SHARON – Sharon officials are trying to figure out a way to install candlesticks in the bike lane along North Sharpsville Avenue using the money a grant allotted.
“We think the candlesticks are necessary for the safety of the cyclists in that lane,” City Manager Bob Fiscus said at the workshop meeting Wednesday. “And we’re trying to do what makes the most sense, not only financially but feasibly.”
The bike lane project was funded by a PennDOT transportation grant. The city received $10,000 for the installation of the candlesticks, but the projected cost is upwards of $50,000, Fiscus said.
“We’re looking into other sources of funding,” Fiscus said.
Not everyone was thrilled at the idea of the bike lane or the installation of the candlesticks.
“I just want it on public record. That was the worst mistake I made, voting for that bike lane,” Councilman Bill James said. “It has ruined Sharpsville Avenue.”
“I have cameras directed to that lane,” said James, who owns Bill’s Avenue Lottery at 588 N. Sharpsville Ave. “Since they put it in, we’ve had four bikes go down it. It’s a waste of money. I think the sticks are going to be a waste of money, too.”
Fiscus said the later in the year it gets, the more sense it’s going to make to delay installing the candlesticks until next year.
“So we can make sure the state plows it and we can come up with our plan to keep it clean,” he said.
The two-way bike lane, also called a cycle track, spans roughly 1.5 miles, from East State to Clark streets on the west side of North Sharpsville Avenue.
Around Clark Street, the bike lane moves to the road’s east side and travels with traffic on North Sharpsville Avenue to Tamplin Street. The lane continues on Tamplin to Hall Avenue and from Hall to Thornton Street before ending a Bechtol Avenue, at the Sharon-Hermitage line.
Candlestick barriers are set to be installed along a stretch of Sharpsville Avenue where the bike lane runs both directions on the same side of the street.
On the Hermitage side, that city plans to pick up the project and continue the path into Buhl Park.
That project also involves converting the Y-intersection of Thornton and Forker Boulevard near the park into a T-style configuration.