PennDOT gives initial OK to lower speed limit on Indiana Hill

PUNXSUTAWNEY — PennDOT District 10-0 has granted tentative approval for Punxsutawney Borough Council to lower the speed limit to 35 mph from 45 mph on Route 119 (Indiana Hill).

Tuesday, during a meeting of council’s Public Safety Committee, Borough Manager Ben White said last year, council requested that PennDOT perform a traffic study on Route 119 between the bridge over Mahoning Creek to the bridge over the Mahoning Shadow Trail, so the speed limit could be changed from 45 mph to 35 mph, in order to transition to the 25 mph speed zone.

White said if council wants to change the speed limit on that section of Route 119, PennDOT has granted approval to lower the speed limit from the bridge over the trail to the bridge that was replaced two years ago
over Mahoning Creek.

“There were concerns when the speed limit was reduced from 35 mph to 25 mph, when the bridge over Mahoning Creek was replaced, and traffic traveling north on Route 119 had to slow from 45 mph to 25 mph, which was too much of a change,” White said.

He said council also requested to raise the speed limit along Mahoning Street from 25 mph to 35 mph. PennDOT denied that request.

If the committee agrees to change the speed limit, then White will have the speed change item placed on the agenda for Monday’s council meeting.
Chairman Mike Porada said the committee approved the change and reminded members that there will be some cost in changing the signage.

In other business:
• Police Chief Tom Fedigan reported that Groundhog Day was uneventful as far as crime and public safety were concerned.

Fedigan said officers made four arrests: Two traffic and two criminal arrests that were for underage drinking.

“Overall, it was a real good year. It was quiet, and the crowd was very well behaved,” he said. “I hope the trend will continue next year.”

• Porada asked why there are still so many street lights burned out throughout the borough.

“There’s one light on Morrison Avenue that has been out for months, and we can’t seem to get any results in getting it repaired,” he said, adding that there has been another light burned out on Route 119 on Hampton Avenue just past the railroad tracks for months.

“In fact, the whole downtown is dark anymore,” Porada said. “I don’t think there are any streetlights at all anymore at the Hampton- Mahoning intersection.”

Fedigan said his night duty officers would again look for burned out street lights.

“I don’t know why we have so many problems with street lights,” Porada said. “When I travel to other towns, you don’t see street lights burned out like they are here.”

“I’m not going to make any excuses: When we receive word that a street light is burned out, we fax the information to Penelec,” Fedigan said.

The report indicates when it was reported, how it was reported and the exact number on the pole where the light is burned out.

White said there must be a breakdown somewhere that the information is not getting to Penelec.

Fedigan said if anyone sees a street light out, he or she should call borough police at 938-6220 to report it, or call Penelec at 1-888-478-8465.