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Ad-hoc Committee on Traffic and Roadways

Buckingham Township

2004-2005

FINAL REPORT

 

Submitted 7/27/05 with our sincere thanks by township residents Julie Cannan-Siegle, John Easterday, Bob Jeter, Ed Mix, and Glynnis Stone Tihansky

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

I.      Introduction                                                             

II.     Traffic Goals and Desires                                       

III.            Municipal Roadway Procedures                           

 PENNDOT roads

 Township roads

IV.            General Driving Habits                                            

 Accidents

 Routes

V.               Traffic Control Devices                                           

 Intersections

Traffic Calming

VI.    Travel Report on Buckingham Roadways          

VII.   Roadway Costs                                                     

 Construction & Maintenance

 Policing

VIII.  Public Meeting and Survey Results                     

IX.    Recommendations                                               

X.     References                                                            

 

(Please note that Appendices B through I have not been included on this site due to their length and the limitation of the web site file size. Should you wish a hard copy of any appendix please call 215-345-5355 and leave a message.)

 

Appendix A - The Charge

Appendix B - Handout Given at Public Meeting

Appendix C - Township Road Map

Appendix D - Bob Jeter's Travel Report

Appendix E - Ed Mix's Travel Report

Appendix F - Alphabetical List of Buckingham Roads

Appendix G - Numbered List of Buckingham Roads

Appendix H - Traffic Calming Techniques

Appendix I - Resident Survey       

 

 

I.                   Introduction

 

This report will provide an introduction to the roadways in Buckingham, report on the status of its roadways, and recommend actions our local government can take in order to be proactive and limit the traffic impacts of growth. With the exception of the Travel Report, the committee has attempted to resist reporting on specific roadway intersections and instead concentrates on principles and goals which can be sustained over time.

 

In recent times, Buckingham Township has maintained a policy of strictly limited development; however, growth and development are inevitable, in both our township as well as in surrounding townships. Possibly, the development of surrounding townships has had a larger impact upon our traffic patterns than the development within our township.

 

At this point in time, Buckingham really does not have a “traffic problem.” We have a few intersections that get backed up for relatively short periods of time at predictable times during the day. Relative to some neighboring townships and other areas in the county, we do not currently have a significant “traffic problem.” We do have the potential for significant traffic problems in the future due to the major through roads that traverse the township; namely routes 413, 313, 202 and 263. Buckingham is generally a place to pass through and not a destination. The only major destination for non-residents is Peddlers Village, which happens to be on the major through roads of 202 and 263.

 

The Charge

 

The Buckingham Township Ad Hoc Committee on Traffic and Roadways will:

 

1.      Identify and understand the constraints and procedures, legally and statutorily, that municipalities must follow to deal with any roadway issue and report on the same to the general public;

2.      Identify and understand consequences of traffic control devices and roadways, the interrelationships between traffic goals and desires, and general driving habits and report on the same to the general public;

3.      Travel both township and Commonwealth roadways to identify desirable and undesirable characteristics and to report on them;

4.      Hold a public meeting for the purpose of identifying public sentiment and eliciting ideas on how traffic and congestion may be handled and to report on the results;

5.      Identify and understand the costs associated with acquisition, construction and policing our roadways and report on the same to the public;

6.      Report to the Board of Supervisors the findings of the Committee and recommend to the Board actions derived from conclusions drawn from this review.

 

                    The complete Charge is included in Appendix A

 

II.                Traffic Goals and Desires

 

Keeping Township roadways safe is the primary goal. Unfortunately, as soon as you add just one vehicle to the road, it is no longer “safe.” To keep roadways as safe as possible, the Township keeps the roadways and associated signage in good repair, regularly improves sight distances at intersections (by trimming foliage), and continually examines the roadways to look for ways to increase signage, etc. that would make the roadways as safe as possible. Residents can help by reporting unsafe conditions to the Township Roadmaster (Appendix B).

 

Another goal is to keep traffic moving. Stopped traffic does not reach its destination in a timely manner. The use of traffic calming techniques (Section V.B.), timing and synchronization of lights all act to keep traffic moving. Stopped traffic identifies a trouble spot that requires a solution.

