HARVEYS LAKE — Ten-year-old Aiden Fellerman jogged once along Lakeside Drive, but the proximity and speed of vehicle traffic deterred the youngster from sharing the activity with his dad again.
The pre-teen is reconsidering his decision after attending Harveys Lake Borough’s Safety Day, held Thursday in the municipal building.
The hour-long event was a grand unveiling of a variety of safety measures the lakeside community’s residents, elected officials, PennDOT and local and state law enforcement have implemented in response to concerns about unsafe driving on the lakefront roadway.
Residents and recreational users of Lakeside Drive will encounter lower speed limits, new speed limit signage, six solar-powered speed minder signs, crosswalks and a heavier police presence.
The borough will receive the speed minder in about three weeks, said state Sen. Lisa Baker, R-Lehman Township.
The push to make Lakeside Drive safer began after the community was rocked by the hit-and-run death of 31-year-old triathlete Paula Jones in June 2015.
Borough residents immediately took action and formed a safety committee to develop a plan to increase awareness of the rules of the road for all users of Lakeside Drive.
“Safety is not a one-step process,” Baker said. “It involves many changes.”
Baker, state Rep. Karen Boback, R-Harveys Lake, and Luzerne County District Attorney Stefanie J. Salavantis all said they were impressed by the community’s commitment to safety.
“You did a tremendous job,” Salavantis said.
Salavantis reminded joggers and cyclists that they should not wear headphones while on the roadways.
“You need to be aware at all times,” she said.
Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Tom Kelly noted Lakeside Drive is narrow, “leaving no room for error.”
“There are a lot of distractions along the road,” Kelly said, noting motorists have scenic views, people on the lake, pedestrians crossing the street, joggers, bicyclists, other motorists and cellphones vying for their attention.
Greg Fellerman, a borough resident and member of the safety committee, said the community accomplished a lot in 11 months, and that they are not yet finished.
“This was a big community effort,” he said. “Thank you to everyone.”
Reach Eileen Godin at 570-991-6387 or on Twitter @TLNews.