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#NewtownPA Township Pursuing Safety Measures For Newtown-Yardley Rd Mid-Block Crossing

#NewtownPA Township Pursuing Safety Measures For Newtown-Yardley Rd Mid-Block Crossing | Newtown News of Interest |

UPDATE (12/19/2022): Newtown Traffic Engineer Recommends 25 MPH Speed Limit for Section of Newtown-Yardley Rd:


Pedestrian-activated overhead flashing strobe lights and a reduction in the speed limit [to 25 MPH] have been put forward as solutions for an unsafe mid-block pedestrian crossing at Tara Boulevard and the Newtown-Yardley Road.


In response to concerns raised by the residents of Newtown Walk, the supervisors voted on Dec. 7 to move the improvements forward to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation for consideration. [See Summary of the Dec 7 BOS meeting.]


The crosswalk is heavily used by the residents of Newtown Walk to access the Newtown Trail on the south side of the Newtown-Yardley Road. The trail provides safe pedestrian access to downtown Newtown Borough.


“I appreciate the motion because that’s the appropriate culmination of all of our discussions,” said resident Charlie Feuer. “But it’s got to be both - the speed limit and the flashing strobes. I think this will resolve the issue. I sure hope so.”


According to Valerie Mihalek, a small group of residents began knocking on doors in July. “Every person we talked to told us a horror story. Everyone joined the effort because they, too, had an experience where they were almost hit or felt like they were going to get hit.”


According to the township’s traffic engineers, a preliminary look at crash history, sight distance and speed data currently would not warrant a reduction in the speed limit under PennDOT standards.


The speed limit in the borough is 25 mph, but at Elm (the borough line) it ramps up to 35 mph just before the mid-block crossing. The residents would like to see the 25 speed limit extended from Elm to Rick Steele’s Gulf Station.


“This is a residential area. Why can’t we continue the 25 mph into the township to coordinate with the borough speed limit? It’s the same road,” asked Supervisor Phil Calabro adding justification to the township’s request to reduce the speed limit. “We’re just asking for an extension past some residential properties. Why would it be so hard to show PennDOT that this could be a continuum of the 25 mph speed limit? PennDOT should be notified and presented with this scenario.”


Supervisor John Mack added additional justification, noting that the only way for pedestrians from Newtown Walk to access downtown Newtown is to cross the highway and take the trail into town.


Meanwhile, residents have been looking into who actually owns the road and have turned up documentation that would suggest the township at one point had taken back the road from PennDOT. If that’s the case, the township may not need PennDOT approval to lower the speed limit.


“We (our team ) just discovered that the Newtown-Yardley Road is a ‘turn back' road," said Mihalek. "It was originally state-owned, but the state gave it back to the township."


“It looks as if the speed limit part could happen faster possibly as a result of this finding as it would not have to go through PennDOT,” she said.


johnmacknewtown's insight:


Q: Why Did Charlie Feuer Cross the Road?

A: To demonstrate that this crosswalk is dangerous!


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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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