East Lake Road (PA 5), Lawrence Park
A two-mile stretch of Pennsylvania Route 5 (East Lake Road) through Lawrence Park Township, from Franklin Avenue in the city of Erie to Nagle Road in Harborcreek Township, is a notorious speed trap utilized by Lawrence Park Township Police Department.
The portion of East Lake Road from Franklin to Water Street is 40 miles per hour, and LPPD usually hides on either side of the roadway or even in plain sight on the berm separating the westbound and eastbound lanes, but usually in the cut-offs where Wabtec (GE) abuts the roadway on the south side.
The portion of East Lake Road from Water Street to Nagle Road is 35 miles per hour, and there are several side streets that run perpendicular to East Lake where LPPD camps, usually at night with their lights blacked out. Silliman, Smithson, and Rankine avenues are usually the most common side streets where the officer will position his patrol car. Local police departments in Pennsylvania are not allowed to use radar, so be mindful of the white lines on the roadway in this section of East Lake Road, as that is how the officer “times” you to determine that you’ve been speeding.
The speed limit in the City of Erie is 35, so the speed limit actually increases once you enter Lawrence Park from the west. However, many drivers get nailed for accelerating suddenly and exceeding the speed limit. The speed limit in Harborcreek Township is 40, and drops to 35 once you enter Lawrence Park from the east.
LPPD is also notorious for adding several “secondary” violations, such as bad inspection, cracked windshield, burnt-out license plate lights, etc.