First day for walkers at WLES

I rode my bike to WLES this AM to check out the 1st day of school. Could not have asked for a more perfect morning weather wise.

Couple observations:

  • The crossings guards I spoke with are all really great people. Talked to some working Willow/Sauerkraut and Millcreek/Sauerkraut.  They are all excited for and proud of the job they are doing. I think we really hit a homerun with the hires based on the gentleman and ladies I met today. Great job.


  •  I watched cars pull into the “drop zone” for about ten minutes during what I felt would be the busiest time. I timed 3 cars from the time they entered the drop off line til they exited. Once the cars made it down the driveway and entered the line the average wait was less then 2 minutes. Let’s say it doubles on a rainy day I’m guessing cars will be in and out in under 5. And this was day 1, the system should improve as they work out any kinks. Again, unscientific casual observations.


  •  I did see someone get pulled over. There will be a learning curb with 15mph zone. Before I rode my bike down I drove past the school. 15 MPH is VERY slow drivers do not realize just how slow until they do it once or twice. I do not think PSP were issuing tickets since the temporary signs are not technically enforceable. This I’m not positive about. I don’t think PSP should issue tickets right away unless someone is egregiously breaking the speed limit. I’m sure the minivan I saw pulled over today was, but she certainly didn’t stand out as if she was flying. I’d guess 20 in the 15? Again, just a casual guess.


  •  There were 2 PSP cars in the area. We were told there would be a police presence and there definitely was. The township manager and safety officer were also on hand. Fire Chief Nosal was also observing at the Sauerkraut entrance.


  • I’ve documented my thoughts on this issue over the last 6 months. I come from a unique perspective since walking and walkability were always big issues to me. In this particular area of the twp., WLES walking policy just amplified some items I think we should be doing in all areas of the township. (Better crosswalks, better pedestrian signage, walking paths and facilities ect.) I still do disagree with some decisions and still think arguing for certain enhanced measures was the right move however, I think what we did is working. One item I’m going to followup on is when I asked about the possibility of “stamped brick” crosswalks and outlined the reasoning why I thought it made sense I was told price was a concern. Now that the crosswalks are installed I’m going to be seeking line items of the cost. What bugs me is a big cost of the stamped walks are that you have to re-pave. Since we went with a certain type of paint you’ll notice there were crosses where we had to repave anyway. (the paint had to go on new macadam so the warranty wasn’t voided…) So I’m wondering what the final true difference in cost would have been. As I always point out the stamped walk at the entrance to Brandywine at Willow and Millcreek is almost a decade old and still in excellent shape and have so far needed 0 dollars to maintain over that time period.


  • Also seeing it in action today I still think enhanced signal is warranted at the Wheatland mid-block. During school drop and pickup we have the guards but a sign like below would warn motorists coming up the hill of a pedestrian in the crosswalk. Visibility is an issue here because of the grade. “beacons should be considered for use at crossing locations with significant pedestrian volumes where visibility is compromised by grades, curves or other conditions.” Wheatland crossing meets that criteria. Again, not a huge deal but these are things nice communities have. And a desire to maintain a nice community is why I do what I do.

Stamped Brick Crosswalk – I spoke in favor of these at Mid-block crossings and also on Millcreek where one is already installed.

Luckily today was one of those days where really I don’t understand why you would not want to walk. It was beautiful.

I do understand that there will be days where the weather isn’t so nice. We will definitely have to keep an eye on the issues on these days. But today everything went very well from my vantage point. Time permitting I’ll be checking out pick up. The only difference is there will be more cars on the road since I think thos corresponds with Mack Trucks shift change.