 

The desire is for less traffic. One way to do that is to provide bikeways and sidewalks so people walk and ride bikes to get places, such as parks, schools and churches. To determine the desires of Township residents, we would recommend conducting a township-wide survey.

                       

               

III.              Municipal Roadway Procedures

 

In order to take an action (add a traffic light, change the speed limit, add a traffic calming solution) on either a PENNDOT or Township road, an engineering and traffic study must first be completed to determine if the action is warranted. The specifics are listed in the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code, Chapter 201. Engineering and Traffic Studies; however, some of the elements that are considered in these studies include; Accident analysis, Alternate route, Capacity analysis, Geometric review, Parallel street, Pavement analysis, Pedestrian volumes, Roadside development, Sight distance, Speed data, Traffic volumes, Traffic signals, and Type of highway. For each action, different sets of elements may be required for approval. For example, Subchapter C. Speed Restrictions, Section 201.31 Speed limits, defines the elements of engineering and traffic studies that must be considered in every study pertaining to speed restrictions; they include Accident analysis, Sight distance (corner sight distance and stopping sight distance), and Speed data (spot speed, safe-running speed, and safe speed on curves). The criteria for further establishing speed limits is defined as, “The speed limit should be within 5 miles per hour of the average 85th percentile speed or the safe-running speed on the section of highway, except the speed limit may be reduced up to 10 miles per hour below either of these values if one or more of the following conditions are satisfied: (i) A major portion of the highway has stopping sight distance below the minimum values in 201.6(16)(v) (relating to engineering and traffic study elements); (ii) The available corner sight distance on a number of side roads as defined in 201.6(16)(ii) is less than the appropriate minimum stopping sight values for through vehicles as specified in 201.6(16)(v); (iii) An accident analysis indicates that the majority of accidents are related to excessive speed-those accidents with causation factors of driving too fast for conditions, turning without clearance, failing to yield right-of-way, and so forth-and that the accident rate is greater than the applicable rate in the most recent high-accident severity rate table developed by the Department”.

 

A. PENNDOT roads

 

Actions taken on PENNDOT roads require that the engineering and traffic study warrant the action and require the approval of PENNDOT. The action may also require that PENNDOT fund the action, in which case, the action may take a number of years before the funding comes through.

 

If the problem persists and PENNDOT cannot fund the project within the timeframe needed, the Township can move forward on the project if they can figure out a way for the project to be funded, i.e. surrounding developers pitch in, Wawa includes 413/263 enhancements in its parking lot expansion (see Section VII.A.). The initial sign or traffic light may be paid for by PENNDOT but once it is up the Township is then responsible for its maintenance.

 

There are two avenues for a project to be considered by PENNDOT.  Most local projects would be submitted to the Transportation Improvement Project (TIP) list. The Township designates certain roadway projects it would like PENNDOT to address and submits their list to Bucks County which then gets submitted to PENNDOT’s District 6, of which Buckingham Township is a small part. Since the roadway projects we believe to be vitally important to Buckingham are not high on PENNDOT’s list, the project planning, funding and obtaining PENNDOT’s approval fall to the Township.  These projects may be more immediate, smaller scale, and improvements to existing roadways.

 

Pennsylvania’s Transportation Program is the state’s transportation agenda for the next twelve-year period and aims to help PA prioritize its many transportation projects within the available funding. The projects described here are more long-term, larger scale, and may include building new roads and bridges. The 202 Parkway is listed as a project on this list (www.dot.state.pa.us).

 

B.  Township roads

 

Actions taken on Township roads also require justification through engineering and traffic studies. If the action is justified, the Township Supervisors will issue an ordinance which requires public advertisement, discussion and approval at a public meeting.

 

If action is to be taken at an intersection of a Township road with a PENNDOT road, PENNDOT must be informed and a solution mutually agreed upon. The action would then be funded, as well as maintained, by the township. This issue can be quite complex, as described in detail in the case of Tracy Lyn Starr vs. Richland Township. In this case, the court made a determination on “whether and under what circumstances a township may be held liable for an accident that occurs on a state highway because the township did not restrict access to the highway from a local road under its control.”

