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W. Penn hears latest request to curb speeding

West Penn Township officials have fielded another request to reduce the speed limits, this time on its secondary roads.

Resident Gary Steigerwalt brought his frustrations to the fore of Monday morning’s board of supervisors meeting.

“I’d like to see the speed reduced on Route 895,” Steigerwalt said. “I drove on that road; they’re (riding) right up your tail.”

Steigerwalt said he believes the biggest problem is the truckers.

However, board Chairman Tony Prudenti said he doesn’t believe it’s just the truckers.

Regardless, Steigerwalt said he’d like to see the speed limits reduced.

“I wish you’d consider reducing the speed limit on our secondary roads,” he said.

Prudenti said it isn’t a matter of enforcement, as the township conducts a large number of traffic stops.

Steigerwalt then asked Prudenti if he believes the township’s roads are feasible.

Supervisor Tim Houser was rather blunt in his response.

“We can’t regulate stupidity,” Houser said.

Steigerwalt agreed, adding that stupidity causes accidents sometimes.

Further, Houser said before the township could attempt to reduce the speed limits, it would first need to conduct a traffic study and evaluation of each road.

“The cost would be astronomical,” he said.

Township solicitor Paul J. Datte said there are two possibilities: If the homes are along a significant stretch, then the township is permitted to declare it a residential district; other than that, he said the township would need to conduct an engineering study.

Houser said he agreed with Steigerwalt that the speed limits on township roads should not be 55 mph.

“I understand your concern, but unless people get it through their heads to drive safely. …”

Steigerwalt’s concern about speeding is the most recent fielded by the board.

Supervisors announced earlier this month that a traffic study must be conducted in order for the speed limit to be reduced along 895.

At that time, supervisors said the township received a response from the state Department of Transportation that the township will have to conduct a traffic study for 895 and Summer Valley Road.

That issue was with regard to a request by Nicole Bailey, who lives along 895 and asked supervisors last month to have the speed limit reduced along that portion.

Per PennDOT’s response, the township had to tell them what speed they would like to see it reduced to.

Township secretary Katie Orlick said Monday that she requested 45 mph and a no passing zone from Route 309 to Dorset Road.

PennDOT noted that speed limits are typically established based on recent crash history, as well as the 85th percentile speed, which is the speed at or below which 85 percent of the motorists are driving under normal roadway conditions during daylight hours.