SOUDERTON — The borough's first speed limit and pedestrian crossing signs with flashing lights are now up and operating.
The six signs, three facing in each direction, include four pedestrian crossing and two 25 mile per hour speed limit signs on Washington Avenue near the Indian Valley Boys & Girls Club.
"They are extremely effective," council President Brian Goshow said at the Nov. 11 Souderton Borough Council work session meeting.
He said he drives on Washington Avenue every day and that morning saw a car driving at what he estimated was 40 miles per hour.
"As soon as those lights came on, you saw brake lights," Goshow said.
A lot of people aren't aware of what the speed limit is, but the flashing light on the sign calls attention to it, he said.
The lights are activated by radar when a vehicle approaches.
When there are constantly flashing lights on signs, people eventually become used to it and no longer notice the signs, Goshow said, but having the lights only come on when a vehicle is passing makes people more likely to notice.
"When they turn on, they catch your attention," he said.
Council member Dan Yocum said he hopes the lights help make things safer, but that people have said the flashing lights are obnoxious.
"I've not heard much positive feedback, in fact pretty negative feedback," he said.
Council member Jeff Gross said the flashing lights are new and the objections might change once people get used to the lights.
"We used to get all the complaints about speeding cars on Washington, now you get complaints about the signs," council member Richard Godshall said.
Goshow said the council has been talking about speeding problems for as long as he's been on the board.
Concerns about speeding are also raised in other towns, not just in Souderton, Goshow and Police Chief James Leary said.
"We've been battling and battling and battling trying to slow people down," Goshow said.
One of the things that was discussed was ticketing more speeding drivers, but there would also be objections to that, he said.
"Another obnoxious thing to see, and from a business standpoint, something I don't think a whole lot of people want to see, is red and blue flashing lights on a regular basis giving people tickets because while that's effective at slowing people down, there's not a whole lot of business people that really necessarily want their patrons being ticketed," Goshow said. "We've heard before about the idea that if you ticket too much that people won't come to your town and that hurts your retail businesses."
Gross said this set of signs was started as a test and is still being reviewed for decisions on whether additional ones should be added other places in the borough.
"It doesn't mean we'll put them all over town," he said.