We’ve spent a lot of time posting about Bethlehem’s Fahy Bridge problem; almost too much time.
Bethlehem’s Mayor, Johnny Casino, has stepped in and has decided that he’s going to save all the pedestrians and bicyclists by altering the north end of the bridge.
Will it work? You decide.
Instead of veering right at the end of the bridge and using the slip lane that takes traffic to Center Street, drivers will have to go to the traffic light at the end of the bridge and make a 90-degree right turn if they want to get to one-way Center Street.
Right now, the slip lane allows motorists to circumvent the light, allowing them to maintain their speed. Once the slip lane is covered with grass and bricks, pedestrians will have a shorter distance to cross at that intersection and will be able to see oncoming traffic better, officials say.
The goal is to slow down traffic at the point where hundreds of pedestrians cross each day to get between historic Bethlehem and the South Side.
How will it help bicyclists, you ask?
The slower traffic, advocates say, will also help bicyclists share the road with motorists. Recent accidents on the bridge have raised the profile of bridge safety. One bicycling advocate, Frank Pavlick, was clipped by a motorist April 4 and another avid bicyclist, Patrick Ytsma, died after being hit there in December. SOURCE: The Morning Call
First off, you have to commend the city for acting pretty quickly. However, while the idea that slower traffic will end accidents is a prudent one, the only real way to determine if it will is by seeing it in action.
To help illustrate the proposed changes, I have included Lehigh Valley with Love’s architectural consultant’s rendering in the pictures above.