Unionville residents demand village road safety enforcement

Run for Recovery 5K gets approval from supervisors

By Karen Cresta, Staff Writer, The Times

Residents of the Unionville Village section of East Marlborough say not enough is being done to slow and prevent truck traffic through the historic neighborhood.

Residents of the Unionville Village section of East Marlborough say not enough is being done to slow and prevent truck traffic through the historic neighborhood.

EAST MARLBOROUGH – Truck traffic and speeding along on Route 82 in the village of Unionville was again the top topic of discussion at Monday night’s township Board of Supervisors’ meeting.

Two township residents demanded a plan of action on previously identified road safety issues in the Village of Unionville, Route 82.

Tom Blomer, a resident of West Doe Run Road, presented the supervisors with a petition with over 35 signatures from fellow residents to enforce the speed limit by East Marlborough Police or State Police and to limit truck traffic along the route. He said if he had the time, he would have easily gotten 100 more signatures from concerned residents.

Blomer mentioned the Safety Committee was formed to tackle these issues, especially with the current crosswalks at the Unionville Recreation Association (URA) fields and Hoods on Route 82. The township previously talked about installing flashing lights to make the crosswalk safer. The speed limit — after a number of years of petitioning the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) — was reduced from 35 MPH to 30 MPH and new crosswalks were installed near the Unionville Recreation Association fields.

“This has been going on for about six years now and I’m just wondering where the supervisors stand on this issue,” stated Blomer.

Blomer was concerned that no one ever stops at the crosswalk from URA to Hoods and it’s a $50 fine not to do so – but no one is there to enforce it.

Chief of Police Robert Clarke was asked by Chairman Richard “Buzz” Hannum to comment on the police presence in the village. The chief, noting the entire force for the township consists of three officers, including himself, noted that they can’t be everywhere at all times.

“We do sit in the village but we have to sit everywhere… We are not totally dedicated to the Village of Unionville. We are for the entire township. We do what we can,” Clarke said.

Clarke suggested that the local state representative (Chris Ross, R-158) and state senator (Tom Killion) be contacted to push for changes in state law to allow local police to enforce the speed limit by radar. Currently, in Pennsylvania, on the State Police is allowed to use radar for speed enforcement.

Blomer asked if the township could go to PennDOT to impose weight limits on trucks as he mentioned that many fragile homes in the historic district are being repaired or need repair from the heavy trucks vibrating the ground. He also mentioned the noise pollution created by such large and heavy trucks and if there could be limitations set.

Township Solicitor Frone Crawford commented, “There’s some limited opportunity for weight restrictions and local delivery truck allowances that have to be looked at on a case by case basis.”

Hannum responded about the blinking light at the crosswalk by saying, “We did our comprehensive study…we do have the plans and the outlines. Sometimes it becomes a budget consideration and cost, and we did talk about crosswalks. I think there is concern with raised crosswalks with maintenance and snow plowing.”

“We just have not gone to the next steps,” Hannum said, referring to other options such as speed bumps.

Blomer asked, “Why not the next steps? I’m curious. If it’s two years now and I know you’re saying it’s funding but you hire new employees for the township versus safety concerns for the township,” Blomer added.

Hannum asked Blomer if he was interested in serving on the Safety Committee and he agreed to do so after saying that it hasn’t gone anywhere yet.

Another resident, Jack Greenwood, chimed in and said, “It’s time to get serious if you are going to do something about this. All the talk about looking into it, thinking about it, what has to be done, what ought to be done – I have worked out solutions for everything we are talking about and I tried to present it in safety meetings. We haven’t had a safety meeting in over a year. Tom Blomer’s name, I gave to you in an email when you asked for new members, with his phone number, over a year ago. He got no response back and then here he is tonight. It’s more than just me running my mouth now.”

Greenwood continued, “What it falls back to is the supervisors here and our officials getting serious…You don’t make it happen with words, you make it happen with actions and that is what has not transpired here at the township – is action. These trucks are tearing up our roads and they are tearing up our houses. We want to talk about we have historical homes in Unionville and yet we are going to allow these trucks to vibrate them down. Jane [Laslo] thinks it’s a joke when I talk about the vibrations. She makes fun of them. She laughs about it and makes wise cracks about it.”

“Jack, that is absolutely not true,” interrupted Laslo.

“I am going to end by saying that if this township wants to get busy and solve this problem, then you have to take action. No more words. Thank you,” Greenwood concluded.

The supervisors were all in favor to approve the 5k Run for Recovery in November hosted by Willowdale Church to benefit its recovery meetings and to raise awareness within the community. (Supervisor Bob Weer abstained from voting.) The board addressed concerns with race representatives about closing Route 82 for approximately an hour by Willowdale Church – the location for the start of the race. They also discussed the plan for overflow parking and traffic in and out of the event for the approximate 300 participants.

Weer said, “I’m trying to get the run off of Route 82. It’s the most heavily-trafficked road from 926 to the Route 1 bypass.”

The race representatives assured Weer that they looked into other routes and the closure would be closed for only a short time but the only feasible way to conduct the race was to use Route 82 as a connection road.

After some debate and Weer mentioning that so many races are being held in the township that required road closures, Weer said, “I give up.”

The supervisors also approved the purchase of a new General Motors Sierra pick-up truck in the amount of $46,291 and a snow plow in the amount of $5,420 to replace the current 2007 truck to be used by the road crew.

Meeting minutes, the schedule and other township information can be found by visiting the website at www.eastmarlborough.org.

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One Comment

  1. Claude says:

    The crosswalk at URA and Hoods is a yield. Of course one must stop if someone is waiting to cross.

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