Ephrata resource officer explains jobSnyder/Clay School four-way stop on hold in Clay

By on May 18, 2011

By: JACQUELINE WATSON Review Correspondent, Staff Writer

At the April 11 meeting of the Clay Township board of supervisors, Ephrata School Resource Officer Pete Sheppard gave a presentation on the work he does and impact he has on the community.

According to Sheppard, some of his many duties include, but are not limited to, law enforcement officer, counselor/mentor, occasional teacher, working with a Youth Aid Panel, and being in charge of the crossing guard.

Concerning some of his work, Sheppard pointed out that he is able to

"(I am able to) get in with kids and show them a different side to a police officer," Sheppard said about his work.

Chief of Police, William Leighty stood to address the board on Sheppard’s behalf.

"He just scratched the surface as far as what he does," Leighty said. "He does far more – tremendous asset to law enforcement, to the schools and to the children."

Leighty also pointed out the fact that Sheppard has been helpful in locating runaways.

"I heard also, Pete, that the kids really respect you and are willing to talk to you -and the reputation of this program and the job you’re doing is very good," said secretary Keith Martin, adding positive statements to Sheppard. "I thank you for that."

After discussion and research, the board has decided to at least temporarily forego a multi-stop intersection at the crossing of Clay School Road and Snyder Lane. The plan for a four-way stop is being superseded by stop bars on the road. The multi-way stop was going to be the township’s response to concerns from Leighty about numerous accidents occurring at the intersection. The plan met with concerns from both citizens and at least one board member. One of the concerns involved the noise increase a four-way stop would cause.

In response to the hesitance for a multi-way stop, Township engineer Bob Lynn researched the situation further to ascertain whether stop bars or reduction of speed limit would be effective alternative measures. Lynn reported that his research led him to believe that a reduction of the speed limit would be an enforcement issue. Lynn concluded that because of the nature of the road, drivers would have a hard time going slower than 30 mph. It had also been discussed in a previous meeting that speed had not been a factor in most of the accidents occurring at the intersection.

After reviewing the situation, Lynn reported that stop bars might eliminate the problem.

"I think that’s a reasonable option. if it works, to posting a four-way stop," he said.

A stop bar is a 24-inch white line which helps to direct people where exactly to stop at an intersection. Lynn recommended a trial period of 90 or 120 days. If the stop bars do not have the desired effect, then a four-way stop will likely still be added for the safety of the community. More CLAY, page A18

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