After hearing from residents "who are concerned about traffic down there once again," Hellertown Police Chief Robert Shupp told borough council Tuesday that he plans to investigate the timing of the traffic lights near Cherry Lane and Route 412 (Main Street), and whether police are needed to help direct traffic.
Shupp said the traffic lights along the Hellertown-Bethlehem border were retimed after significant backups occurred in the Route 412 construction zone near I-78 earlier this year, but PennDOT recently made some "light changes."
Whether those changes reverted the lights' timing to what it originally was will be investigated, he said.
Shupp added that the problems on Route 412 at the north end of Hellertown could be resulting from the timing of the light at the Shimersville Road intersection, which is about a mile north in the city of Bethlehem.
"I really think that’s where the original problem is," he said.
Councilman Joe Pampanin confirmed that congestion has recently worsened on Main Street at the north end of Hellertown, near the I-78 entrance and exit ramps.
"It’s terrible," he said of the backups. "That section between Kiernan and Kichline (avenues), it’s just
Shupp said he is open to the idea of deploying a police officer to help move traffic through the area, as well as working with Bethlehem officials to develop a police presence along the Route 412 corridor from Cherry Lane north to Shimersville Road.
Photo: A screen shot of a view of the intersection of Cherry Lane and Main Street (Route 412) on the border between Bethlehem and Hellertown (source: Google Maps).