 

To make some of these intersections even more complex, more than one township may “own” the intersection. For example, Buckingham Township covers only half of the following intersections, 263 and 313, 202 and 313, 313 and Old Easton Road, 313 and Cold Spring Creamery Road, Street and Mechanicsville, to name a few. Buckingham Township has only one quarter of the intersection of Edison Furlong Rd. and Pebble Hill Road. Actions taken at any one of these intersections must be agreed upon by the townships involved and PENNDOT.

 

 

IV.            General Driving Habits

 

There exist inter-relationships between traffic goals and desires and general driving habits. As noted previously, one goal of all traffic management is to “keep traffic moving.” Achievement of this goal is hindered (at certain times of the day) by the sheer volume of traffic on our roadways. Development, although certainly a factor, is not entirely to blame. Our township is a key commuter corridor for a multitude of “outsiders” traveling on routes 413, 313, 202 and 263. Geography also contributes as the topography of our township offers few alternatives to the major routes already mentioned and tends to funnel travelers to those highways.

 

General driving habits of the public at large can be categorized as discourteous at best, and typically careless and irresponsible. The most frequently observed examples include tailgating, not stopping at stop signs and turning onto a street from a side street with insufficient distance from the oncoming traffic, i.e. the oncoming traffic must brake to avoid ramming into the car that turned.

 

Poor driving habits like those described above leave no reaction time to avoid an accident. Additionally, they frustrate or anger other drivers who typically adopt a more aggressive attitude as a result. While the actions of others can’t be controlled, motorists can take actions to mitigate their potential effect and improve their own driving. These include;

One of the most important practices a driver can use is to observe the 2 second rule. This is a general rule of the road when you are following another vehicle. When you are traveling behind another vehicle, regardless of the speed involved, you need 2 seconds to have a chance to safely react to an adverse situation created by the vehicle in front of you. For example, the vehicle in front of you slams on his brakes to avoid hitting a cat that dashes across the road. Anything less than 2 seconds means you will hit the vehicle in front of you; anything more than 2 seconds gives you a good chance to react and avoid a collision. Determining this 2 second interval is easy. As the vehicle in front of you proceeds down the road watch for it to pass a street sign, a pothole or a shadow stretching across the road, any distinguishing characteristic that you can use as a marker. As the rear of the vehicle passes this marker begin to count, “one one thousand, two one thousand, etc.” If the front of your vehicle passes the marker before or as you reach “two one thousand,” you are following too closely and need to slow down. Should you reach “three one thousand” or “four one thousand” you are probably traveling at a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you and should have sufficient time to react to an otherwise unanticipated event. The two second rule originated in many driver safety classes in high school. Perhaps this type of class should again be offered at the high school level and also to seniors as a refresher course.

 

Traffic goals and desires, the safe and even flow of traffic and their inter-relationships with general driving habits should not be adversarial in nature, but they are adversely affected by pervasive poor driving habits. Motorists need to reflect on and practice basic good driving skills.

 

A. Accidents

 

As stated in PENNDOT’s 2001 Pennsylvania Crash Facts & Statistics, every accident “involves 3 elements, the driver, highway and vehicle.” It has been stated nationally that 85-90% of all traffic accidents involve some sort of driver error that contributes to the accident. Therefore, as drivers, we can greatly impact traffic safety by Driving Smart and Driving Defensively.”

 

A review of the police vehicle accident log (located in the Police Department at the Township Building) for the year 2003 was conducted with the following observations:

 

 

Highway intersection accidents accounted for 54 accidents, or 15% of the total. The intersections with the greatest number of accidents are:

o       202 / 413        14 accidents

o       263 / 413        14        “

o       263 /313           9        “

o       263 / 202          9        “

o       202 at Mechanicsville           8 accidents

 

The remaining half of all accidents occurred at scattered points throughout the Township without any trend or pattern.

 

 

The review revealed that accidents for the most part happen where you think they might, i.e. heavily traveled roadways, and when, peak travel hours and/or bad weather.

