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Proposal: Close Route 248 divide

  • TERRY AHNER/TIMES NEWS This vehicle is shown as it travels east on Route 248 situated in the left through (passing) lane as it attempts to make a turn onto Club Road.
    TERRY AHNER/TIMES NEWS This vehicle is shown as it travels east on Route 248 situated in the left through (passing) lane as it attempts to make a turn onto Club Road.
Published June 11. 2014 05:00PM

A median at the intersection at State Route 248 and Club Road could be shut down, and left-hand turns prohibited, in an effort to improve safety.

Lower Towamensing Township board of supervisors Chairman Brent Green said Tuesday that the township received a report from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation that suggests it may consider such action in the future.

If the median were to be shut down, vehicles would be prohibited from making a left-hand turn from Route 248 onto Club Road, and from Club Road onto Route 248, Green said.

Supervisor Ron Walbert said, "Ideally, there should be a turning lane."

Walbert added, "It is a dangerous intersection."

Green said PennDOT wants supervisors to give their thoughts on the idea.

Walbert recommended that residents who have concerns with the idea contact PennDOT.

Green added, "I think we were averaging three to four accidents a year."

Traffic Study

Dennis Toomey, P.E. district traffic and operations engineer, sent an email to supervisors, saying PennDOT had been contacted with regard to the median opening at the intersection.

Toomey said 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.

Green said results from the study:

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

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

• The peak hour measured speeds are: 66-70 miles per hour westbound in the morning, 66-70 mph westbound in the evening, 64-67 mph per hour 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 signing and pavement markings are currently in place.

• About 40 percent of crashes at this intersection are rear-end 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.

Alternate routes

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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