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Dangerous 248 turn to be closed

  • Dangerous 248 turn to be closed
    Copyright 2014
Published August 18. 2014 04:00PM

A median at the intersection at Route 248 and Club Road will eventually be shut down, and left-hand turns prohibited, to improve safety along the dangerous junction.

Signs for the turn restriction are on order, according to Tom Walter, assistant district traffic and operations manager for the state Department of Transportation.

"That all has to be scheduled with some other departments here at PennDOT," Walter said. "That schedule hasn't been determined yet."

In June, Lower Towamensing Township Board of Supervisors Chairman Brent Green said that the township received a report from PennDOT that suggested it may consider shutting down the median at the intersection, as well as prohibiting left-hand turns.

Green said at that time, "I think we were averaging three to four accidents a year."

Once the median is shut down, vehicles will be prohibited from making a left-hand turn from Route 248 onto Club Road, as well as from Club Road onto Route 248, Walter said.

Dennis Toomey, district traffic and operations engineer, previously sent an email to supervisors that said PennDOT had been contacted about the median opening at the intersection.

Toomey said at that time his office performed a traffic and engineering study that takes into consideration roadway geometry, driver's view and sight distance, measured travel speed of motorists, crash history, and availability of alternate routes.

Results from the study:

• Route 248 at Club Road is a rural, four-lane divided highway posted at 55 mph.

• Two-direction average daily traffic is 17,500.

• The peak hour measured speeds are: 66-70 mph westbound in the morning, 66-70 mph westbound in the evening, 64-67 mph eastbound in the morning, and 60-64 mph eastbound in the evening.

• The actual/measured sight distance meets intersection sight distance criteria for the posted 55 miles per hour speed limit.

• For Route 248 eastbound, the intersection is located at a median break that does not have a left-turn standby lane. Vehicles traveling Route 248 eastbound stop in the left through (passing) lane in order to make a left turn.

• Safety warning signs and pavement markings are currently in place.

• About 40 percent of crashes at this intersection are rear-ends related to left turning vehicles from the passing lane.

• About 25 percent of crashes at this intersection are angle crashes due to vehicles pulling out of Club Road intending to cross two lanes of traffic to make a left turn.

Excerpts from the draft engineering and traffic study also listed the following alternate access routes: Route 895, White Street in Bowmanstown, Fireline Road and Cherryville Road.

The length of alternate routes is 1.9 to 2.6 miles, depending on direction traveled.

The western alternate intersection (Centre Street, in Parryville) with Route 248 has a left-turn standby lane.

The eastern alternate intersection is a grade-separated interchange (no left turn movements) with acceleration and deceleration lanes.

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