 

Police Chief Daniels said the intersections they have the most problems with include Burnt House Hill Rd. and Mechanicsville, 263 and 413, 202 and 413, 263 and 313, 202 and 313, and Edison Furlong and Pebble Hill Road. In the past couple of years the intersection of Street Rd. and Mechanicsville has become the intersection with the greatest number of accidents. It appears to be an innocuous intersection; good sight distances on a section of straight road, yet there have been more accidents located at this intersection than one would expect. An engineering and traffic study should be done to see if a yellow warning light is warranted. Another solution might be to add rumble strips just prior to the Stop signs on Street Road.

 

Some of the facts listed in PENNDOT’s 2001 Pennsylvania Crash Facts & Statistics are particularly pertinent to Buckingham or support the conclusions listed above:

 

ü      The majority of pedestrians are injured in cities; however, there are a much higher percentage of pedestrian deaths in Townships, perhaps due to higher vehicle speeds on rural roads.

 

ü      Accidents are highest during peak traffic times, particularly 3-6pm.

 

ü      In 2001, more accidents occurred in daylight than all other light levels combined.

 

ü      Adverse weather and road surface conditions negatively affect vehicle handling and driver sight. Interestingly, the vast majority of accidents occur under no adverse conditions. This can be attributable to: 1) weather and roads being clear most of the time and 2) drivers failing to use caution under optimal road conditions.

 

ü      Of all drivers represented in accidents, the young driver and the mature driver are two groups that stand out. Young drivers (ages 16-24) are the least experienced drivers and they are also prone to over zealous driving performance, perhaps due to their youth and peer pressure. Mature drivers (age 65 and over) on the other hand, experience driving difficulties related to deteriorating physical abilities (eyesight, hearing, head movement, etc.).

 

 

B. Routes

 

Destinations for non-residents

            Within Buckingham: Peddlers Village, farm markets and garden stores.

Thru Traffic: Doylestown, NJ, to 611/turnpike, Newtown & I95, Easton & Allentown, Rice’s Market

 

Destinations for residents

Outside Buckingham: Doylestown, New Hope, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Plumstead, Warrington, Montgomeryville, Horsham,

Within Buckingham: Buckingham Greene, Peddlers Village, High School, Elementary Schools, Churches, Doctors’ offices - Hyde Park, gas stations, Wawa, Restaurants, shopping (dotted across the Twp), Parks, and other residents’ homes.

 

Alternate routes

202: 263, Mechanicsville Rd., Mechanicsville to Church School Rd., Upper Mountain Rd.

Traffic coming from the south of us heading to Doylestown (the courthouse), or the 202 bypass: 413 to 263 to 313 to State St.

Alternate to 313: Church School Rd.

            Avoiding 313 / Cold Spring Creamery intersection: Stoney Lane,

            Alternate to 413: Burnt House Hill Rd., Holicong Rd.

 

Cut-throughs

Between 202 and 263: Furlong Rd., Redgate to Cranberry, Mill Rd.

Between 202 and Mechanicsville Rd.: Mill Rd., Burnt House Hill Rd.

Between 202 and Mechanicsville: Holicong Rd., Ash Mill Rd.

 

In the case of an accident, or even during peak traffic times, it is advantageous to drive alternate routes. The problem is that our alternate routes are narrow, winding country roads and drivers tend to continue their high speed commute over these roadways. The nature of these roadways themselves in conjunction with traffic calming techniques can help to slow traffic traveling these routes.

V.               Traffic Control Devices

 

The Committee spent a good deal of time investigating traffic control devices. This included internet research, information provided by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, and interviews and discussions with PENNDOT and Township personnel.

 

Our findings are that traffic control devices are a complicated subject. It is not simply a matter of “putting up” a stop sign or traffic light. The key goal of all traffic management is to keep traffic moving. Traffic control devices (whether a new addition or a change) need to be evaluated relative to their effect on traffic flow not only at the location of the traffic control device but also its effect on overall traffic patterns in the general area. For example, would a new traffic light actually retard traffic flow on other points on the roadway, or adjoining / intersecting roadways, due to the timing of its cycle of operation? Would the new light cause motorists to seek alternative routes via shortcuts through residential neighborhoods thereby creating safety hazards?

 

Evaluation of the needs for new traffic control devices or review of existing ones are therefore subject to detailed traffic control studies. These studies are performed by the Township for Township roads and by PENNDOT for PENNDOT roads. For intersections involving both PENNDOT and Township roads, joint studies are performed.

