SOUTH ABINGTON TWP. — Keith Williams, of West Side Scranton, spent Tuesday morning fishing at Hillside Park, with his car parked alongside the road near the lake. When asked his opinion regarding the possibility of a parking ban there, he agreed there is a safety issue in that area, but not in regard to parking.
Township supervisors are considering prohibiting parking on State Route 307 alongside the lake at Hillside Park, after a resident expressed safety concerns at the supervisors’ meeting Monday, May 9.
Williams believes there is a need for speed limit enforcement. He said he parks there to fish a couple times each week during the season and has never had any problems with it being too close to the road. He does, however, witness drivers going by at speeds which greatly exceed the limit.
“I could see how parking on that side and crossing the street, maybe people would get hurt,” he said, pointing to the area on the opposite side of the road. He added he does not, however, believe parking next to the lake to be unsafe.
Howard Conrad, who drives a school bus on that route, explained to township supervisors during Monday’s meeting that fishermen often park their vehicles by the new wooden fence and paved walking trail for easier access to the lake, rather than using the large parking lot, which is further away. He said although the speed limit on that stretch of road is 45 miles per hour, he often observes drivers going much faster. Referring to it as “a dangerous situation,” he asked the supervisors to consider putting up “no parking” signs.
“Sometimes there are two to 12 cars parked along there, with fishermen going in and out of the cars,” he said. “The concern I have is that some fisherman is going to step out from between cars and either I’m going to hit him on that side of the road, or somebody else is going to dodge him going in the other direction and they’re going to pull in front of my school bus.”
Conrad said he spoke with a PennDOT official regarding the matter, and was told if the township were to request signs, the department would provide them.
The supervisors agreed to drive by the area to observe the situation before making a decision.
“If there’s only that much space between the car and the road, that’s one thing,” said Supervisor Giles Stanton, gesturing to show a small space between his hands. “But if we get up there and there’s six feet, that’s a different story. So I think we should individually take a look at it.”
Supervisor Joseph Sproul said he believes since there is ample space in the parking lot, people should not be allowed to park on the roadside.