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Chief Suggests Lowering Speed Limit on Cherry Lane

Hellertown Police Chief Robert Shupp told Borough Council Sept. 4 that the 45mph speed limit on Cherry Lane may be too high.

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.

Daxton September 12, 2012 at 10:18 AM
They might as well make every road in hellertown 25-30 mph at this point. Accidents are going to happen despite speed limits, that's why they are called accidents. Changing a speed limit on a road that is built for a speed such as 40 (one with minimal curves and little to no blind spots) is honestly not going to prevent the stupidity of modern day drivers...
Allan Bach September 12, 2012 at 10:54 AM
Try pulling out of Ilona Drive with the 8 passenger van that is always parked on the south side of Cherry lane, blocking the view of traffic coming from Main Street. That is a blind spot. Will a slower speed limit be safer? No, because most people don't care about the signs. A quick glance at Easton Road proves this.
Lori September 12, 2012 at 11:00 AM
Yes, it needs to be lowered - there are tons of kids, plus a bus stop that I've watched PLENTY of cars blow through at a high rate of speed, despite the red lights on the bus. People that work on the Bethlehem side do ALOT of U turns to get to their side of the street. There is also an older man who uses a walker, and I cringe every time I see him crossing this street to take a walk. We have personally had 2 cars parked on Cherry Lane that got hit from people flying up the road.
Daxton September 12, 2012 at 11:39 AM
So what you are stating is that changing the limit will not effect the saftey because of variables like parked cars as well as individuals speeding on the road...
Lower Saucon Brother September 12, 2012 at 08:57 PM
Oh... if we could only go back to the good old days when there wern't business's and so many homes along Cherry lane and it was the local drag strip... fond memories....
Walter September 13, 2012 at 10:53 AM
Obviously there are no enforcement procedures taking place. No one, including the Chief, pays attention to the posted speed limits. The posted speed limit on Cherry Lane is 40mph.
Allan Bach September 13, 2012 at 11:04 AM
Excellent point Walter. I thought when I read the article the speed limit was misstated. But, 40, 45, or whatever, you're correct - few heed the sign.

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