W. Rose Valley Road
The bulk of the meeting was taken up by a discussion of the dangers on W Rose Valley Rd. A child was struck in a hit and run along this road earlier in December (the child was hurt, but able to continue on to school). It looked like about a dozen residents attended the meeting to voice concerns such as: speeding, lack of lighting, faded white lines, lack of a shoulder/sidewalk, sun glare, sightlines and more. There was mention that cars are passing school buses picking up children along the road. One resident noted that these aren’t new issues. He’s correct, this stretch of road was mentioned in the township’s 2016 Bicycle and Pedestrian plan, which I wrote about last year,
The report recommends “sharrows” on Rose Valley, which seems less useful as it doesn’t connect to any other easily bikeable roads. It recommends a lighted crosswalk at Bickmore, where there is a crosswalk, but no sidewalk. This is one area that could really be improved. The jaunt from Bickmore to Engle provides pedestrian and bike access from the Garden City, Putnam and surrounding communities to SHHS and SHMS. But there’s no real infrastructure there. A decent lit crosswalk and short sidewalk could greatly improve safe access to the schools for us.
Some of the commissioners had met with concerned residents earlier in the week and come up with a list of short and longer term options. The residents have consulted Rep. Krueger as well. The township’s engineer is doing a sight line study and the police will do a traffic study so the township has data to present to PENNDOT. The road is a state road, so any changes to the road will have to go through them. With this data they can request PENNDOT lower the speed limit. They also requested possibly adding rumble strips or poles to protect pedestrians, as well as more expensive options like signaled crosswalks. The township has also consulted with the school to possibly add a crossing guard there, although I’m not sure how well that’d work since Bickmore, Engle and Rosewood don’t line up and the danger is getting between these roads. The township will also consider W Rose Valley for future sidewalk grant applications, but sidewalks usually take years to install.
The one item I didn’t hear much discussion of was reviewing the lighting. I’m not positive, but I think the township could add streetlights without PENNDOT’s permission, which may improve children crossing during these darker months.
There is a blood drive being held today, Dec. 27th, at Garden City Fire Company
The board approved an extension to the Low Volume Rd. grant program for work on Forrest St. that didn’t get done this fall.
The board hoped to send out the list of road projects for bid, but there was some concern that PENNDOT rules don’t allow them to do it before 2023 starts. They’re hoping if they get it out early they can get lower rates.
There was discussion of working with Furness Library to create a storywalk in Furness Park – a series of stations in the park with book pages that are changed seasonally. The commissioners had some concerns about what maintenance the township would be responsible for and will discuss it further with the Parks commission.
The board approved an agreement with the teamsters regarding their public works staff. The 3 year contract calls for raises of 5%, 4% and 2%, which seems pretty in line with inflation.
The board approved bonuses for three township staff.
The manager’s report says the county has a new e-newsletter. I think the signup is here.