Photo by Alice Crow
Crafton’s Vance Alley with its two newly constructed bumpouts.
By Alice Crow
Engineers working on the Crafton Boulevard Streetscape project are now being asked to review and make recommendations related to the possible firetruck access issue put forth by Fire Chief Mike Crown in recent months.
The June 23 meeting where this decision was made lasted two and a half hours and featured heated discussion by the dozen or so residents in attendance who spoke both for and against the use of bumpouts – also known as curb extensions – at Bradford Court and Vance Alley which provides access to the rear of Crafton Elementary school.
Council ultimately asked engineers to review and report back with recommendations and costs if changes were to be made to the in-process construction project.
The motion made by Council’s Colton Chandler passed unanimously with one member absent.
During the meeting, Chief Crown continued to voice his specific concern for the fire department’s ability to reach certain areas of town.
“I’m not saying do away with the whole streetscape. My plan is there has got to be some alternatives to make it work,” he said.
He proposed the project lower the sidewalk on the turn to reach Bradford Court and change the bumpout near Vance Alley to an angle instead of a curve. Crown said he believes these changes will allow the firetrucks to make these turns easier without having to hop curbs and potentially damage the vehicles.
Municipal Engineer Rick Minsterman pushed back, telling officials the borough could hypothetically open itself up to liability if it were to alter the already constructed parts of the project against industry standards.
He also noted Crown’s proposed changes to the sidewalk near Bradford Court would detract from its usefulness to pedestrians.
Original project objectives, according to Minsterman, include mobility of pedestrians, increased driver and pedestrian safety, the slowing and calming of traffic, stormwater control and more green space.