Oxford Council hears speeding complaints

OXFORD >> In July, residents came to borough council complaining about speeding on Mt. Vernon Street. Their complaints were heard again this month, along with other residents who have concerns about speeding on North Third Street and overall throughout the borough.

Mt. Vernon residents have noticed that the white lines used to clock speeders on the street have been repainted, but their effectiveness is in question.

“Residents right now have a program to monitor speeding through there, whether its taking pictures or what,” Mt. Vernon resident Dudley Cummings said.

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Resident and business owner Jack Baron was equally concerned about the speeds reached on North Third Street, as cars accelerate from the traffic light at Third and Market on their way out of the borough in spite of the 25 mph speed limit. He feels that enforcement has to be increased and suggests bringing in state police to use radar.

“I want that speed limit enforced. It’s not being respected,” Baron said. “I’m begging you people to get together to get something done. All the Chief has to do is ask them (the state police) and they will come.”

Council President Ron Hershey has suggested speed humps as a solution for several roads, but not at the present time because there are road repairs that need to be done first.

The consensus on the recurring issue of parking meters and the potential for parking permits was that the subject should be removed from the agenda indefinitely. Since the addition of meters to the parking lot off Broad Street between Third Street and Niblock Alley, that lot appears to be vacant most of the time, while the free lot in the next block that had been sparsely used is now usually full.

Business owners and their employees have been complaining about a lack of parking space for them, and the idea of a permit system has been suggested, but that would involved making changes to the free lot.

“I’ve been getting a lot of flack from merchants,” Hershey told council.

It was estimated that to make a change to create a permit parking area would cost about $2,000 for the legal work on a new ordinance and other details.

Another possibility suggested was the removal of the new parking meters that appear to be going unused, but council member Randy Grace complained that it would be a waste of tax payer’s money. “To remove those meters or to bag them is fiscally irresponsible,” he said.

One more problem that might surface involves sidewalks. There is an ordinance that requires that when a property without a sidewalk is sold, one must be installed. A move to enforce that ordinance could raise additional issues.

Council member Gary Tozo explained that when he bought his home, he was required to put money into escrow for sidewalks that have never been built.

“Living out on Locust Street, there’s not a sidewalk within a mile of my house. It’s not been enforced, but the borough’s had my money for 17 years,” he said. “This issue is going to cause a hot bed of fire.”

Marcella Peyre-Ferry reports on the Oxford and Avon Grove school boards as well as communities in southern Chester County.