Township receives traffic calming solutions for West Grove development
● By Richard Gaw
To best address concerns that had been earlier heard from residents in the Preserve at Inniscrone development at a recent London Grove Township Board of Supervisors meeting, the township's supervisors requested -- and recently received -- a preliminary traffic calming evaluation that created possible solutions to ease the alarming rate of speeding and cut-through traffic in the development.
A July 5 report issued to the township from McMahon Associates, Inc. – an Exton-based transportation engineering firm – detailed existing conditions in the development; suggested traffic calming opportunities; interim solutions; and potential and permanent roadway solutions to the problem. The recent “Engineering and Traffic Study for Truck Restrictions report,” issued in January by the township's Public Works Department, was referred to in the creation of the firm's initial assessment.
The first problem, the McMahon report said, has already been detected in the Public Works Department report: Eighty-five percent of drivers riding southbound through the development are driving at an average speed of 32 miles per hour, faster than the 25 MPH speed limit regulation.
Finding solutions, the McMahon report stated, involves three categories of solutions that include the three E's: education, enforcement and engineering. Because educational campaigns can be difficult to implement, and police enforcement from the State Police in Avondale – whose presence has more visible in the neighborhoods recently – has limitations, the report suggested that solutions should come from changes in the development's infrastructure.
The report suggested the following near-term solutions, at limited cost, to address speeding: “SLOW” pavement markings along Inniscrone Drive near horizontal curves and intersections; continental-style crosswalks, which offer more visibility to motorists, and can be installed at intersections and replace standard two-white line style crosswalk markings; and the installation of radar speed feedback signs, that can be mounted at key locations along Inniscrone Drive to notify drivers when they are speeding.
McMahon Associates, Inc. suggested three permanent roadway modifications to the development's roadways, which include:
Constructing two raised intersections elevated between three to six inches above the street grade, at a cost estimated between $75,000 and $150,000, that would be located at the corner of Inniscrone Drive and Coote Drive/Finn Way, and at the corner of Inniscrone Drive and Roscoman Way;
Extending the length of existing center median islands along Inniscrone Drive, at an estimated cost of $20 to $30 per square foot; and
Building two raised pedestrian crossings elevated three to six inches above street grade, at an estimated cost between $25,000 and $30,000, along Inniscrone Drive.
McMahon Associates, Inc.'s preliminary report is serving as the “toolbox phase,” used to come up with suggestions and changes, at a cost of $5,000, paid for by the township. It will then be followed by a design/cost stage, when it will present the board with designs and costs; and a construction/remedy phase, when it would begin the construction of solutions to alleviate the traffic flow problem.
The township's decision to hire McMahon Associates, Inc. to perform the study was in response to the board's May 2 meeting, when several residents of the development shared separate incidents of vehicle speeding along Inniscrone Drive, from drivers who have repeatedly disobeyed the 25-mile-per-hour signage to the use of the development as a speed lane for construction vehicles. The severity of the situation in the development was recently made even more serious when an 8th-grade student was was struck by a speeding car on the road. The child was immediately taken to a hospital emergency room, where he was treated for injuries and received eight stitches. The driver subsequently drove away from the scene of the accident.
During the May 2 meeting, the development's Home Owners Association requested the inclusion of two-way stop signs at Inniscrone and the intersections of Sligo, Castlerea, Roscoman, Coote and Finn Way. In addition, the group asked for speed bumps to be installed at seven locations along Inniscrone Drive, and a petition was recently circulated around the development that collected 120 signatures in support of addressing these problems.
Board Chairman Richard Scott-Harper said that the township is scheduling an Aug. 1 meeting with the residents of the development to discuss the preliminary plans, which will begin at 6 p.m. at the township building.
In other township business, supervisor Dave Connors filled in the board on the recent Southern Chester County EMS report; specifically, determining fair funding allocations from the 18 municipalities who contribute the operating costs for MEDIC 94 emergency services unit. Connors said that while nearly every municipality contributes 100 percent of its desired contributions, based on the .1 mil real estate assessment formula for each municipality, there are a few municipalities whose contributions to the fund fall well below what they are supposed to pay.
The conflict, Connors said, arises when communities that are bigger in accessed value, like London Grove Township, pay into the municipal funding for MEDIC 94 at a higher rate, despite using the service less frequently than other municipalities who use the service more, but aren't paying their fair share. A possible solution for those municipalities who are under-serving the MEDIC 94 funding, Connors said, is for them to ask retirement and continued care facilities in their area for contributions.
The board announced that there are vacancies for the following boards and commissions: Open Space, Township Auditors; Environmental Advisory Council; and the UCC Board of Appeals.
There are also two vacancies on the Inniscrone Golf Course Committee, but Connors recommended that the committee be dissolved, given, he said, that it hasn't met recently.
The township recognized the passing of David Connery, a long-time township volunteer and school board member, who died on June 13. Connery served as the township's liaison to the Southeastern Chester County Refuse Authority (SECCRA), a municipal authority that provides a regional waste management approach to municipal solid waste problems in southern Chester County. SECCRA's current landfill in London Grove Township started operations in 1986, and serves 24 boroughs and townships in southern Chester County. Robert Weir was appointed as the township's liaison to SECCRA, to replace Connery.
The board gave approval for the township to apply for membership in the Tree City USA program, a nationwide movement that provides the framework necessary for communities to manage and expand their public trees. Currently, more than 3,400 communities in the nation have achieved Tree City USA status by meeting four core standards of sound urban forestry management: maintaining a tree board or department, having a community tree ordinance, spending at least $2 per capita on urban forestry and celebrating Arbor Day.
Joining the Tree City USA program will cost the township $18,000, and will be paid for out of the township's general fund.
The board also issued a resolution honoring the service of Anne Stroud Hannum for her years of service to the township's Open Space Committee and the formation of its plans.
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email email@example.com.