 

The cost of a study (in the range of $2,000 depending upon its extent), the expense incurred in purchasing the devices and the installation determine the total cost of implementation. The following are typical costs for traffic control devices (total costs include the initial traffic study and installation unless otherwise noted):

 

Traffic Light:                                       $100,000 to $150,000

Re-Timing & Existing Light:             $500 to $700

Traffic Sign & Installation only:         $100

            (includes Stop sign)

Speed Bumps:                                  $800

Right and Left Turn Lanes:               $10,000

Roundabouts:                                    $150,000 – 250,000  (depending on size)

 

In conclusion, the Committee found that traffic control devices, whether new installations or changes to existing devices, are subject to a formal and detailed process for their implementation. Jurisdictional authority or responsibility can impact this process (e.g. state road vs. township road). Changes can be expensive depending upon the type of change anticipated (e.g. traffic light). Lastly, any type of change must be evaluated relative to its impact on overall traffic flow, not only in its immediate vicinity but its potential effect on the general area. In other words, changes require macro management rather than micro management.

 

 

 

A.   Intersections

 

Intersections can be classified as T-type, a Cross type, or a Complex type. A T-type intersection is the termination of one road into another. A Cross type in the complete intersection of two roads. The Complex type describes the spectrum of intersections from the angled intersection of two roads to the intersection and/or termination of more than one road.

 

Methods to regulate these intersections include:

 

T-type:            3 Stop signs, one at each approach to the intersection. Three Stop signs would probably only be used where the traffic moving on the through road is traveling relatively slow.

                        1 Stop sign at the entry of the terminated road.

 

Cross type:    2 way Stop sign – Typically used when one road is a faster moving thoroughfare and the other is a smaller, side road. Example: Street and Mechanicsville, Burnt House Hill and Mechanicsville

4 way stop – Typically used when both roads are slower side streets. With the construction of Covenant Presbyterian Church, a four way Stop is planned for the intersection of Church School Rd. and Mechanicsville.

Light – Typically used to control an intersection of two thru roads. An example is 202 and 413, 413 and 263.

Roundabout – A traffic calming technique that keeps traffic moving at a slower rate (see further explanation under traffic calming). Maryland and Vail, CO are two US locations that have extensively and effectively used roundabouts.

 

Complex type: Light

                        Roundabout

 

B.    Traffic Calming

 

Traffic calming solutions keep traffic moving at a slower speed. Traffic calming involves changes in street alignment, installation of barriers or other physical measures to reduce traffic speeds and/or cut-through volumes, in the interest of street safety, livability and other public purposes. Traffic Calming solutions include speed humps or bumps, speed tables, raised cross walks or intersections, textured pavements, roundabouts, realigned intersections or roads, neck downs, and narrowing of center islands. Local examples include speed humps and tables on Hansell Rd., a raised cross walk, textured pavement, a neck down, and realignment of the road on Court St. across from CB West. Additional information regarding Traffic Calming can be found at www.tvpi.org/tdm/tdm4.htm (first two pages in Appendix H) and an article on roundabouts can be found in Appendix H

 

VI.            Travel Report on Buckingham Roadways

 

Shortly after receiving our Charge, the entire Traffic Committee rode many of Buckingham’s roadways with Chief Daniels and Township Manager, Ray Stepnoski. Later in the investigative process, Bob Jeter and Ed Mix traveled the roadways and reported observations on portions of the township. Finally, Ed Mix drove on every road in Buckingham Township, including both Township and PENNDOT roads. Bob Jeter's observations can be found in Appendix D and Ed Mix's in Appendix E.

 

Summary

 

Bob commented on the speed, traffic signs, conditions, shoulders, drainage and maintenance of Buckingham roadways. In his opinion, speeding, driver courtesy and impatience were the major problems that need attention. This could be addressed by having a greater police presence and higher fines for breaking the law. Driver Education for youth and follow-up testing for the elderly would be beneficial. He felt that stop and/or yield signs should be present at all intersections regardless whether they are PENNDOT, Township or private roads.

