Newtown News of Interest
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Traffic Speed Study – Newtown-Yardley Road @ Tara Boulevard Crosswalk

Richard Rezer, a traffic engineer at RVE, the Newtown Township engineering firm, presented traffic data at Newtwon-Yardly Rd and Tara Blvd to the Board of Supervisors at it December 7, 2022, meeting.


The study was requested by the township to determine what further pedestrian safety measures were needed at this crosswalk at the entrance to Newtown Walk.


The Board approved a motion (not shown in this video) to have the engineers prepare plans to (1) lower the speed limit on NT-Yardley Rd to 25 MPH from Elm St in the Borough to Lower Dolington Rd (at Rick Steele's) and (2) install an overhead pedestrian-activated Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon (RRFB) at the crosswalk.


UPDATE: After meeting with PennDOT officials on 12/19/2022, RVE informed supervisors that "Newtown-Yardley is a Township Road. PennDOT does not have specific involvement with the speed limit reduction on a Township Road, however, we reviewed our recommendations with them and take their guidance and design standards into consideration.”


“To help create a more uniform posted speed along the corridor, increase pedestrian safety at the existing crossing, as well as improve pedestrian and transit connectivity to the Borough, there is a benefit to lowering the posted speed limit to 25mph from the Newtown Borough line to the signalized intersection with Dolington Road/Terry Drive,” said RVE  in an updated trafftic study memorandum.


johnmacknewtown's insight:


There is some evidence that lowering the speed limit does not require PennDOT approval, and the engineering support for the Township to take action does not have to be as stringent as PennDOT’s formulas. Rather, the existing factors regarding pedestrian safety are sufficient to lower the speed limit from 35 to 25 mph. For example, lowering the speed limit on Newtown-Yardley Rd to 25 MPH from Elm St to Lower Dolington Rd just continues the 25 MPH speed limit on Washington Ave in the Borough (which turns into NT-Yardley Rd in the Township). This is completely acceptable to Penn DOT. In fact, by documenting that the walkway into the Borough is on the opposite side of the road from Newtown Walk, and that a 25-mph speed limit is a continuation of the speed limit from the Borough, a PennDOT official indicated those facts alone would be sufficient to justify the reduction of the speed limit.


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Newtown News of Interest
These Scoops are excerpts from articles published in local newspapers and other sources that may be of interest to Newtown area residents. Please click on the "From" link to access the full original article. Any opinions and "insights" appended to these article summaries are solely those of John Mack and do not represent the opinions of any other person or entity.
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