SOUTH BETHLEHEM – During Monday’s regular monthly meeting, ordinance violations, stop signs, speed bumps and parking problems along South and Hamilton streets once again dominated the South Bethlehem Borough Council’s agenda.
South Street resident Michael Moore said that drivers cutting through his neighborhood were not obeying the posted 15-mph speed limit, presenting a danger to children playing in or near the street. He and his neighbors are also annoyed by employees of a nearby group home blocking driveways in the morning and littering their properties with cigarette butts.
Council vice president Mike Tharan said that he has also seen motorists blowing through a stop-sign-controlled intersection in front of his own residence a block away from Moore’s. Other council members noted that they have seen similar violations at other intersections within the borough.
Moore presented some possible solutions to the problem in front of his house. The first was installing speed bumps at stop signs, with an alternative being the use of an innovative optical-illusion speed bump that would make drivers only think they were approaching a traffic-control barrier.
Moore also suggested that South Street be made a one-way thoroughfare. He recommended the installation of a lighted speed indicator sign in the same vicinity.
Tharan said that, while speed bumps in the middle of a block are prohibited by law, they could be installed at the three-way stop in front of his home. The speed bump issue was a matter of concern a year or so ago. The bumps could be installed in March and removed in November.
Tharan also said that he would look into buying more stop and speed-limit signs in the near future. It would be feasible to erect no-parking signs in front of Moore’s house to alleviate the problems on that block.
Mayor Randall Stahlman suggested getting in touch with the group home and addressing the problems its employees are creating in the South Street area. Later in the meeting, he said that making the street one-way is not a viable option because “South Bethlehem is not a one way-street sort of town.”
• Tharan said that three paving companies are being invited to view paving projects in the borough, notably on King Street and numerous South Bethlehem alleys which have seen severe deterioration in recent years. Those companies are Hager, Terra Works and Jefferson.
• Ordinance violations at a few properties were addressed, with one foreclosed home having two foot-high weeds growing in the lawn. Determining who now owns the property, believed to be a bank, would allow the borough secretary to send a letter requiring payment for removing the vegetation.
• One unit in the apartment building at the corner of Hamilton and Allison streets, the former location of the First Church of God, is creating a problem by piling junk on its side of the property. Fronting on Allison Street, that rental unit has numerous unused bikes and other refuse on the porch and under nearby bushes and trees. The borough plans to contact the building owner about the problem.
• Allen Dawson, the borough’s representative on the Redbank Valley Municipal Park’s board, said that several roads in the park require paving at a cost of about $6,200. South Bethlehem, along with Porter Township and Hawthorn, are the only remaining municipalities supporting the RVMP, which would require an additional $2,000 from each of them unless supplemental funding is found elsewhere. The council was not in favor of ponying up the money until South Bethlehem’s own paving needs are met.
• The next regular monthly meeting of South Bethlehem Council will be at 7 p.m. on July 1 in the borough building along Grant Street.