Whitehall-Coplay Press

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Task force discusses new Route 22 signage for trucks

Wednesday, March 25, 2020 by PAUL FOX Special to The Press in Local News

Representatives from numerous municipalities met March 3 in North Catasauqua to continue an ongoing effort to address truck traffic in the region.

The concerned townships and boroughs were joined by state Rep. Jeanne McNeill, D-133rd; representatives from the office of state Sen. Lisa Boscola, D-18th; and Becky Bradley, executive director of Lehigh Valley Planning Commission, making this the most heavily attended meeting yet.

Based on discussions held during the past several meetings, officials from Catasauqua, North Catasauqua and Northampton boroughs and East Allen Township have begun pursuing numerous means of rerouting, discouraging and prohibiting truck traffic in specific areas.

Catasauqua Police Chief Douglas Kish informed the group his department sent in an application for an officer to receive Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program training, but they have not yet heard back.

Being MCSAP certified enables a police officer to stop a tractor-trailer for inspection purposes. The task force hopes this will deter truck drivers from cutting through residential areas to reach their destinations.

MCSAP training is in high demand, so class space is low, and it can be hard for smaller police departments to get an officer into the program. Officials in the task force hope the Catasauqua officer will have a better shot as a representative of the larger task force and the whole region.

Another frequent discussion among the task force members has been the use of signs, which could instruct drivers to stay off certain roads. Finding the appropriate wording and location for signs has proved difficult.

At previous meetings, the Fullerton Avenue exit off Route 22 was identified as the start of truckers’ paths into Catasauqua and beyond.

Bradley said the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is amenable to figuring out proper signage on Route 22, but it would require a traffic study. Fortunately, according to Bradley, PennDOT would likely cover the cost of the study. McNeill and representatives for Boscola said they would gladly reach out to PennDOT and recommend they work with the task force.

The task force next meets 9 a.m. April 7 at Northampton Borough Municipal Building, 1401 Laubach Ave.