HARVEYS LAKE — Borough resident Pat Castellano believes new speed-minder signs on Lakeside Drive will help slow drivers down.
“I think (the speed-minder signs) will remind people of their speed,” Castellano said. “I don’t think people know how fast they are driving.”
The signs were unveiled Thursday during a Harveys Lake Borough Safety Day event, which showcased the permanent installation of four speed-minders on Lakeside Drive, other safety initiatives implemented this year and the reopening of a bridge on Lakeside Drive that spans a waterway to the marina.
Harveys Lake Borough Council members, Borough Police Chief Charles Musial, Sen. Lisa Baker, R-Lehman Township, Rep. Karen Boback, R-Harveys Lake, and representatives from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation attended the Safety Day event.
The aggressive push for safety on Lakeside Drive started after the death of 31-year-old triathlete Paula Jones in June 2015. Jones was jogging on Lakeside Drive when an intoxicated Michael Scavone, 50, of Harveys Lake, struck Jones with his vehicle, killing her and drove away.
“So much has been accomplished in her honor,” Baker said.
Jones’ death sparked outrage among residents, elected officials and the Borough Police Department. A Safety Committee quickly formed and began to work with PennDOT to develop safety measures for the heavily traveled windy nine-mile two-lane road.
“Today, we see all the work come to fruition,” Boback said.
Four solar powered speed-minder signs are being installed between Poles 130 through 294 in time for the Labor Day weekend, Musial said. The signs will have the capability to collect data on traffic speeds 24-hours a day, he said.
“I think the speed-minder signs will be an effective tool,” Musial said.
In February, council members and the Harveys Lake Borough Police Department announced the speed limit on Lakeside Drive would be lowered from 35 to 30 miles-per-hour, based on a study by PennDOT. The speed limit was stenciled onto the road surface in strategic areas of Lakeside Drive.
Also, several designated crosswalks were created, and police increased patrols to issued citations for infractions by motorists.
Police also cited pedestrians and bicyclists for using the wrong side of the road and wearing ear buds, which prohibit them from being aware of their surroundings.
“This was really a testament of local officials and residents working together to solve problems,” Baker said.
The safety initiatives made a difference this summer season.
“We had a very safe summer,” Musial said.