Editorial: When local government is at its best
By Richard Gaw
The narrative of their stories did not include picnics across backyards or swimming pool block parties, although the close and attractive homes along Sligo and Coote and Finn and Roscoman and Castlerea and Inniscrone Drive can very easily conjure up such connections between neighbors.
Rather, the tone and matter of their dialogue was one of fragility, vulnerability and immediate concern, to the tune of 120 signatures added to a petition that said, essentially, that the residents of the Preserve at Inniscrone were being held captive and no longer wanted to be.
The residents told the supervisors about several incidents of vehicle speeding along Inniscrone Drive, the frequency of which has turned the lane from a quiet thoroughfare where children ride bikes into a speed lane for delivery and construction vehicles, and automobiles who have repeatedly disobeyed the 25-mile-per-hour signage.
They told the story of the 8th-grade student who was struck by a speeding car on Inniscrone Drive and was taken immediately to a hospital emergency room where he received stitches for his injuries. One resident told the board about a recent incident when her husband was threatened by a speeding driver, who reacted to her husband's motion to slow down by slamming on his brakes, jumping out of his vehicle and threatening to punch the man who had just asked him to pay attention to the speed limit.
In conjunction with the township's Public Works Department and the Preserve at Inniscrone's Home Owners' Association, the board asked township manager Ken Battin to seek solutions in the form of a
traffic calming evaluation, and on July 5, just two months after the May meeting, that evaluation was completed and delivered by McMahon Associates, Inc. – an Exton-based transportation engineering firm.
Taking its cue from a January report issued by the township's Public Works department, the McMahon report detailed existing conditions in the development; suggested traffic calming opportunities; interim solutions; and potential and permanent roadway solutions to the problem. From pavement markings to the installation of radar speed feedback signs to roadway modifications, the McMahon report is a “toolbox” that gives the residents of the Preserve at Inniscrone the peace-of-mind of knowing that the answers to the problem are within reach.
While awards and recognition are regularly handed out for our actions, rarely do we receive accolades merely for listening, but that's just what Battin, Public Works Director Shane Kinsey, board chairman Richard Scott-Harper, and supervisors Dave Connors, Lee Irwin, Stephen Zurl and Thomas Szakas did on May 2. In an age where grandiose grandstanding has become the political norm, let the actions taken by London Grove Township stand as proof positive that government works best when it listens first.