East Cocalico Township explores diverging diamond traffic pattern

By on July 12, 2017
The diverging diamond traffic pattern shows traffic from the Pennsylvania Turnpike at the bottom. To eliminate left hand turns, traffic will cross to the opposite side of the road for a short time in what’s termed a double diamond crossover. This drawing shows a multi-year project in the conceptual stage. The township must complete and submit its Traffic Impact Program application for consideration of state and federal project funding. Schematic courtesy East Cocalico Township

The diverging diamond traffic pattern shows traffic from the Pennsylvania Turnpike at the bottom. To eliminate left hand turns, traffic will cross to the opposite side of the road for a short time in what’s termed a double diamond crossover. This drawing shows a multi-year project in the conceptual stage. The township must complete and submit its Traffic Impact Program application for consideration of state and federal project funding. Schematic courtesy East Cocalico Township

Increasing volumes of traffic within the township borders, especially in the vicinity of the Pennsylvania Turnpike access ramps continues to concern East Cocalico Township officials.

“I see the traffic congestion every morning on my commute to work,” township Manager Scott Russell remarked at the supervisors’ July 6 meeting.

Motorists coming from Lancaster and getting off Route 222 North at Denver must navigate a left-hand turn through heavy commuter traffic toward the turnpike if headed to Route 272.

Traffic coming off Route 272 onto Colonel Howard Boulevard must turn left across two lanes of busy highway to reach Route 222 North.

East Cocalico Police said improved traffic patterns might reduce the number of accidents in that area. Many accidents involve tourists, they said.

Conceptual designs of a diverging diamond traffic pattern prepared by Michael Baker International, Pittsburgh, and previewed by supervisors would eliminate all left-hand turns. Traffic congestion reduction, a particular issue during morning and evening rush hour, could be reduced up to 75 percent, officials said.

“This traffic pattern has been used successfully in other areas of the state,” said Russell. “One example is near Williamsport. That’s been in existence probably more than a decade.”

Cooperation is needed with the Traffic Impact Program (TIP) application from the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, which owns a strip of land in the proposed project area. East Cocalico officials ara waiting for a reply from their correspondence to the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

Russell will do the engineering work for the TIP application with data assistance provided by Police Chief Terry Arment.

Cost of the five- to 10-year project is estimated at $5 million.

In other business, supervisors:

* Agreed to advertise an equipment operator position. This action would allow training of a new employee with the coming retirement of the roadmaster. His assistant has been “in training” with him, supervisors’ discussion indicated.

* Granted time extensions for the proposed Fox Brooke Development on Route 897 until Oct. 8, and to UGI for its new corporate headquarters site on Colonel Howard Boulevard until Sept. 17.

* Hired Sue Bowman Cleaning, Oakmont Drive, Denver, for cleaning of the municipal building at a rate of $120 per cleaning for one cleaning per week.

* Approved two Eagle Scout projects benefiting Stoney Pointe Park. Derek Althouse will install two bird houses in the wood line of the park. Hunter Garman will install five treated lumber benches.

* Appointed resident, Jason W. Wellman to the Recreation Board.

Supervisor Vice President Alan Fry, who conducted the meeting in the absence of President Douglas Mackley, announced that supervisors would meet in executive session for a pending legal matter.

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