Kilbuck Developer Trying To Direct Traffic From Ohio Township Roads

A traffic engineer told Ohio Township residents last week that the developer of a commercial venture in nearby Kilbuck Township was attempting to direct traffic away from Ohio Township roads.

An overflow crowd attended the May 3 supervisors meeting to hear how the township planned to address traffic from the proposed Wal-Mart development on the former Dixmont State Hospital property in Kilbuck.

Supervisors George Wible and Herb Hartle invited Steve Moore, a professional traffic engineer who does work for the township, to address residents’ concerns about the possibility of increased traffic on Toms Run Rd. and Duff Rd. The Wal-Mart could generate between 400 and 500 trips per hour to the store, according to ASC Development, and that worried residents.

Moore explained that ASC Development has proposed the installation of concrete islands at an intersection to make it impossible for customers to use Duff Rd. or Toms Run Rd.

"There’s nothing the township can do from a legal standpoint to affect whether the Wal-Mart happens or not," said Moore, "But what we can do is try to develop ways to lessen the impact on township residents. We believe [the islands] will effectively limit anyone from using Duff Rd. to access the Wal-Mart."

Moore explained how the islands would divert traffic from the residential roads.

"The islands force people to come out onto Route 65, likewise, they physically prevent traffic from Toms Run Rd. or Duff Rd. from accessing Wal-Mart. Residents who live on those roads would have to take Mt. Nebo Rd. to Route 65 and access Wal-Mart in that fashion."

Moore informed the crowd that the plan, as a concept, has been presented to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and is likely to be approved.

"This is not an exact plan," Moore said. "But the developer has agreed to it as a concept. The final result probably won’t look exactly like this."

A member of the Kilbuck Township Police Department questioned Moore on the likelihood of drivers violating the traffic flow plan and taking an illegal shortcut onto the residential roads. Moore responded that there was no real way to stop people from violating the plan.

"If someone wants to make an illegal turn, it happens," Moore said. "The driver behind them will probably hit their horn. But if people are looking to break the law, there’s no way we can prevent that. We have to trust everyone will obey the law."

Residents of Duff Rd. expressed some satisfaction after the meeting.

"We want to keep the traffic off Duff Rd.," said one man. "And they’re working on it. You have to push for some things."

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