Semi-lost in translation?

Foreign drivers misreading Harmony no-rig signs

February 8, 2019 Cranberry Local News

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HARMONY — After months of sustaining damage, the flower beds in the borough square might finally be safe from tractor-trailers.

At Tuesday night's meeting, Councilman Joe Dippold relayed to council the conversation he had with a U.S. Linear representative to end the issue of its trucks driving where they are not permitted and subsequently hitting the brick flower beds and the “Welcome to Harmony” sign when they try to correct their routes.

Part of the problem, Dippold reported, appears to be that some of the truck drivers did not speak English as their first language. When approaching Main Street, the drivers saw signs that prohibited trucks, but underneath those signs were arrows pointing to the route they were supposed to take.

Dippold noted that confusion could have resulted from the signs seeming to indicate that trucks weren't permitted on the route they were supposed to be taking.

“If English isn't your first language, you only see the 'no truck' and the arrows going that way,” Dippold said, “which takes them the exact opposite of what we want.”

Dippold proposed that the signs be rearranged, so the directional signs are on the corner of German Street. Then, 50 yards down the street would be the 'no truck sign' and another sign notifying drivers of the $600 fine for disobeying it.

U.S. Linear, which has a facility in Harmony, offered to pay for the signs, Dippold said.

The council is unsure if this would fully solve the problem as many of the truck drivers appear to be relying heavily on their GPS devices when they are stopped in the square. However, Dippold said this would be a good first step toward fixing the issue.

“I think it's worth a shot, at least to start,” he said.

The council unanimously approved the plan to move the signs and requested anyone who sees a truck in the square contact the police or Dippold, so they can keep track of how well the plan is working and present that information to U.S. Linear if further action needs to be taken.

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