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New crossing clocks installed at Allentown intersection

By Bo Koltnow, Reporter, BKoltnow@wfmz.com
Published On: Dec 12 2012 06:00:00 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 14 2012 05:25:53 AM CST

There's a particular intersection in Allentown that's now a little more pedestrian friendly.

ALLENTOWN, Pa. -

There's a particular intersection in Allentown that's now a little more pedestrian friendly.

Mixed between speeding cars and beneath a set of traffic lights is a tale of tenacity.

Martha Lieberman was asked, when you look up and see that clock what do you think? "I want to cry," she replied.

It's a big deal for Lieberman, 62, of Emmaus. Recently installed traffic countdown clocks at the intersection of Allentown's Lehigh and Vultee streets were something she fought for.

"Just something I never gave a thought to --a  traffic light making that much of a difference but it does," she said.

Prior to the clocks, those crossing, which include many with mobility issues heading to physical therapy, had no idea when the light would turn.

On a cold and rainy spring day last year Martha showed us the crossing chaos.

You could say Martha's buttons were pushed. So she set off on a quest that led her through all kinds of bureaucratic red tape, beginning with the Allentown Police Department.

"They directed me to Ron Penrose of Public Works, who directed me to PennDOT then to LANTA," Lieberman explained.

But Lieberman never quit.

"The more obstacles, the more I wanted it," she determinedly stated.

The clock, which counts down from 30, was finally installed in September but didn't start working until just a few weeks ago.

"There were a couple of delays. We ran into Sandy like everyone else," Ron Penrose of Allentown's public works department said.

The city says similar clocks sit in four other intersections and more will be coming.

So too however, could another call from Martha. A curb at Lehigh and Vultee streets fails to have proper wheel chair ramps.

Look out City Hall, Martha is coming for you.

"They know me by name," she said.