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Pedestrian Accident on Lower Macungie Agenda

Commissioners will address the June 3 accident that has neighbors and parents concerned.

The June 3 pedestrian accident in which a 6-year-old boy was hit by a car continues to cause great concerns to parents and residents in the community.

“The township is working with the Pennsylvania State Police regarding the accident, and will be discussing this at the June 16 Board of Commissioners meeting,”  said Lower Macungie Township Manager Bruce Fosselman.

The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. in the . The agenda is not yet available, but closer to the Thursday meeting date should be available here.

The incident occurred just before 5 p.m., and say the boy, who was unnamed by police because of his age and listed only as being from Macungie, was attempting to cross Willow Lane from the east side at the intersection of Sauerkraut Lane at 4:54 p.m., according to police.

Police also say the boy ran in front of the car.

The site of the accident was the intersection of Willow and Sauerkraut lanes in Lower Macungie Township in the vicinity of .

Residents have voiced several concerns about the intersection including

  • The lack of “School Zone” signs and/or crossing guards at the school. 
  • The need for a light at the intersection instead of a four-way stop sign.
  • Disregard of the rules of the road by bicyclists

Regarding the need to create a school zone, Sean Brown, a Pennsylvania Department of Transportation press officer outlined the requirements.

“A school zone must be requested by the East Penn School District and a traffic study would then be done.

“In order to install a traffic light, a request would be made by the township and, again, a traffic study would be done.  

"If a light were to be installed, it would be owned and maintained by the township," Brown said.

Others in the community are hesitant to talk about the incident including Willow Lane Principal Anthony Moyer and PTO co-presidents Laura Kohler and Susan McNamara who all declined to comment on the incident.

LoMac Res June 14, 2011 at 11:13 AM
Not sure why the the police keep saying the boy "ran in front of the car." Pedestrians have the right-of-way at intersection crosswalks "when traffic-control signals are not in place or not in operation. " Pedestrians may jog, run, walk, or crawl across an intersection, and they still have the right of way. RE cyclists at the intersection. That's a two-way deal. Motorists need to know the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code. Cyclists have full rights to the roadway. If a cyclist approaches the intersection like a vehicle (which in general means occupying the center of the road), waits his or her turn, and signals his or her turn, the cyclist should be treated like any other vehicle in the intersection. Cyclists should not blow through the intersection, and that's a matter of education and enforcement. They can be ticketed for that. RE traffic light. The intersection would be safer for all with a light. In general I respect township management, but it's bordering on negligent that a light was not planned for this intersection from the moment the school was approved.
Jenae Holtzhafer June 14, 2011 at 12:24 PM
Just this past weekend, I was crossing Chestnut St. in Emmaus AT a brick-laid crosswalk. I stood there for five minutes before my husband cautiously walked into the street to stop traffic so I could get across. One woman nearly hit him just to try to make some point. She screamed at him from her window. It blows my mind. For some reason, people in our area don't understand that 'right-of-way' law, so here it is taken directly from the PennDOT website: Section 3542. Right-of-way of pedestrians in crosswalks. (a) General rule.—When traffic-control signals are not in place or not in operation, the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection. (b) Exercise of care by pedestrian.—No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close as to constitute a hazard. (c) Limitation on vehicles passing.—Whenever any vehicle is stopped at any crosswalk at an intersection or at any marked crosswalk to permit a pedestrian to cross the roadway, the driver of any other vehicle approaching from the rear shall not overtake and pass the stopped vehicle. (d) Application of section.—Subsection (a) does not apply under the conditions stated in section 3543(b) (relating to pedestrians crossing at other than crosswalks).
Michael Limar June 14, 2011 at 11:00 PM
As a parent, taxpayer, and local resident, my heart goes out to the child and the family, not to mention the driver who I'm sure wouldn't wish this accident upon anyone. Thank goodness that the injuries sustained were not catastrophic. That said, think about the ramifications if a traffic light were to be installed at that intersection, and the driver were to proceed through a "changing yellow light" when the boy did what little boys tend to do. This poor child and all of these comments would be much different. I vote no to a traffic light at this intersection, but additional school zone, pedestrian crossings, crossing guards during the school year, and education that pedestrians have the right of way at all times, in all circumstances-absolutely yes.

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