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$1M in Projects Move Forward in Macungie

Council debates the cost versus the need for a traffic light at Church and Main streets.

In another measured, deliberate step, Macungie Borough Council this week unanimously agreed to go forward with three capital projects that will ultimately cost about $1 million.

Though little was offered, there was plenty of time for public comment on the construction of Lumber Street, the reconstruction of Cotton Street and a traffic light that may be constructed at Church and Main streets. But consideration for taking on that much debt will mean there will be more time for public comment as the plan proceeds.

The first step, taken at the Feb. 19 meeting, was to approve the hiring of a financial consultant because the projects will require the borough to take on either a loan or to issue a bond.

A fourth component—the refinancing of Water Authority debt— may or may not be included in the costs being considered.

Some debate surrounded the possibility of the Church and Main traffic light because if a traffic study shows that a light is warranted, the borough loses the option to choose whether to install one, Borough Manager Chris Boehm said.

If a traffic study shows the need, a light must be installed and would cost about $300,000, she said.

However, council decided to go ahead with a traffic study of the intersection to be done by a private engineer instead of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

Council President Christopher Becker repeated several times that quick decisions are not necessary.

"We can either go forward with these projects or tell the financing people we need more time," Becker said.

Joseph Sikorski reminded fellow council members that there will never be a more economical time to take make this move.

"It takes a long time to turn left out of Church Street. If a traffic study shows the need, there will never be a cheaper time to buy or to finance a light," Sikorski said.

Macungie resident Marvin Moyer, however, told council he is against taking on the cost of installing the traffic light.

"I'm opposed to a light that taxpayers of Macungie will have to pay for. That traffic is generated in Lower Macungie. Instead, make the speed limit ther 15 miles per hour and people will get annoyed and stop using that intersection," Moyer said.

Michael D Siegel March 08, 2013 at 03:44 PM
Mr Moyer, People will still use the intersection because the Bear Creek signs tell them to utilize this intersection. Slowing the speed limit will not annoy people. This a major destination point for a recreation facility in the LV. The Pub on Main St will also benefit greatly by a traffic signal as well as the rest of your citizens becasue of poor sight distance and will generally slow the traffic down through Main St as well. The only major problem I forsee is that traffic does not back up through the intersection when a train crosses. The timing of the traffic signal is critical to the railroad crossing so the intersection does get blocked with vehicles turning left from Church St. Preemption devices, battery backup and a closed looped system should be considered for this intersection and for emergency vehicles
Ron Beitler March 08, 2013 at 03:47 PM
Marvin is correct that the Borough is paying for development decisions in LMT. I wish the council would have made comments on the Allen Organ proposal regarding traffic counts but they didnt. Michael is right a closed loop system is essential.

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