Thursday, January 24, 2019

Regional Planners Review More Rotten Intersections

Photos by Evan Brandt
Above is one option for improving safety at the intersection of Farmington Avenue and State Road near the firehouse in Upper Pottsgrove presented Wednesday night.

At right is a second option which would be more expensive and might cause an increase in rear-end collisions which are nevertheless less likely to be serious or, worse, deadly, according to the DVRPC.

The Pottstown regional planners' tour through the region's 18 worst intersections continued Wednesday night as eight more were examined and suggestions for making them safer and more efficient were explored.

Last month, the planners looked at nine intersections in Pottstown, Lower Pottsgrove, Uppwer Pottsgrove, West Pottsgrove, New Hanover, Douglass (Mont.), North Coventry and East Coventry. Wednesday night, they looked at eight more.

The study is being conducted by the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission and the idea is to identify some of the smaller-scale projects that could be undertaken by the participating municipalities for minimal cost, or tasking a developer with the task.

In fact, Montgomery County Traffic Planner Crystal Gilchrist said thanks to a new initiative by PennDOT's Maintenance Department to improve communication and coordination with local municipalities, some of the simpler re-striping might be accomplished by PennDOT crews at no cost.
Improvements recommended for the intersection of Route 73
and Middle Creek Road in New Hanover.

For the most part, however, the fixes will likely be in the hands, and wallets, of local officials.

Bleim Road in Lower Pottsgrove and Middle Creek Road in New Hanover won the unofficial award for most problem intersections, three for Bleim Road and two for Middle Creek Road.

While the intersection of Middle Creek and Congo roads can be improved with some signs, striping and making it a four-way stop, traffic counts (both present and future) and the number of accidents at Route 73 and Middle Creek Road warrant some turn lanes and a traffic signal, according to the DVRPC.

A recommendation for a new alignment at Pleasantview Road
and Bleim Road in Lower Pottsgrove.
As for Bleim Road, the intersections with Route 663, Pleasantview Road and New Hanover Square Road all warrant some attention.

While the intersection with New Hanover Square Road can be improved with some better sight distance and some new striping, the best option for its intersection with Pleasantview Road is to re-aling it so it creates a T-intersection with Pruss Hill Road and install a traffic signal, according to the DVRPC.

Similarly, bad sight distance at the intersection with the busy Route 663 warrants turn lanes and a traffic signal, according to the agency.

Other intersections where improvements are needed include High Street and Sanatoga Road in Lower Pottsgrove; Route 724 and Wells Road, along with Route 23 and Bethel Church Road, both in East Coventry.

The final report is due to be provided to the regional planners at the end of June.

Here are the Tweets from the meeting:

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