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Salisbury reviews Seidersville Road traffic concerns

When Bob Hope did his one-man show April 17, 1983, at Lehigh University’s Stabler Arena, the comedian who was noted for his “Road to ... “ series of movie comedies, opened with this quip:

“We drove over here on a road so narrow the chauffeur told us to inhale.”

This reporter, who attended Hope’s Stabler show, confirmed the one-liner referred to Seidersville Road.

At least one Salisbury Township resident knows whereof Bob Hope spoke.

And it’s no joke.

“If any of you have ever driven on Seidersville Road, it’s notoriously bad there,” Paul Dorney said, who lives along Seidersville Road where the speed limit is 35 mph.

Dorney said speeding vehicles need to be curtailed before the start of the 2021-2022 school year this fall.

Dorney, who addressed the board of commissioners during the public comment portion of the July 8 meeting, said he witnessed vehicles passing school buses.

Seidersville Road is a hilly, winding, two-lane road (one lane in each direction) that traverses a portion of Salisbury from Gauff’s Hill, at the road’s intersection with East Emmaus Avenue, East Susquehanna Street and Broadway, in an easterly direction to the Lower Saucon Township and Lehigh County-Northampton County line west of Old Philadelphia Pike.

Dorney, who said he’s a 20-year Seidersville Road resident, said, “It’s like ‘Tokyo Drift,’” referring to the third film in the nine-part “Fast and The Furious” car-chase movie franchise.

“It’s frightening out there,” Dorney said, who saw a Pennsylvania Department of Transportation construction worker dive into his yard to avoid getting hit by a vehicle.

“We’re looking for help,” Dorney said, adding he was speaking on behalf of several neighbors.

Salisbury Township Chief of Police Kevin Soberick said he would contact the Lower Saucon Township Police Department to see if Salisbury police officers could set up a joint traffic enforcement effort with Lower Saucon officers.

“The cars are passing the school buses. We got to protect the kids,” Dorney, a schoolteacher, said.

“I’d say there were five to six accidents on Seidersville Road in the last month,” Dorney said.

“I will talk with our traffic officer,” Soberick said, adding, “We’ll talk with Lower Saucon and see about enforcement.”

Soberick conjectured motorists use Seidersville Road as a shortcut to the Interstate 78 interchange at Route 412 in Hellertown.

Equipment Salisbury officers had placed along Seidersville Road to monitor traffic flow “got run over and stolen,” according to Soberick.

“Enforcing the road is difficult,” Soberick said.

“If we had radar, it would help with the ability to enforce,” Soberick said.

The Pennsylvania Senate June 22 voted 49-1 to pass a bill that would expand use of radar guns. Pennsylvania is the only state in the United States not allowing local police departments to use radar. The bill needs approval from the Pennsylvania House.

Soberick urged Dorney and township residents to urge their state representatives to pass the bill.

“If they want to sit in my driveway, they can,” Dorney said of a Salisbury police patrol car.

In other business at the July 8 meeting, commissioners voted 5-0 to:

•Authorize issuance of 2021 General Obligation Note in the amount of $6,546,000. Commissioner Alok Patnaik made the motion, seconded by board Vice President Rodney Conn, to bring the ordinance to a vote.

New borrowing of approximately $1.45 million would be added to approximately $5 million in previous debt.

Christopher M. Gibbons, principal, Concord Public Finance, which is Salisbury Township’s financial adviser, and Attorney Kevin Reid, partner, King Spry Herman Freund and Faul LLC Law Firm, which is Salisbury Township’s bond counsel, attended the July 8 commissioners’ meeting to discuss the refinancing.

Salisbury Township’s Series 2016 bonds are being refinanced. A higher rate of interest will be reduced to a lower interest rate.

Salisbury would use the $1.45 million for capital projects.

A request for proposal was sent to 32 banks, with five responses and eight proposals.

Selected was The Neffs National Bank with a 1.75 percent interest rate.

“You’re only paying interest on the money that you use,” Gibbons said. “You can draw down at any time.”

“You have to get approval from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development,” Reid said.

Advertisements and filing must occur. The closing date is Aug. 17.

•Approve and amend civil service rules and regulations. Conn made the motion, seconded by Commissioner Heather Lipkin.

•Authorize selling the township’s 1977 John Deer Grade to Dunstable Township, Clinton County, for $12,000. Lipkin made the motion, seconded by Commissioner James Seagreaves.

Commissioners by consensus approved a motion to rescind the township’s March 18 disaster declaration. Pennsylvania rescinded the declaration June 10.

In his report to commissioners, Soberick said the area police consortium had 93 applicants with 63 qualified and 31 eligible for Salisbury Township preliminary consideration for hiring.

Soberick said he worked middle shift July 4. “We were busy, not only because of fireworks,” Soberick said.

The Salisbury Township Board of Commissioners’ next scheduled meeting is 6:30 p.m. July 22 in the meeting room at the municipal building, 2900 S. Pike Ave.