Four-way stop approved in Franklin Township
● By J. Chambless
By John Chambless
On Aug. 11, Franklin Township manager
Joan McVaugh got a phone call confirming that PennDOT will put a
four-way stop at an intersection that has been the focus of community
concern for years.
The intersection of Appleton and Strickersville roads in Franklin Township has been a longtime concern. Three Amish families are now farming the 108-acre property surrounding the intersection, and family members, as well as horse-drawn wagons, must cross the intersection several times each day. Traffic moving north to south on Appleton Road does not currently stop. Traffic on Strickersville does have to stop, but motorists often assume that the intersection is a four-way stop.
The township has unsuccessfully tried to get the intersection turned into a four-way stop several times. PennDOT representatives had previously responded that there weren't enough reportable accidents to warrant a four-way stop, and State Police officers have reported that the sight distance is adequate on the road.
The property has been farmed for years, but the Amish families working on the property are the focus of concern, particularly from neighbor and former township supervisor Nan Latimer, who feared that the young family members, buggies and animals crossing the roadway would be struck by the heavy traffic on the road, which has become a commuter shortcut.
This week, Latimer said, “I was pleased with PennDOT's decision to install a four-way stop at the intersection of Appleton and Strickersville roads. It will make not only the intersection safer but also slow the speed at which cars travel on Appleton Road. I would encourage anyone who chooses to get involved in safety to other issues to contact their township Board of Supervisors, Rep. Lawrence and Sen. Dinniman. Everyone was understanding, helpful and delightful to work with. In my opinion, it was government working the way it should. Thank you to all who worked to get this job done.”
John Auerbach of the Franklin Township Board of Supervisors, who had long advocated for changes at the intersection, said, “The road will be marked in the near future and signs installed in one month. I'd like to thank all who helped in this endeavor – PennDOT, Rep. John Lawrence, Sen. Andrew Dinniman, Nan Latimer, Samuel Stoltzfus, township residents who attended our board meetings, and the Franklin Township staff and Board of Supervisors.”
Lawrence and Dinniman had sent letters to PennDOT asking for the agency to reconsider the intersection, noting the hazards that were facing the family members at the location.
Auerbach wrote to PennDOT that, “A White Clay Trail System is being constructed south of the intersection and will be connected along Appleton Road to the existing Ford Farm Trail System north of the intersection. This will increase pedestrian, bicycle and horseback-riding traffic through the intersection.
“I have been a supervisor for almost six years, and over this period, many township residents have expressed concern about traffic safety at this intersection,” Auerbach added.
An online petition was posted recently at the township's website, but Auerbach said this week that PennDOT likely responded primarily to the letters from Dinniman, Lawrence and himself, as well as the public's concern about the hazardous situation.
For updated information on the township, visit www.franklintownship.us.
To contact Staff Writer John
Chambless, email firstname.lastname@example.org.