HARVEYS LAKE — Lower speed limits and pedestrian crosswalks are safety measures were implemented on Lakeside Drive this summer, according to Harveys Lake Safety Committee.
Lakeside Drive, also known as Route 415, around Harveys Lake is nearly nine miles of narrow two-lane road with several blind spots. The scenic road is a favorite for pedestrians and bicyclists which created a deadly mix with vehicles.
This summer, Lakeside Drive motorists will be required to slow down to 30 miles-per-hour when cruising around the lake while being mindful to give pedestrians and bicyclists the right-of-way, said Gregory E. Fellerman, a borough resident and safety committee member.
New speed limit signs will be installed along the state-owned road in late spring, said Michael Taluto, safety press officer for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
The lower speed limit was a recommendation from a traffic study by the PennDOT, Fellerman said. The study was requested by the safety committee to find ways to slow traffic.
Borough Council members Michel’e Boice and Bill Hilburt presented the recommendation to the council during a public work session and meeting.
Boice and Fellerman, an attorney at Fellerman & Ciarimboli in Kingston, agreed if the council did not support PennDOT’s recommendation, and another fatal accident occurred, the municipal could be held liable.
Harveys Lake residents formed the safety committee following the death of 31-year-old triathlete Paula Jones in June 2015. Jones’ death was the second pedestrian fatality in less than a decade.
In January 2009, 81-year-old Joan Batory was struck and killed as a vehicle hit a patch of ice, slid and hit her as she crossed Lakeside Drive to get her mail.
Other safety measures include establishing crosswalks and planned electronic digital speed enforcement signs, Fellerman said.
“One crosswalk was already placed near Warden’s Place and others are planned,” Fellerman said. “Life is full of baby steps.”
The safety committee is also planning to hold information sessions to educate residents about pedestrians and bicyclists rules of the road.
“Cars are required to yield to pedestrians and bicyclists,” Fellerman said.
Bicyclists should abide by the Pennsylvania Bicyclists Driver Manuel. According to Pennsylvania’s law, bicyclists should yield to pedestrians and can ride two-abreast on a road, Fellerman said. But if there is vehicle traffic behind them, the cyclists should “fall back into single file,” he said.
Harveys Lake resident Donna Newell is glad to hear of the safety improvements slated for Lakeside Drive.
“A five-mile-an-hour different is not much, but it could save a life,” Newell said.