YORK – City officials are going to be looking into pedestrian and bicycle safety issues in the area of 12th Street and Maine Avenue, as concerns have been raised.
Council member Christi Lones brought the matter to the council this past week, after she was approached by a concerned citizen who was worried about safety as it is a high traffic area for elementary and middle school kids.
Mix with that the volume of parked cars on the street by the college’s field house – which was said to create some visibility issues for motorists as kids are crossing the street – it could potentially be a dangerous situation.
“I’m asking the council to consider some preventive measures rather than reactionary measures,” Lones said.
“We are looking at an approach to improving the safety there,” said Mayor Barry Redfern.
York Police Chief Ed Tjaden said he agreed that things could be done there, with signage and other options, “and this is not just an issue during the school year, it’s also during the summer because of the locations of the ballfield complex and the aquatic center (which are just to the east of this area).”
He agreed there is an issue of on-street parking by the field house, which creates visibility issues as kids walk and ride their bikes in that area.
The chief also said the department could certainly install a traffic counter/monitor in that area, “so we can continue to evaluate (traffic patterns) that entire area.”
“I’d like you to do that, and for the council to go up there and take a look at the area,” said Mayor Redfern.
“I recommend you go in the morning and evening,” Chief Tjaden said, as those are the times of day when the traffic is highest, the most kids are moving and the safety issues are more prevalent.
The mayor added that he wants to start getting as much information as possible on the issue.
“I can also go ahead and have the staff paint the crosswalks and we can come back to the council with options of placing no parking signs in those areas,” said York City Administrator Joe Frei.
Options of placing no parking signs and changing speed limits (as examples) would require formal council action.
The council members also said yes, they want the street painting to be done right now and they will readdress the issues of no parking areas at their next regular meeting.
The conversation also continued about the large number of cars that are parked on the street, rather than in the parking lot at the field house. Chief Tjaden said there are often times more cars parked on the street than in the parking lot itself.
It should also be noted that the speed limit on 12th Street, from Delaware to Mincks Park is currently 35 mph.
Mayor Redfern said the preliminary things – such as the painting of the crossing, higher monitoring of the area and the gathering of data about traffic speeds, volume and flow – will start immediately and they will address all actions that might need to be taken in the very near future.