PennDOT cuts speed limit on US 1 in Pennsbury

Serious crash, resident letters appear to spur action; local officials hope to increase area of lowered speed

By Mike McGann, Editor,

PennDOT agreed to cut speeds along US 1 after a serious accident — one of a number over the years — happened in October.

PENNSBURY — Apparently, someone in Harrisburg is listening.

After years of attempts to get the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to lower speed limits in the township along U.S. 1 — the state agency finally agreed to lower the speed limit from 55 to 45, in the wake of a serious accident near the entrance of Chadds Ford Knoll in October.

The speed limit changes run from Old Baltimore Pike, southbound along U.S. 1 to the top of the hill. That will be coupled with a ban on all left turns onto the road way from Hickory Hill Road and a rush hour ban on left turns from Constitution Road. The township, as well as numerous township residents, including many residents of Chadds Ford Knoll, wrote letters to PennDOT seeking safety improvements along the roadway.

After years of making no progress on the issue, township officials expressed some satisfaction at action finally being taken on the roadway.

“Obviously, we’re hoping this new speed limit will help,” Supervisors chair Wendell Felton said during Wednesday night’s Board of Supervisors meeting. “But whether or not people will go 45 down the hill (northbound) remains to be seen.”

Township manager Kathy Howley suggested that residents might want to write letters to the State Police asking for stepped up enforcement of the new speed limit until local drivers get used to the new rules.

Still, township officials were hoping to see the limit lowered all along the stretch and suggested that PennDOT’s decision seemed curious.

“It seems absurd that it’s 55 in town, by the (Chaddsford) Winery and 45 in the open stretch,” supervisor Aaron McIntyre said. McIntyre suggested that the township take this first set of changes and use it as a starting point to launch a campaign to lower the speed limit for the highway across the township.

In other township business Wednesday night, the board of supervisors gave final approval to the 2011 budget. The plan calls for $1,185,782 in spending in 2011, a drop from 2010’s $1,238,694 budget. This will be the second straight year that the township anticipates cutting spending, as real estate tax revenue continues to decline. Planned revenue falls slightly short of expenses, so $41,832 from the township’s surplus will be used to close the gap.

The township’s Board of Supervisors will hold it’s annual reorganization meeting on Jan. 3 at 7 p.m., followed by a regular session of the board.

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