Since a new trail opened in Scranton this summer, it's become a popular place to bike, run, or take a leisurely walk. But police say the vehicle traffic that intersects with the trail is moving at a much faster pace.
So, in the interest of safety, they plan to punish drivers who don't follow the new posted pedestrian signs.
The part of the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail that runs through Scranton is a good place to run, bike, or just find some peaceful solitude.
At times you might forget you're in a city.
But, you're reminded pretty quickly when you get to the part that intersects with some busy city streets.
Often you'd see runners jogging in place or waiting on the curb until a break in the traffic came and they could cross. But new crosswalks and signs are meant to cut down on that wait time and keep trail-users safe.
The Lackawanna River Heritage Trail intersects with two busy streets in the city of Scranton. So, PennDOT and city crews put in crosswalks at the intersection with Broadway Street and Elm Street.
The part of the trail past Elm Street and heading toward Taylor was just recently finished and city officials noticed more foot traffic. So, safety became a concern.
Crews also added overhead signs that can be seen from far away and yield signs for cars coming down the street. Police say if you keep driving when pedestrians are in the crosswalk, you're breaking the law.
"You will see a patrol car here, and the patrol car will be stopping those drivers who do not stop for pedestrians or people on their bikes," said Scranton Mayor Chris Doherty who pushed for the new signs.
Guy Thomas from Scranton rides his bike on the Heritage Trail several times a week and said he feels much safer now.
"You had to stop, you had to wait for cars to get around that bend and a lot of times it's dangerous when it's icy. It's so much nicer now," Thomas said.
PennDOT paid for and installed the crosswalks and signs. Scranton Police will be doing the enforcing starting this week.