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Library crosswalk remains a hot issue in Blue Ridge Summit

November 20, 2007|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - An existing crosswalk and a proposed one near the Blue Ridge Summit (Pa.) Free Library have caused a collision of opinions.

Earlier this year, the Washington Township Supervisors supported the library's board of directors in asking the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to consider additional safety measures for the existing crosswalk in front of the library.

PennDOT responded that it doesn't have record of ever approving the crosswalk on Old Sabillasville Road, which separates the library from its parking lot. The transportation department said the crosswalk should be moved from the middle of the block to the intersection with Monterey Lane.

Neither the township supervisors nor the library's board supported that suggestion, and, together, they requested a meeting at the site with representatives of PennDOT.

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"An on-site-meeting (sic) will not change the results of the traffic engineering and safety study that was conducted," R. Scott Christie, acting district executive, wrote in a Nov. 1 letter from PennDOT.

An on-site meeting can be requested again in August 2008, he wrote.

If the township does not remove the "unapproved midblock crosswalk," it will be fully liable for it, according to the PennDOT letter.

"The library feels strongly that it should stay where it was," Township Manager Mike Christopher said.

The supervisors delayed consideration of blacking out the existing crosswalk, pending the library's new appeals to area legislators.

Township officials said the existing crosswalk has been at its location for at least four decades.

Problems tend to occur mostly from 3:30 to 5 p.m., when vehicles are crossing into Pennsylvania from Maryland and cresting the hill, Supervisor Christopher Firme said. Visibility of library patrons on the porch and steps is poor, he said.

"You don't see them until you are in the intersection," Firme said.

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