About 30 residents concerned for pedestrian safety in Exeter Township filled the municipal board room for the July 28 supervisor's meeting.Their presence was in response to a recent fatality along Perkiomen Avenue when a teen was struck by a tractor trailer truck in front of the Exeter Family Restaurant.
Michele Barrett and Casey Alcorn both of 47th Street voiced concerns for their school age children's safety.
"My biggest concern is that the bus stop is in an area under construction," said Barrett.
The intersection of 422 and 47th Street is within the construction zone of the Exeter Commons shopping development.
Surrounding neighborhoods have been impacted by traffic pattern changes since the project began.
Alcorn who uses a bus stop at Oak and 47th stated the Exeter School Board referred her to the supervisors to determine whether or not a new bus stop would be designated and what safety measures would be taken to slow traffic on 47th Street.
When supervisor chair Dona Starr said the school board needs to designate bus stops Alcorn replied, "What happens if my child gets hit by a car when school starts?"
Oley Turnpike Road resident Judy Canavan requested the township reduce the 45 m.p.h. speed limit to 25 m.p.h. in the Village of Limekiln.
"We are fearful of leaving our driveway," she said.
Joseph P. Rogosky, of Great Valley Consultants, the town-ship's engineering firm said the section of road would have to meet Pennsylvania Department of Transportation's urbanized area criteria to be able to lower the speed limit.
He agreed to investigate the location to see whether or not the law would be applicable for a reduction in posted speed.
Pedestrian and bike rider safety continued to be the topic for discussion by residents who wanted to know what the township was doing about sidewalk installation.
Supervisor Michelle Kircher said sidewalks are required in new developments but there are no plans to construct new sidewalks in existing areas.
The supervisors agreed to investigate completing the sidewalk in the 3700 block of Perkiomen Avenue in front of Apollo Pools. A resident complained their hot tubs are being displayed in a paved area blocking pedestrians without a sidewalk.
A plan to install crosswalks to access township parks was passed. Highway Superintendent Clarence Hamm said the average cost of a crosswalk is $300 and there are about 20 intersections in the plan.
Zoning officer Cheryl Franckowiak suggested the supervisors set up a workshop meeting with the planning commission to prioritize needs for crosswalks and to reach out for grants.
In other business:
Â€¢ The supervisors unanimously approved the preliminary/final plan for Exeter Golf Club Estates Phase VI. It is part of an existing development near the intersection of Scotland Drive and Shelbourne Road. Supervisor, Don Wilson asked township solicitor Andrew J. Bellwoar if the developer will get the benefit of the zoning ordinances in place in 2004 when the planning commission first approved its original plans. Bellwoar stated that was the case.
Â€¢ The board denied an 18-week extension to Deer Run Subdivision plans sited for development near Gibraltar Road and the rail road tracks. They agreed to an extension up until Sept. 10. It was noted the developer did not respond to any questions asked by Great Valley Consultants since their first application was made in 2004.
Supervisor Kevin Kennedy noted that in previous years Exeter Township supervisors allowed zoning ordinances to be overlooked to benefit developers.
He said, "We have tightened our codes."
He also stated height ordinances have been changed to encourage the Exeter Township School District to save land by increasing the floors for new school buildings.
They have also re-zoned sections of the township to allow for schools. His comments were in response to the recent controversy about a land dispute for a new school building. Kircher said the township made these zoning changes over a concern for saving farmland.
Â€¢ Questions were raised by Starr concerning the lack of progress on construction of a plant that will convert gas to electricity at the Pioneer Crossing Landfill in Birdsboro. It was agreed the supervisors will send a letter to the Department of Environmental Protection asking what the deadline is for the facility.
Starr said, "The benefit for allowing the landfill was to be an electrical plant."
She noted there was one flare to burn off gases and now there are two.
Â€¢ Police Chief Christopher Neidert announced Exeter's plans to participate in a National Night Out on August 5. The event held at Antietam Valley Recreation and Community Center is a partnership between the police department and the community.
Keep reading The Southern Berks News for National Night Out coverage.