Pocopson, State Police detail efforts made to slow detour traffic
By Kelli Siehl, Staff Writer, The Times
POCOPSON — What has the township done on Denton Hollow Road recently? That was the question…and residents living along the roadway who packed Monday night’s Board of Supervisors’ meeting wanted to hear answers. Some admittedly were pleased with the responses, yet others wanted more.
A prepared list in a question and answer format was included with the meeting’s agenda based upon information gathered in the past six weeks by Supervisors and members of the Township’s Public Works Department. According to a study performed by Chester County, the narrow, winding Denton Hollow Road has seen a marked increase in traffic since Route 52 closed at the end of April to accommodate the construction of a roundabout at the intersection of Route 52, Lenape-Unionville and Wawaset Roads.
Supervisors’ Chair, Ricki Stumpo said the township consulted with a representative from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP) which helps municipalities understand technical information and then makes recommendations on how to deal with identified safety issues.
Taking into account advice received from LTAP, Stumpo said the Board of Supervisors recommends the township undertake a Traffic Safety Study. Officials told residents the study would help to provide a long range plan to address the safety and traffic issues along Denton Hollow Road and allow the cost of any upgrades or changes to be included in future budgets.
Many residents told officials they were pleased with the Supervisors’ responsiveness to residents’ requests including the placement of speed limit and yield signs along the roadway, trimming of vegetation to increase site distance at the intersection of Route 926 and enhanced police patrols along all township roads.
However, several residents questioned why it took so long. Sarah and Randy Mims said, we “waited six weeks and now we have to wait even longer”, and stated they want any measures in place long before the Route 926 bridge construction begins (the bridge is slated for replacement starting in early 2015, a project expected to last at least 18 months). Stumpo explained that the township cannot make any “legal” changes without an official traffic study and the recommendation of a Traffic Safety Study should allow measures to be in place before replacement of the Route 926 bridge begins.
In addition the township has purchased a portable speed monitor to be used in two week increments along Denton Hollow, Locust Grove and Parkerville Roads showing an average speed of traffic moving along Denton Hollow Road of 27 mph.
Also at the meeting was State Police Lt. Rich D’Ambrosio from the Avondale Barracks. D’Ambrosio said his team is aware of the traffic problems the township is facing and will continue to provide an increased presence.
D’Ambrosio said despite the increase in traffic on local roadways, there have been no accidents reported on Denton Hollow Road since the Route 52 closure. In the past 90 days, he said, there have been seven auto accidents throughout the township to which the State Police have responded – one deemed serious meaning the auto had to be towed from the scene.
Questions and comments which continuously popped during the discussion surrounding the current traffic situation focused more on the future traffic situation, “What’s going to happen when the 926 bridge closes?”
Supervisors provided updates on other traffic concerns including the status of a proposed traffic light at the intersection of Route 52 and Pocopson Road. Supervisor Georgia Brutscher said she’s working with PennDOT to include the traffic signal as part of the 926 bridge project, with PennDOT using federal funds to install the signal and then Pocopson Township taking over its maintenance.
Also addressed by Supervisors were questions of adding a turning lane to Pocopson Road onto route 926 at the hardware store, which is “up to PennDOT” and the problem of turning from Denton Hollow Road, left onto route 926. Officials said Public Works has trimmed brush at the intersection to increase the site distance; however, the township can do little else since the intersection is located in Pennsbury Township.
In response to requests by Denton Hollow residents to investigate continued attempts by tractor trailers to use the street as a thru way, supervisors said they have “no authority or power to investigate” and referred the matter to PennDOT or the State Police. D’Ambrosio said he will bring the matter to officers in the Avondale Barracks for further investigation.