 

Bob felt the roadway with the greatest problems, and the reason he joined the Traffic Committee, is Cold Spring Creamery Road. The problems include the poor condition of the road, the lack of shoulders and the placement of passing and no passing lines. He, like many other residents on or nearby Cold Spring Creamery Road, feels the speed limit should be reduced. The 50mph speed limit was established long before the residential development. Now that George M. Bush Park has opened and the construction of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church is forthcoming, there will be a greater volume of traffic using the road. Of greatest concern are that more families and children will be crossing at the intersection of Burnt House Hill Rd. and Cold Spring Creamery Road. The protection and safety of all our residents is a must.

 

Ed found most intersections to be “safe”. He listed some problems at only five intersections. Many private roads and some township roads did not have yield or stop signs at their termination, the intersection with a typically larger road. Private roads are not required to post any signage; however, Ed felt that the use of yield or stop signs at the intersection termination of township roads should be consistent and required.

 

After reviewing the roadways in Buckingham Township, the Traffic Committee found most Township roads in fairly good shape with only some maintenance and/or improvements needed, as is the case in any township. Some PENNDOT roads; however, are in need of additional attention.

 

 

 

VII.          Roadway Costs

 

A. Construction & Maintenance

 

PENNDOT roads cost $35,000.00 per mile and Township roads cost $2,500.00 per mile to maintain. Maintenance to Township roadways includes: keeping the roadways and associated signage in good repair; regularly improving sight distances (describe) at intersections (by trimming foliage); storm gutter repairs; paving, seal coating and crack sealing roads; bridge repair; handling any concerns that are reported by residents.

 

Storm gutter repair costs are difficult to estimate because the work varies. The work entails ditching the side of the roads and replacing the decaying pipes.  The task takes about seven workers, including equipment operators, laborers and traffic control personnel.  The Township typically sends crews out on rainy days to check and rectify any drainage problems.  These crews usually purchase approximately $10,000 in drainage related items per year including pipe, inlet tops and stone.

 

The following are roads projected for improvement by Buckingham Township in the near future. The projects listed are subject to change due to budget, time restrictions, and unexpected problems that take priority over maintenance. At this time, specific dates for having the work take place have not been determined.

 

Roads to be paved 

1.    Landisville Rd Between Old Easton Rd and Burnt House Hill Rd 

2.    Oak Ln between 313 and Furlong Rd

3.    Holicong Rd between 202 And Upper Mt Rd

4.    Cranberry Dr 

5.    Old York Rd  

Roads to be seal coated

1.    Long Lane

2.    Indian Spring Rd

3.    Smoke Rd

4.    Upper Mt Rd Between 413 and Holicong Rd

5.    Quarry Rd

6.    Mozart Rd

Developments to be crack sealed

1.    Fireside

2.    Hearthstone

3.    Carvers Run

4.    McGinnis Court

 

Bridges scheduled for repair

 

  1. Bridge # 6 Over Pidcock Creek (Holicong Rd at New Hope Rd) footings repair and general maintenance
  2. Bridge # 1 Over branch of Robin Run Creek (Lower Mt Rd between Swamp and Forest Grove Rd) remove and replace
  3. Bridge #14 Over Lahaska Creek (Quarry Rd between 202 and Upper Mt Rd) repair and reappoint

Status of Intersection Modifications

 

·        Mill Rd. / 202  - Warrant to do flashing yellow light

·        Edison Furlong / 263 – Timing change to light.

·        413 / 202 Left turn lane – PENNDOT is getting prices for installation. Project should be done before the beginning of school.

·        413 / 263 – Wawa bought the land adjacent. They will be funding intersection enhancements at 413 / 263 intersection (turn lanes & new lights). The ball is in their court.

·        Cold Spring Creamery Rd. / 313 – Originally, a funded project to coordinate timing for 611 included enhancements at this intersection, however, funding was lost. Now, a left turn lane and other enhancements will be funded by surrounding developers, however, they are awaiting a location for their sewage capacity before moving forward.

·        Cold Spring Creamery & Burnt House Hill Roads – The Township, in coordination with PENNDOT, has completed all the design and engineering for a roundabout. The total project, including repairs to Cold Spring Creamery, will cost $2,000,000. The township will kick in $1,000,000. Final approval and $1,000,000 needed from PENNDOT.

