Our View: Time for a solution at Atherton and Park

An intersection is where two things meet.

Ideally, it should not be where two things collide.

Atherton Street has many intersections. While the one at Park Avenue tends to get the most attention, the more important one is with Penn State overall. It is the tangible place where town meets gown.

It is also a place where pedestrians and cyclists intersect with drivers. Every day, dozens of times a day, that happens without incident. Often, too often, one side or the other bends a rule and something happens.

Atherton has seen many collisions and too many fatalities. In June, Joel Reed lost his life at the corner of Park Avenue. He was not the first. Or the second. But could he be the last?

State College Police Chief Tom King would like to see increased use of red light cameras at intersections. He encouraged people to contact their legislators about it in July. Around the same time, state Rep. Scott Conklin wrote to state Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman, submitting his proposal to “help alleviate concerns” and introduce companion legislation.

It might not help. But then again, it might.

The College Heights Association wants action. There have been meetings. There has been discussion.

There is also still a steady stream of traffic on Atherton with a never-ending tide of students and residents walking by and crossing streets.

At some point, at any intersection, the light changes from red to green, and waiting turns to progress.

And when someone doesn’t notice that the light has changed, when traffic piles up and things aren’t moving forward, that’s when it’s time to honk your horn and make sure that everybody pays attention. Make your opinions heard by contacting the borough, the police department and the state legislators.