NORTH WALES – The numbers are in and they have given North Wales and the city’s police service plenty to think about.
Police Chief Dave Erenius reported on several speeding studies carried out in the city, and hotspots that police and council could monitor more closely, including one of the city blocks. the busiest in the borough.
“We have problems and we will solve them. But in other areas they are not a problem,” Erenius said.
During their budget discussions in late 2021, the council funded new speed-tracking equipment to better identify and record speed data around town, based on requests from residents and council members at certain hazardous sites. When reporting to council on September 13, the chief gave the numbers, including speeds recorded on the 200 block of South Main from July 15-21.
“There, we timed 54,571 cars. The average speed was 38, the fastest was 84, and about 50% of those vehicles were citable,” Erenius said; that 84mph record drew gasps and grimaces from the council, and the chief later said the speed was recorded at 10:38 p.m. on July 15.
Other recorded data was seen July 3-11 on the 200 block of S. 10th Street, during which time the department tracked 3,647 cars, found an average speed of 16 mph, a high of 41,” and out of all those cars, only one of them was actually a quoteable speed, which was that of 41 miles per hour,” Erenius said.
From July 21-27, speeds were tracked at the intersection of Walnut and Seventh streets, where the department clocked 42,031 cars, found an average speed of 31 miles per hour and a fastest speed of 60:” about 10-12% of those were citable,” he said. The last area tracked so far was at Prospect and Eighth Streets from Aug. 13-26, where the department tracked 12,858 cars, with an average speed of 24 mph, a maximum of 46 and around 40 in total were quoteable.
“What I take from that is: 10th Street, really not a speeding problem,” he said, and at Prospect and Eighth the data shows “not really a problem there no more”.
“Main Street and Walnut, though – both definitely a problem, so we’ll be focusing our attention on those two areas going forward,” the chief said.
Speed tracking equipment is being deployed and measuring speeds now, he added, and future reports to the council and their public safety committee will contain new figures and discuss possible tactics to slow down drivers. .
“We’re continuing to move it, throughout the borough, and I’ll let you know,” he said.
Council Chairman Sal Amato said he was happy to hear the equipment was working and said having accurate numbers for speeds could help residents feel safer.
“I think it helps allay some of the fears we might have about speeding and the fact that there are targeted areas that need enforcement,” he said.
On smaller streets like 10th and 11th, Erenius said, speeds can be slower than they appear due to the nature of the roadway.
“The problem is that the roads are narrow and there are cars on both sides. Also, when the average speed is 16, and you see a car go 25 or 30, that car seems to be going really fast, because it’s going twice as fast as the average car,” he said.
Former Mayor Greg D’Angelo said he lives near 10th and often hears speeding complaints, and thinks police and borough staff should release the statistics, along with information about traffic. criteria that the police must follow when citing drivers.
“If you say ’10th Street is no problem,’ they’ll say, ‘What are you talking about?’ Well, you have the facts, but they have to hear the facts,” D’Angelo said.
Erenius replied that police also need to consider whether their quotes would hold up in court if challenged by drivers: “You don’t want to start quoting people, go to court and have them thrown out because you misquoted.
Councilman Sherwin Collins asked if citation criteria were stricter in school zones, particularly when flashing signals are on to indicate children in the area. The Chief replied that these speed limits can only be cited when the school is open and the flashing signals are on; when students are at school and the turn signals are not on, or the children have a day off from school, these slower speeds do not apply.
“A school zone is only a school zone during school hours. If it’s a Friday and there’s no school and the lights are still flashing, it’s not a school zone,” Erenius said.
The North Wales Borough Council will then meet at 7pm on September 27 at the Borough Municipal Building, 300 School Street. For more information visit www.NorthWalesBorough.org.