 

In anticipation of the building of the new church, Covenant Presbyterian, to be located between Mechanicsville, 202 and Church School roads, the following two modifications are in process:

·        4 way stop at Church School Rd. and Mechanicsville Rd.

·        No passing on Mechanicsville Rd. from 202 to Church School Rd.

 

 

B. Policing

 

In the Buckingham Police Department there are a total of 21 employees. That includes Chief Daniels, two detectives and 18 police officers. They spend half their time on traffic related issues, which includes investigating accidents, sitting at problem locations, issuing traffic citations, running truck inspections and monitoring speed.

 

 

VIII.       Public Meeting and Survey Results

 

 

 The survey can be found in Appendix G.  Copies of the survey were available at the Ad Hoc Traffic Committee Meeting and online. With 16 reporting, the results were as follows:

 

What do you want Buckingham Township to look like in the next 5-10 years?

Fourteen respondents answered, “much as it does now.” One modified the answer to say, “much as it did 30 years ago!” One answered similar to how it looks along 263 in Warwick. One person also asked for more walking and biking paths.

 

What type of roads do you prefer driving on?

Four preferred narrow country roads with no center line. One answer was qualified with, “when I have the luxury for shorter trips.”

The majority, eleven, said two lane country roads.

Three answered wide two lane roads, and two answered four lane roads, one with the caveat, “for longer trips.”

 

What type of road do you prefer to live on?

Four voted for both narrow country roads with no center line and two lane country roads.

Understandably, no one wanted to live on a wide two lane or four lane highways.

Four preferred to live in a development and nine preferred a culdesac or circle. One respondent added, “k. safe roads.”

 

What is your number one traffic concern in Buckingham Township? Why? Followed by what they would do to resolve it.

 

-          “Speeding and reckless driving by truck drivers and high school students taking short-cuts on country roads. Speed bumps on country roads and increased policing and ticketing.”

 

-          “To slow people down. I would like to see more traffic calming solutions. These are no longer country roads. They are neighborhood roads where children ride bikes and people pull on and off the roads frequently. The complexion of the roads has changed and the traffic signs and rules need to reflect this change. I want to feel that my children can ride or walk to parks safely. I want to force people to pay attention to the children that may inadvertently jump out into the road.”

 

-          “Feeder roads to major arteries with sight distance problems, i.e. Anderson and 413, Smith Rd. and 413, because of the white-knuckled terror that is imposed when turning onto the major arteries from the feeders. To resolve this, it depends on the road. A couple of solutions might include; 1) signage to limit problem turns at problem times; 2) disconnect some feeder roads from some arteries if they access alternate routes.”

 

-          “No three-way stop at Church School and Smoke Roads because of the two driveways in/near the intersection. The problems at Smoke and Church School could be addressed by; 1) removing part of the hump on Church School Rd. to the east of the intersection to improve the sight distance; 2) add speed bumps on Church School Road.”

 

-          “Speed limits are the number one concerns because small roads are not safe at the speeds people drive them. Keep speeds down by using calming solutions such as Stop signs and speed humps. Don’t take trees down!”

 

-          “Speed. Currently, we are concerned about the three-way stop at Church School Rd. and Smoke Rd. My neighbors and I will not be able to make a left out of our driveways if the stop sign is added. The speed limit on some roads needs to be reduced by adding speed humps.”

 

-          “Speed and poor intersection visibility. To resolve this, have residents that live next to these intersections cut back the shrubs and trees or simply improve these intersections.”

 

-          “Three intersections; Cold Spring Creamery Rd. and Burnt House Hill Rd., Burnt House Hill Rd. and Mechanicsville, and Mechanicsville and Church School Rd. There are too many close calls because the speed limits are too high. To improve these intersections, add traffic lights, Stop signs and lower the speed limits.”

 

-          “The intersection of Burnt House Hill Rd. and Cold Spring Creamery Rd. The population density combined with the density of traffic and the new allure of a beautiful park. To improve this intersection, I would place traffic lights and cross walks.”

 

-          Cold Spring Creamery Rd. and Burnt House Hill Rd. intersection. It is dangerous and there are too many accidents. Add a traffic light.”

