Clay residents seek road upgrades

By on February 13, 2013

By: JACQUELINE WATSON Review Correspondent, Staff Writer

Darren Schlemm of the Ephrata Tidal Waves comes up for air during the breaststroke event at the Ephrata Relays this past Saturday. (Photo by Preston Whitcraft)

Attendance was higher than usual as residents gathered to voice their varying concerns at the January Clay Township board of supervisors meeting. The first issue to be discussed was numerous accidents at the curve on Clay School Road between Route 322 and Meadow Drive. One resident, Judy Blanchard, noted the numerous times, drivers have run off into her property or that of her neighbors on Clay School Road due to the driver’s failure to notice the curve in advance. Residents urged the township to do something to make the curve more visible to motorists.

"I think it’s unsafe. If somebody is coming the other direction, you’re not going to see the car, and I could see where you could even have a head-on collision coming around the corner at night," said Blanchard.

The board discussed different options for improving awareness of the curve in the road.

"The fact is when the cars are parked there or there’s a car coming the other way, that actually creates a visual barrier that you do realize that there’s a change in direction there. In looking at it, I think that one of the key things is creating a visual barrier," explained Township engineer Bob Lynn.

One suggestion from Lynn for warning motorists was white reflective delineators on short pipes along the edge of the curve. Residents, however, were reluctant to have theses pipes placed in their yards. Blanchard shared her feelings that rumble strips would be more effective. In response to these concerns, Lynn noted that rumble strips would be a possibility, but a more expensive and not necessarily as safe an option.

"If they’re going that fast that there winding up in your yard anyway, I’m not sure that they’re going to correct themselves when they hit the rumble strip. It’s not a bad idea," commented Lynn.

Secretary Keith Martin suggested painting reflective warnings directly on the road as an alternative to rumble strips and reflectors that would have to be placed in residents’ yards.

"I guess my feeling is, and if I’m wrong correct me, but with the rumble strips they have to already be going off course for that to be effective and if we could somehow use reflectors to show the curve better and keep them from ever going off course," said Keith.

The board plans to investigate the various options further to discover the best remedy for the situation.

Numerous residents of the Wildflower Pond Development were present regarding their concerns for their development. Resident David Martin updated the board on the events of a meeting held in Dec. 27 with the solicitor for the developer. The residents have expressed concerns to the developer and concessions they would like to see made before they assume responsibility of the homeowners association from the developer. These concessions include an agreement that would make the developer responsible for sinkhole repairs in the basin area for up to five years. The residents are still awaiting a formal response from the developer.

The board thanked the residents for the update and informed them that they are waiting for responses from the developer’s solicitor as well as a solicitor representing some of the residents on what their next proposal will be. The township is unable to proceed with receiving dedication of the roads in Wildflower Pond from the developer until these issues are resolved.

"Certainly we hear what’s being said on both sides. It appears the parties are negotiating. So, the township is basically looking at moderating the situation as the negotiations go forward. You raise valid points and those are valid points for discussion. There’s no doubt, and as I said, we are monitoring the discussion between the two," said Township solicitor Jennifer Mejia.

Wildflower Pond residents also presented their concerns on the suitability of the sidewalks for those in wheelchairs. The residents feel the sidewalk ramps are too difficult for wheelchair users.

"If you had a loved one down there, I’m sure you would want something done," noted Martin.

"Without hearing specifics, it’s hard to deal with the generalities. I can tell you that from the past when people have come with a specific request, the board has always sent someone out I don’t anticipate that policy would change. So, if there are people that are having a specific problem that we could address, I urge them to let Bruce know, and we’ll try to go out and deal with that," said Mejia. More CLAY, page A18

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