The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is awarding the City of Allentown a nearly $28,000 grant for APD to implement a Pedestrian Safety Enforcement Operation.
Of the 558 reported pedestrian accidents in the city from 2015-to-2017, 60 percent occurred in seven areas of the city.
“Pedestrian accidents are preventable,” said Allentown Police Chief Tony Alsleben. “These highly visible efforts will encourage conformance with state law by drivers and pedestrians and ultimately lead to increased pedestrian safety.”
The grant will fund a four phase operation, each lasting three weeks, in six city areas:
- 17th Street and Hamilton Blvd
- Martin Luther King Jr Drive and 4th Street
- 100 Block of North 17th Street
- 1600 Block of Walnut Street
- Seventh Street and Tilghman Street
- Gordon Street and American Parkway
Phase I will include police officers issuing warnings to both pedestrians and drivers and only issuing tickets for flagrant violations of the law. Officers will distribute flyers on laws and announcing upcoming enforcement efforts. Parental outreach will be conducted in partnership with the Allentown School District.
Phase II will include officers issuing tickets for pedestrian related violations and also continuing to distribute informational flyers. Media will also be used during Phase II.
Phase III will include officers issuing tickets, media, and the introduction of in-street signs in enforcement areas.
Phase IV will include officers issuing tickets and utilizing in-street signs.
At the conclusion of Phase IV, a final assessment of each location will be conducted to be used as post-operations data to evaluate the overall effect of the operations.
Marketing materials will be produced double-sided in both English and Spanish. The media campaign will include three months of messaging on local radio stations, along with three months of messaging rotating on 15 electronic billboards throughout the city.
Overall project evaluation will be based on measurable data collected throughout the project, including analysis of data before, throughout, and after project completion. This includes the number of pedestrian accidents, pedestrian crossing violations, and vehicle code violations as they relate to the areas, along with percentage of vehicles that properly yield to pedestrians.
“We want to decrease the number of pedestrian related accidents by at least 10 percent,” said Alsleben. “By concentrating our efforts in these locations, I think we can do it.”