 

-          “Intersections with obstructions.”

 

-          “Volume, perhaps because I live on a “safe” road so I don’t face it every trip. Volume has increased due to development and society’s infrastructure. To resolve this, continue being tough on development and encourage behaviors that limit driving.”

 

-          “Two concerns: 1) nightmarish traffic on 202N on weekends and 2) speeding on 202N and Mechanicsville Rd. between routes 313 and 413. Most of this is thru traffic. It takes forever to run local errands. To resolve this, finish the bypass that now stops at Swamp Rd.”

 

-          “That Stoney Lane may not be closed. People fly on this posted 35mph road that someday my child will be killed, like what almost happened a month ago. That no one on the Board is concerned about these issues and chooses to ignore my calls/letters. I am concerned that the people that have just moved into the new developments can have so much control over issues in the Township and can get their way – when they are the biggest offenders. Close down Stoney Lane! This is what was planned and now may not happen. Please!”

 

-          “Intersections: Cold Spring Creamery Rd. and Burnt House Hill Rd., Cold Spring Creamery Rd. and Swamp Rd. (313), Mechanicsville and Burnt House Hill Rd., Mechanicsville and Holicong, Anderson and 413, 202 and Mechanicsville, 202 and Mill Rd. Bad sight lines or too much traffic. These intersections need makeovers. I go to CB East and there are memories of kids that have died at a few of these intersections while in high school. Add traffic lights. Coldspring Creamery Rd. and 313 needs to be widened.”

 

 Many of the concerns are similar, but you can see that we all have different perspectives depending upon where we live and for how long we have lived there. The Township must take all of these concerns into account when making decisions for the betterment of the community as a whole.

 

It is clear that residents want the community to maintain its rural character and the traffic concerns that are the most prevalent are speed and intersection safety. Some planned improvements to specific intersections may have been mentioned in Section VII.A. We have addressed some of the other concerns in our recommendations.

 

On Monday, June 13 when the Ad Hoc Traffic Committee gave their presentation, there were a number of good suggestions given by the audience. The PACER Program was mentioned as a way to slow down fast drivers. An internet search uncovered a PACER, Police and Community Educating Racers, Program which discourages car racing on public streets. The concept discussed at the meeting was different and included local cars with bumper stickers saying, “I drive the speed limit,” or “slow down.” Perhaps the next Traffic Committee could look into this program.

 

Also discussed at length was the proposed roundabout for the Cold Spring Creamery Rd. and Burnt House Hill intersection. The traffic committee described how they had investigated roundabouts with skepticism through online searches as well as from articles from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. After learning more about roundabouts, the committee was much more open to them. We would suggest having someone from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, or a similar organization, offer a presentation on roundabouts to the residents of the Township.

 

Individuals interested in serving on a future Traffic Commission include:

Polly Beere, Church School Rd.

Sam Losorelli, Briar Circle

George Michael, Smith Rd., Pineville

David Pankenier, Valley View Dr.

Lori Rosolowsky, Ellen Pl.

Skip Salvesen, Buckingham P.O.

Emily Verbeck, Charter Club Dr.

To provide continuity, Bob Jeter has volunteered to serve on a future Traffic Board.

 

IX.            Recommendations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X.              References

 

Andy Warren – Visited 10/18/04, PENNDOT tour on 12/13/04

Chief Daniels – Road tour 8/6/04, Visited 2/15/05

Mike Taylor, Township Roadmaster – Visited 9/7/04

Ray Stepnoski, Township Manager

-          Road tour 8/6/04

-          Twp. road background 7/21/04

 

PENNDOT website, www.dot.state.pa.us

Traffic Calming websites, www.vtpi.org/tdm/tdm4.htm, www.trafficcalming.com

Buckingham Township website, www.buckinghampa.org

Pennsylvania Vehicle Code, www.pacode.com

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety back publications of STATUS REPORT, www.highwaysafety.org

PENNDOT – Pennsylvania Crash Facts and Statistics, 2001

 

 

 


Buckingham Township Civic Association
P.O. Box 211
Buckingham, Pa 18912
(Southeastern Pennsylvania)
Phone: 215-345-5355
E-Mail:
info@buckinghampacivic.org