regarding the options to make Jefferson Street safer for the students.
Problems at the site include students being dropped off on the opposite side of the street from the school and crossing the busy thoroughfare, as well as congested parking. The area is not currently designated as a school zone.
Suggested solutions include making Jefferson Street one way or at least designating no parking on one side of the street; making the area in front of the middle school a school zone; making Jefferson Street one way between Sixth and Fifth streets; and installing a “No Left Turn” sign at Fifth Street to alleviate traffic turning onto Main Street. In the latter case, traffic would continue to Fourth Street and left turns onto Main Street would be made at the traffic signal.
At a meeting on July 1, Sloyer asked council to send a notice to residents of the 500 block of Jefferson Street inviting them to the July 23 meeting so they could voice their concerns about the options.
Some area residents said they are concerned about the proposed one-way solution on Jefferson Street because they feel that this will not alleviate the problem.
Wickard, who also attended the meeting, and said the school will support whatever decision council reaches. Wickard added that his concern is for the safety of the children.
Stuart Bush, executive director of The Open Link, expressed concern about drivers who use the senior center parking lot as a cut off, saying that if the proposed one-way goes into effect, the parking lot could become more tempting for drivers to cut through. Bush said he is concerned for the seniors who use the center, as well as the children.
Council members also discussed the possibility of a cross walk and a crossing guard to improve safety.
Borough Manager Jim Fry said that he will ask a representative from the borough’s engineering firm to attend the Aug. 5 borough council meeting so that any questions or concerns about potential traffic changes can be addressed right away.
In other business, borough resident Mike Schwenk asked council about the borough’s plan to have the sidewalks repaired. Council President Josiah Pierson said the issue has been discussed, but “in these economic times, the borough didn’t feel that they could impose this expense onto the resident at this time.” Council members discussed moving forward on the sidewalk repair plan by identifying which sidewalks are in need of repair.
Schwenk also asked council about the weed problem on the sidewalks and whether homeowners were responsible for weed removal. Fry said that it is the borough’s responsibility and that licensed road crew personnel have sprayed twice this year. However, this year the weeds seem to be particularly problematic because of all the rain. Council members said they are aware of the problem and it is being addressed.
Also at the meeting, Sloyer publicly thanked Jefferson Street resident Edmund Kuhn for donating a match stick replica of the East Greenville Borough Hall. The replica, constructed by Kuhn, is currently on display at borough hall.
Finally, council discussed the need for a new/used dump truck that would also be used for snow removal.