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BURRELL TOWNSHIP: Supervisors to commission traffic study

by CHAUNCEY ROSS on March 22, 2013 10:50 AM

BLACK LICK — The Burrell Township board of supervisors on Thursday agreed to commission a traffic study of the residential streets near Corporate Campus industrial park and the new Sheetz convenience store along Route 22 east of Blairsville.

But what steps the township might take to curtail speeding and overweight trucks on Lintner Road is uncertain.

Resident Colleen Schaeffer called on the supervisors to follow a pledge made last fall to do a formal survey of traffic patterns after the initial wave of interest in the new Sheetz store died down.

Area residents first raised complaints about the increase in traffic on Lintner Road, which runs north from Route 22 to the Smith Plan residential development, in 2003 when Wyoming Technical Institute began building an automotive trade school at Corporate Campus.

Residents took their concerns to the supervisors more frequently the past few years as more drivers began using Lintner Road to reach Route 22 instead of taking Corporate Campus Drive and waiting at the traffic signal at the intersection with the highway.

Tractor-trailer traffic bound for the industrial park increased on Lintner Road at the same time, due to directions from GPS units, despite a 10-ton weight limit.

The most common among the remedies has been a call to barricade Lintner Road at Hunter Road, about one block away from Route 22. A barrier would force through traffic onto Corporate Campus Drive and limit local traffic to Lintner Road residents.

In September, the supervisors delayed action on the traffic complaints to await the Sheetz store’s opening in October and to get new traffic volume numbers they could compare with an earlier traffic study.

“We were told it would happen in the spring. And this is spring,” Schaeffer said.

“The road study is not scheduled yet,” supervisor Anthony Distefano said. “But I haven’t changed my opinion. I don’t know that we need to waste township money on a road study if we’re not willing to close the road.”

Distefano last year told the residents he personally favored a barricade but the other supervisors said they wanted to wait for the traffic study findings.

Vice Chairman Larry Shields Wednesday night said he is undecided about how to solve the traffic trouble; board Chairman John Shields was absent from the meeting.

Schaeffer said overweight trucks have caused problems as recently as Monday.

“I have pictures of a tractor-trailer on my street. If you go look at the drain pipe at the stop sign, it totally smashed it in,” she said.

“Two weeks ago I was at my mailbox and I almost got run over. The car went into (a neighbor’s) yard. … I don’t know if they were on their phone or what. And John (Shields) came and saw the tire tracks in the yard.”

Schaeffer said she agreed with Distefano that a survey won’t make a difference.

“The money you are going to spend on a road study is going to be a waste of money anyway, because no matter what comes out of it … the only thing that is going to stop this nonsense is to close it,” Schaeffer said. “You could spend money on a study that would tell us what we already know. …

“I think it’s a shame that the supervisors are willing to make that decision that it’s not an unsafe neighborhood. You’re putting the residents of Lintner Road in jeopardy,” she said.

“Public support is not there to close Lintner, that is what affected the board’s decision,” Distefano said. “I’m not telling you it’s safe. I understand what you’re saying. That is your opinion. And it is my opinion. But it’s a board decision.”

Distefano and Henry agreed to contact Gibson-Thomas Engineers, of Latrobe, to arrange for a traffic study.

In other business, the supervisors:

Passed a resolution accepting Penn Drive in the Colony at Chestnut Ridge residential plan as a public road to be maintained by the township.

Under development since 2008, Penn Drive extends about one-half mile between Colony Boulevard and Strangford Road and is lined with townhouses. The road was built to township standards by Chestnut Ridge Land Development.

Designated April 26-28 for the spring cleanup. Township residents may deposit rubbish in receptacles near the township office and garage from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day, and afterward if space allows.

Approved a request to close part of Walnut Street from Grant Street to Gardner Alley from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. April 14 for the annual blessing of the bikes ceremony by the Rev. Fred Craig of the Free Methodist Church.

Took a formal vote naming Gary Miller, of Elm Street, as the township’s municipal emergency management coordinator, succeeding Charles Lydic, who died in November. Miller’s appointment also requires approval of the governor’s office.

Presented an annual public notice from Rosebud Mining Co. of a plan to blast at a strip mine site in state game lands north of Route 22 on Penn View Mountain.

Posted a notice of a public comment period for an application to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection by Burrell Township Sewer Authority for construction activity. The authority plans to replace an 8-inch force main in the Strangford development.

Were told that the Burrell Township Library board plans a book sale, raffle and fundraising dinner April 12 at the First Methodist Church. The Black Lick Volunteer Fire Company announced plans for ongoing fundraising activities: a sub sandwich sale April 6, a basket raffle June 2 and a circus performance July 15.

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