locally owned since 1854

Number of snow emergency streets might drop in borough

By Dan Miller

danmiller@pressandjournal.com

717-944-4628
Posted 3/13/19

Middletown Borough Council on March 5 gave initial approval to eliminate South Wood, Water and Catherine streets from the snow emergency routes list.

Borough Manager Ken Klinepeter will come back …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Number of snow emergency streets might drop in borough

Posted

Middletown Borough Council on March 5 gave initial approval to eliminate South Wood, Water and Catherine streets from the snow emergency routes list.

Borough Manager Ken Klinepeter will come back to council at a future meeting to present a revised ordinance removing them, at which time council could consider approving the proposal for public advertisement. Another vote would be needed for the change to become final.

People who live or work on a snow emergency route must move their vehicle in case of a snow emergency that is declared by the mayor. Not obeying can lead to tickets or towing of cars.

“It is a burden on a lot of residents on some streets who have no off-street parking,” Public Works Director Greg Wilsbach told council in January. These residents have to move their vehicles onto other residential side streets where parking is already tight.

Wilsbach told council the borough had not made any changes in the list of streets for many years, and including some of them on the list no longer is necessary.

For example, the fire house on Water Street is no longer active. Borough police needed Catherine Street to access the rest of town when the police station was at the municipal building on West Emaus Street. But now the station is on East Emaus Street.

Moving the vehicles makes it easier for public works crews to plow the snow on these streets, which are considered the most important streets in town in terms of first responders such as police, fire and emergency medical services being able to get to where they need to go in town in case of an emergency.

Snow emergency routes are also typically the most heavily traveled streets in the borough, so clearing them first also helps traffic on all streets, according to the borough’s snow emergency ordinance.

Sign cost

Wilsbach also noted that the number of signs that the borough must post to enforce no-parking restrictions on a snow emergency route is such that signs are needed every few houses.

Besides being an aesthetic issue for people living on the street, this has become a cost issue for the borough to purchase all the signs that are needed, Wilsbach said.

In some cases, the prohibition affects vehicles parked on both sides of the street, as on Main and Union streets. Other times, the restriction just affects vehicles parked on one side of the street.

By eliminating some routes that are no longer needed, the borough can remove signs from those routes and install the signs on the remaining snow emergency routes, to save money, he said.

Wilsbach had proposed eliminating three snow emergency routes in the north part of town — East Roosevelt Avenue, Frey Avenue and Adelia Street north of Main Street.

But all three will be kept as snow emergency routes, after Mayor James H. Curry III objected to eliminating them from the list.

Curry was concerned that getting rid of these streets as snow emergency routes would mean first responders would not have sufficient access in case of emergencies to the most populated areas of town in the Second Ward.