During the Allen Township Board of Supervisors meeting on January 26, Township Engineer Stan Wojciechowski revealed findings from a year-long Willowbrook Road safety study. The study found several roadway dangers that some supervisors fear may turn deadly if not remediated.
Differential speeds, said Wojciechowski, are the biggest danger facing drivers. Cars move well above the speed limit while trucks travel below it, he explained. At the same time, multiple vehicles are attempting to turn left, sometimes crossing as many as two to three lanes of traffic.
“Traffic is just going to increase,” said Supervisor Gary Behler. “If we do not do anything there, someone is going to die on that road.”
Wojciechowski proposed a median separating the opposing traffic lanes. Studies have found that medians narrow lanes and slow drivers down. They would also restrict left turns to traffic signals.
These improvements, however, would not come without substantial costs.
“[This] is going to cost the taxpayers of Allen Township a great deal of money,” worried Supervisor Dale Hassler. “It should have been done right away, but it was not,” he added, referring to developers who originally handled the road improvements.
“Because of all the traffic that is generated, we are going to pay half a million dollars,” he continued.
Behler wondered whether developer funds paid to the township could be used for these improvements. Wojciechowski will continue the study and share examples and costs with supervisors.
In other news, supervisors revisited the Homestead Estates pedestrian trail. Several months ago, supervisors considered closing the trail after some property owners expressed safety concerns. However, other property owners asked for the trail to remain open.
Following the conflict, Township Manager Ilene Eckhart sent all adjoining property owners a questionnaire. The results indicated a split between neighbors. While many utilize the trail daily, others expressed concerns over safety, litter, and crime.
Suggested changes property owners recommended were landscape barriers or private property signs. However, Eckhart added that “privatization…is not really a feasible solution.”
If the trail were to become private, 100 percent of property owners would have to agree and take over the trail’s maintenance.
“Unless there was a 100 percent consensus from residents, we leave it ‘as is’ today,” said Behler, meaning public. “I do not feel as if Allen Township should get in the middle [of neighbors].”
Several property owners attending the meeting said that “something better” needs to happen and indicated that they will hold a neighborhood meeting about potentially establishing an HOA or privatizing the trail.
Finally, supervisors adjusted the Allen Township Dog Park’s seasonal closure time frame. Originally, supervisors motioned to close the park between February 16 and April 1. However, Eckhart suggested that the township instead monitor weather conditions and give residents two weeks’ notice before closing the park.
“When there is frost on the ground…that is the time we want to hone in on the closure,” she said.
Supervisors agreed. Residents will be made aware of the park’s new closure date two weeks ahead of time. From that date, the park will remain closed for six weeks to avoid damage to revegetation.
The next Board of Supervisors meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 9 at 7 p.m. via Zoom.