Busy intersection is concern for Clay

By on April 11, 2011

A proposed four-way stop at the intersection of Snyder Lane and Clay School Road in Clay Township was a topic of much debate at last month s supervisor s meeting. Two residents expressed their reluctance for the board to approve the four-way stop. The four-way stop was being considered by the board to help reduce numerous accidents at the intersection. Some of the residents’ concerns included air pollution from stopping and starting and noise problems from the stopping and starting trucks. The residents said that if there’s a safety issue, they definitely want to address that. They don’t want to negate the safety issue, but their suggestion is to enforce a 25 mph speed limit instead. Bob Lynn, township engineer, said that reducing the speed to 25 mph would be an enforcement problem and that people will most likely not comply with a change on that type of road area. Drivers will drive at the speed that they feel comfortable driving at, Lynn said. It s called safe running speed, and it s an actual form of study that you can do to set speed limits.

However, chairman Timothy Lausch pointed out that there is enough concern to look into it. There’s certain criteria that justifies lowering the speed, he said. Vice-chairman Justin Harnish said that logistically, it may not be feasible. You can’t just do it because you want to, he said. Another resident added that reducing the speed would probably only reduce the speed at which the accidents will occur and not eliminate them since speeding has not played a major role in the accidents reported at that intersection. Lausch said the board would consider the concerns of the two residents and research other options such as reducing the speed limit or placing a stop bar on the road. He said that early research and discussion showed that a four-way stop would be the best prevention for accidents at the intersection. The board plans to hold off on a decision until further research is completed. The board began searching for a remedy after four accidents occurred at the intersection last year. Harnish said that the need to do something in now, since a development in that area has been growing. There are also plans two other developments in that area, which will continue to contribute to traffic volume. We have to respond and consider those changes and what s the way we can make it the most safe for people out there, he said. In other business, the process of dedicating the streets in the Wildflower Pond Development is still a work in progress. Several sections of the curbs, sidewalks and driveways put in by the developer do not meet the requirements of the township. However, Clay is willing to help the developer pay a portion of the cost induced by bringing the curbs and sidewalks up to code once the streets are dedicated. The developer is willing to comply with the township s requests, but there are still some details that need to be looked into and finalized before the process is complete. The board, at its March supervisors meeting, authorized the agreement in advance to help speed up the project. Also at the meeting, a disagreement arose between township solicitor Jennifer Meija and a visiting engineer on the interpretation of the subdivision ordinance. In question were three separately deeded land-locked lots that were obtained through estate planning. Additional land was purchased to add to these lots that would be reduced to two lots with road frontage. The engineer argued that the land was deeded prior to changes in the subdivision ordinances and were taxed separately. He said the land was basically not used and have no improvements on it. However, the fee enforced by the Clean and Green Act was paid together, which Meija felt could be an issue of common use. Tracts commonly owned, unless used separately, at the time of the ordinance are treated as one. The board is taking time to discuss and decide the issue while reviewing the language in the ordinance to avoid setting a precedent to be used against the board in future situations.

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