A major road in the Hellertown area has a speed limit that may be too high, Police Chief Robert Shupp told Borough Council Sept. 4.
Cherry Lane--which is a state road--represents the dividing line between the borough and the City of Bethlehem, so its northern half is not under the jurisdiction of borough police, Shupp said.
However, Hellertown police routinely respond to "some bad accidents" that occur on both sides of the road, he noted.
For example, Shupp said accidents have occurred as motorists turn out of the parking lot at the St. Luke's Physical Therapy facility at 2301 Cherry Lane.
Bethlehem's side of the road is predominantly commercial and high-density residential in nature, while the Hellertown side is characterized by lower-density residential development.
The current speed limit is 45mph and "people do 45, which is fast," Shupp said.
"But 45 is legal," he acknowledged. "We can't pull them over for that."
Another area of concern that was identified along the thoroughfare is the intersection of Ilona Drive and Cherry Lane.
"Ilona...is where we get some close calls," Shupp said.
As eastbound motorists are approaching Ilona at a relatively high rate of speed, he explained, their visibility is hampered by the crest of the hill that Cherry Lane is built upon.
Council Vice President John Bate concurred with Shupp's assessment of the situation, and agreed that solutions should be examined.
“With the amount of U-turns that’s done on (Cherry Lane), I’m surprised there’s not more accidents,” Bate said.
Shupp said he plans to approach PennDOT with a request that the speed limit be lowered.
In the meantime, police will continue to monitor speeds along the road with patrols and with help from a concerned resident of the area, he told council.