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Franklin Township supervisors change mind about traffic light

Published September 22. 2010 05:00PM

Franklin Township supervisors last night rescinded the motion to oppose a traffic signal at the intersection of Harrity Road and Route 209.

Supervisors had made the motion at the June meeting not to allow the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to install the light because of potential maintenance costs.

The light was proposed for the area as part of the Harrity bridge replacement project.

According to Sandra Gaumer, supervisors will also be responsible for painting the intersection, plus annual costs for inspection of the signal, which costs about $643.

Rod Green, chairman, said that the supervisors had a special meeting with PennDOT and that afterward, they decided to go along with the light.

"We had been worried about the cost of maintaining the light because of the costs to replace loop sensors," said Green.

Paul Kocher, vice chairman, said that PennDOT explained that instead of the loop sensors, they would be installing photosensitive equipment similar to that at the routes 209 and 248 intersection which are mounted on the masks, plus that most of the signs will be placed behind guiderails so that would eliminate frequent replacing of the signs.

"We went along with the revised plan," said Kocher. "We will be having our own workers paint the roadways which will also save money."

Green said that one of the things that changed their minds was that without the traffic light, there would be no left turn at the intersection because stop signs would not give tractor trailer trucks enough sight distance to make the turn.

"It comes down to public safety," said Kocher. "In order to provide for the safety of all, we need the light. If it saves one person from getting hurt or killed, then its worth it."

A second traffic light is also proposed for Route 209 at the Rock Street and Route 209 intersection. The costs for that light will be born by Trefoil Properties, L.P. Development. The development company is proposing a shopping center that would include a pharmacy, bank, restaurant, convenience store with gasoline and some attached, complimentary retail uses. The 8.9 acre tract where the shopping area is proposed is across Rock Street from the Hampton Inn and includes the property where Jimmy's Gym is currently located.

In another traffic-related decision, supervisors voted to adopt an ordinance that will set the speed limit on Reber Street to 25 miles per hour. Presently the road is unmarked for speed. The road loops from Main Road to Harrity Road at Platz's Restaurant. Some motorists are using the road when exiting the Pa. Turnpike as a way to avoid making a left turn on Route 209.

Supervisors also made unflattering comments about the township's sewage enforcement engineers, Spotts, Stevens and McCoy.

Green said that the supervisors relied on SSM to install a devise to measure the flow of Franklin Township's sewage to the Central Carbon Municipal Authority system.

Kocher noted that the device installed by SSM is not easily calibrated because it was not the right size. Kocher said that because the flow meter is too large, it will cost the township an additional $800 a year to have it calibrated.

"The cost is higher because no one wants to maintain it," said Green.

Supervisors last night authorized paying $500 to Technical Devises Inc. to calibrate the new flow meter each time it needs to be calibrated. Green said that the device is required to be calibrated four times a year.

Green also noted that since the new meter was installed, it also doesn't seem to be giving true readings, according to CCMA's records.

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