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Chester County Press

Franklin Township launches petition to get stop signs installed

08/01/2017 09:52AM ● Published by J. Chambless

By John Chambless
Staff Writer

Community concerns about the intersection of Appleton and Strickerville roads in Franklin Township have resulted in an online petition effort that is being posted on the township's website.

The main page has added a prominent banner, reading, “Help convince PennDOT to install a 4-way stop at the intersection.” Viewers who click on the link are taken to an explanatory page that reads, in part:

“A 108-acre farm located at the intersection of Appleton and Strickerville roads was recently purchased by an Amish family who are operating an organic dairy farm. People who travel Appleton Road know that this road can become a speedway, with cars, trucks and heavy equipment traveling at speeds greater than the posted speed limit. The posted speed limit of 40 mph is considered too fast by many.

“Some drivers mistake this intersection for a 4-way stop intersection and proceed onto Appleton Road after stopping and collide with oncoming traffic,” the message reads. “The township is aware of one death and two serious accidents at this intersection, and many non-reportable accidents as well. The township has been asking PennDOT as far back as 2010 to improve safety at this intersection.”

The farm property spans the intersection, and was recently sold to Amish families who are operating a dairy farm. The family members, including children, must cross the road several times a day to perform chores, and their horse-drawn buggies and wagons pose a risk to speeding traffic.

“The Board of Supervisors and many residents worry that a terrible accident could occur,” the online message continues. The township “Call to Action” lists several steps, including, “Establish a dialogue with PA elected officials, Rep. John Lawrence, and Sen. Andrew Dinniman; Use social media networks; Collect signatures; Perform a traffic study, independent of PennDOT, using additional, relevant criteria to develop a recommendation for a remedy; Contact Lancaster County Municipalities for their experience managing traffic safety issues with horse-drawn carriages.”

The petition asks residents to add their voices to the stop-sign effort by writing to PennDOT district executive Kennett McClain at his address in King of Prussia.

In June, Franklin Township Board of Supervisors chairman John Auerbach shared a letter he wrote several years ago about road conditions in the township. “In my 35 years of living here, the Franklin Township and PennDOT have made significant improvements in the quality of our roads in the form of signage, drainage, shoulder improvements and some adjustments to curves and hills,” Auerbach wrote. “Unfortunately, the basic configuration of our roads lacks the engineered design of new roads. As our area developed, the unsealed paths that served early farms were just paved, without employing engineering techniques. We have well-maintained roads that are poorly designed with bad curves, hills, bumps, and many driveways with inadequate sight distance”

In the case of the proposed stop signs, Auerbach wrote, “A four-way stop this intersection would surely be a traffic calming feature and increase safety for drivers, horse-drawn carriages, and pedestrians. The four-way stop sign system installed at routes 896 and 841 has been a huge success in reducing the number and severity of traffic conflicts. The primary advantage of the four-way is that traffic in all directions must stop. If there is a conflict, the vehicle velocity is low, and serious injuries are avoided.”

For more information on the petition, visit www.franklintownship.us.

To contact Staff Writer John Chambless, email jchambless@chestercounty.com.

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