Amity considers road improvements

Amity Township’s Act 209 Committee met with the Planning Commission June 11 to review traffic count data from Bogia Engineering, Inc., Wyomissing.

Since March, Bogia has been studying traffic counts and turn data on 17 different intersections in Amity Township.

The 17 intersections were previously approved by the Act 209 Committee.

After nearly 10 years of residential and some commercial growth, the traffic impact fees paid by developers has amounted to $1.4 million for Traffic Service Area North (TSA) and $144,000 for TSA South.

Township Solicitor Brian F. Boland said the funds must be contracted to roadway capital improvement projects beginning in 2015 through 2018.

Gregg Bogia, president, said each intersections was evaluated on the number of minutes needed to make the permitted turns and that data was then calculated to future development and traffic projections in 2026.

That data was used to “grade” the intersection on an A though F scale, with extreme wait times receiving the Level F, or failing grade, and which need to be fixed.

Bogia said the recommended “possible improvements” would improve the failing turns to a Level E.

Possible improvements that have been previously discussed by the township include aligning Weavertown and Blacksmith roads and installing a traffic signal, installing a traffic signal at Old Swede and Pine Forge roads, aligning Nicholson and Toll Gate roads at Old Swede Road and installing a traffic signal.

Despite the engineering firm’s recommendations, Bogia said he wants committee input on how to move forward to repair the Level F’s, which could include reducing the number of recommended traffic signals.

“It looks like there will be a sequence of traffic signals coming up,” said Bogia. “I’m not sure if that’s how you want the township to look.”

A new recommendation by Bogia is to install a “roundabout” at Old Swede and Morlatton roads to facilitate left turns onto Old Swede Road.

“A roundabout would lessens the severity of traffic, and it would be designed for truck safety,” said Bogia, adding that although he likes roundabouts, which funnel traffic “really well -- and it could give the township some different looks -- it’s your township.”

Committee members, which include the Planning Commission and township Manager Charles E. Lyon, said they would not be in favor of a roundabout at that location.

“It probably won’t work at that location -- it would be a tough fit,” said Commission Chairman Paul R. Weller.

New recommendations include: a traffic signal at Benjamin Franklin Highway and Toll Gate Road, the addition of a right turn lane from northbound River Bridge Road onto eastbound Benjamin Franklin Highway, and the addition of a left turn lane on eastbound Route 422 to northbound River Bridge Road.

Bogia also recommended adding left and right turn lanes on westbound Route 422 at Old Airport Road and a left turn lane in the median for traffic turning left onto westbound Route 422.

Turn lanes at that intersection would alleviate the “stacking” problem.

Weller suggested adding a second lane in the median at Old Airport Road for vehicles waiting to turn left onto eastbound Route 422.

The Limekiln and Monocacy Creek roads intersection issues would be resolved with the installation of a southbound and northbound “left only” lanes, in addition to the straight and right turn lanes.

The committee voted unanimously for Bogia Engineering to proceed with analyzing the necessary capital improvements for the possible roadway improvements.