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Bushes removed from Rouzerville intersection

Washington Township supervisors direct road widening

Washington Township supervisors direct road widening

May 14, 2008|By KATE S. ALEXANDER

ROUZERVILLE, Pa. -- The bushes at the intersection of Upper Edgemont and Old Pen Mar roads that drew lengthy commentary from Washington Township residents last week no longer are standing, and the township is planning to do even more to improve visibility at the intersection.

In a special workshop session Tuesday, the board of supervisors directed Township Manager Mike Christopher to have his staff widen the road, designate a pedestrian path and change the angle of entry onto Upper Edgemont Road from Old Pen Mar Road.

Residents came to the board claiming the bushes needed to be either trimmed or removed to prevent an accident at the intersection.

While only two accidents have been recorded at the intersection in the last five years, Christopher proposed a plan to alter the intersection that would give motorists a clear view of pedestrians and a wider lane.

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Christopher said the bushes were on the township right of way, and so it removed the bushes last Thursday to improve visibility for motorists.

In a letter to the supervisors, Christopher said the owner of the bushes agreed to let the township remove his shrubbery in exchange for new shrub places within his property line.

Christopher said he noticed that one lane of the road was significantly wider than the other while he was examining the site, and suggested that widening the road and moving the center line would make quite a difference.

"That lane is awfully skinny on the west side," he said. "If we widen the road on the other side to where it is 25 feet to the center line, it will make the whole intersection safer in the future."

He estimated it would cost the township between $5,000 and $10,000 to change the intersection so that pedestrians and vehicles were visible to motorist turning from Old Pen Mar Road onto Upper Edgemont Road.

Supervisor Elaine Gladhill suggested that adding a designated pathway on the east side for pedestrians would encourage people to walk on the "safe" side of the street.

The board also reminded residents that it will continue hearing testimony tonight on a proposed cell tower in Blue Ridge Summit, Pa.

Residents who wanted to comment on the project will be able to testify tonight in the second half of the hearing.

Chairman Carroll Sturm said six residents took an oath in April to testify in the hearing, but lengthy testimony by the applicant, Liberty Towers LLC of Rockville, Md., pushed the hearing into a second meeting.

Sturm said if any of those six individuals indicate that they cannot attend today's meeting, the board will have to push the hearing back again to accommodate their schedules.

The hearing will resume at 7 p.m. at the municipal meeting room along Welty Road.

Sturm said the board has allotted four hours to hear testimony from its consultant, the applicant and residents.

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