Residents of two narrow Hellertown side streets near the Interstate 78 exit at the borough’s northern tip are hopeful a new 6-ton weight limit ordinance approved by borough council Monday will help keep trucks exiting the highway from getting stuck in their neighborhood.
The frequent penetration of the neighborhood by tractor-trailer drivers misguided there by GPS systems became known as a result of complaints, and council began discussing possible solutions to it back in the fall.
The decision to prohibit vehicles that weigh greater than six tons will not affect local deliveries, businesses that need to utilize the streets to get to their business and/or borough and emergency vehicles that need to utilize the streets in an official capacity, Police Chief Robert Shupp confirmed.
“(They) are exempt,” he said Tuesday. “This is simply to stop the tractor-trailers that come off of I-78 and go down those roadways.”
“The tractor-trailers are too large and are damaging the road and people’s property when they try to turn around,” Shupp explained.
In some cases, the police have been called to help the drivers back out of the neighborhood, and residents themselves have also assisted in the past.
“As of January, the state no longer allows municipalities to just simply restrict truck traffic on a roadway; an engineering study must be done first in regards to the turning radius and weight capacity of the roadway,” Shupp noted.
According to Chief Shupp, signs that advertise the new weight restriction will hopefully be posted at the end of the streets by the end of this week.
In other business at the meeting, Hellertown Mayor David Heintzelman provided an update about the Adopt-a-Bush campaign for the grassy area in front of the Dimmick Park bandshell.
Heintzelman said that so far 60 of the approximately 90 Emerald Gem boxwoods needed to spell out “Hellertown” have been adopted by donors.
The cost to adopt a bush is $65, and checks should be made payable to the Borough of Hellertown and mailed to the borough, c/o Adopt-A-Bush, 685 Main St., Hellertown, PA 18055.
Heintzelman also said there will be a discussion about when to hold this year’s Trick-or-Treat on the agenda for the borough’s Monday, March 4 meeting. Residents who have something to say about when the event should be held are invited to attend and share their views with council.
Borough council meetings are typically held on the first and third Monday of each month at 7 p.m. at Borough Hall, and are open to the public. Meeting agendas are posted in advance on the borough’s website.