Portion of Snyder Lane could soon be 25 mph

By on June 13, 2012

By: JACQUELINE WATSON Review Correspondent, Staff Writer

Speed limit concerns for parts of Snyder Lane were addressed at a recent Clay Township board of supervisors meeting.

Complaints have been received by Clay Township about the high speed vehicles travel when passing by Snyder Community Park. The speed limit passing the park is not posted automatically, making the speed limit on the rural road 55 mph. Concerned residents feel that the speed driven past the park is unsafe.

Nearby is also the residential development of Clearview Gardens. The township is allowed to post a speed limit of 25 mph on the strip of road that passes by the development and the park without doing an engineering study. To post a speed limit on that strip of road other than 25 mph would require a study. The board felt that the proximity of the development and the park warranted a low speed of 25 mph.

"I think it’s a good idea to slow people down around the park. You’ve got people walking out. There might be people parking along the street. We’re going to have walking paths in there soon," said vice-chairman Justin Harnish, later adding, "I think I’d be comfortable with 25 through the park area."

Several people pointed out that such a low speed limit was unlikely to be followed.

"But they won’t drive 55, hopefully. Then, if we have a reoccurring issue where a police officer sits down there, then we can really have some teeth and enforcement," responded Harnish.

Posting this speed limit would also enable the board to avoid the financial cost of a study. The board authorized township solicitor Jennifer Mejia to draft an ordinance including the 25 mph speed limit posting for review at the next meeting. This low speed limit posting will only be for the short portion of the road by Clearview Gardens and Snyder Community Park. The rest of the non posted sections of the rural road will remain the same. The board felt that this less expensive option should be tried first, and if it is not successful, other options can be considered.

Maintenance and repairs in Clay Township were dominating issues at the meeting including the storm basin on Countryside Drive. The storm basin on Countryside Drive no longer functions properly, leaving standing water. A plan to remedy this problem on Countryside Drive has been prepared by township engineer Bob Lynn. A part of the plan is to restore proper grading to the area.

"It appears that over time the encroachments and sediment leveled everything out and that’s why the water doesn’t make it down anymore," clarified township manager Bruce Leisey.

Over the years, many encroachments have been placed within the easement. This is in violation of the deed. These violations include trees and fences. The plan would require removal of all these intrusions. The property owners are responsible for maintaining the area, which includes the cost of removing these violations. The next part of the process for the township is to inform all the current property owners involved and schedule a meeting. The responsibility of the cost of repairing the storm basin is still in discussion. According to storm basin agreement, the property owners are responsible for maintenance and the township for repairs. The storm basin needs to be repaired, but this is at least partially a result of the property owners not maintaining it properly.

"Then you get back to the chicken and the egg — the fact that lack of maintenance causes repair," said Leisey.

Another topic of repair was the flood damage on Mountain Spring Road. Tropical Storm Lee caused a significant amount of damage to the stream and surrounding area. The flooding washed away a large portion of the bank which included part of property owner Eric Nolt’s pasture. Silt and debris has now basically divided the stream into two channels, one of which could threaten the future integrity of the Mountain Spring Road Bridge. Lynn suggested that armoring the bank by the bridge abutment will protect the bridge.

Repairing the stream otherwise would include removing the new gravel bar and debris in the middle of the stream. If the stream is left the way it is, heavy rains will bring down more of the bank. Nolt pointed out the importance of building up the bank again. He noted that a large tree has been undermined with the washing away of the bank and could pull up portions of the road if it falls. The most crucial need is the armoring of the banks by the bridge abutment, but other stream repair will eventually be needed. So far, the cost of just restoring the stream to a single channel has been calculated at between $30,000 and $40,000.

"There are a lot of dimensions to this, because you could solve the immediate problem at the bridge or the immediate concern at the bridge, but the rest of it is going to cause problems in the future," noted Lynn.

The board wanted the cost of doing all the repairs at the stream to be completely calculated before deeming what plan was best. More CLAY, page A12

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