A one-block section of Oak Street that runs between Division Street and Hampton Avenue just west of Main Street will remain a one-way thoroughfare, Hellertown Borough Council decided Monday.
Council was asked by the owners of Lost Tavern Brewing–which is located between the alley and Main Street, in the RMI building–to consider making Oak Street two ways in that block to help reduce congestion caused by vehicles exiting their parking lot.
It is currently one-way headed north, or away from Division Street.
Public works director Tom Henshaw told council Oak Street was made one-way in that direction after Dunkin’ Donuts opened at 730 Main Street, because traffic headed south on Oak to the store’s drive-thru would back up and block access to parking behind Trendz, an adjacent hair salon.
Henshaw said the problem was solved when the street was made one-way.
The line of sight at the corner of Oak Street and Hampton Avenue is also restricted because the brewery building extends all the way to the edge of the street, he said.
Councilman Mike McKenna said he thinks the street is too narrow to accommodate two-way traffic.
Bryan Smith, the borough’s engineer, said it is 13 feet wide.
Rob Grim, a Lost Tavern co-owner, asked how wide Oak Street is on the north side of Hampton Avenue, where it is a two-way street.
Smith said he wasn’t sure because that section wasn’t measured.
“(Oak Street south of Hampton) might as well be a two-way (street),” Grim told council, because of the amount of wrong-way traffic that regularly travels down it.
There is also an issue with wrong-way traffic on Hampton Avenue, council was told.
Henshaw suggested placing ‘Do Not Enter’ signs on the street to help remind motorists it is one way heading west, or away from Main Street toward Front Street.
Borough police chief Robert Shupp said he would send an officer to monitor traffic in that block and watch for violations on both Hampton Avenue and Oak Street.
He will also meet with the owner of the building on the north side of Hampton Avenue to discuss the situation with wrong-way traffic, he added.