PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING OF
APRIL 9, 2019
Dr. Arthur Friedman
Craig Bryson, PLA, Township Planner
Mike Solomon, Director of Planning and Zoning
Mr. Saddlemire called the meeting to order at 7:30 PM and led the Pledge of Allegiance. There was also a moment of silence for those in our armed forces.
The approval of the March 12, 2019 minutes was tabled until the next meeting.
Presentation by Township Traffic Engineer, Joe DeSantis, PE, from McMahon Associates, on Township Transportation Projects
Joe DeSantis, PE, Township Traffic Engineer from McMahon Associates, was present to provide an update on Township transportation projects.
Items to on the agenda include the Richboro Master Plan, including the Almshouse Road Widening, Roundabout, Second Street Pike Road Diet, Richboro Sidewalk Project, and the Ironworks Creek Sidewalk Project. In addition, the following projects will be discussed: Buck Road Bridge Widening, Jacksonville Road and Almshouse Road Improvements, Holland Road and East Holland Road Improvements, 2015 Green Light Go Award, 2017 Green Light Go Award, and Route 332 Trail Connection.
The Richboro Master Plan was first discussed. This included sidewalk and roadway improvements, including the connector road. The Almshouse Road Widening Project was also discussed, including two eastbound through lanes. The Roundabout adjacent to Addisville Commons was discussed as well, including the connector road from Township Road and other pedestrian accommodations. It was noted that a grant will provide engineering for this project. In addition, the project schedule was outlined.
The Second Street Pike improvements were discussed as well, including the Richboro Sidewalk Project. Specifically, this project provides connections with Richboro in accordance with the Richboro Master Plan. It was noted that this project involves 8,500 feet of new sidewalk and was awarded a DCED grant.
The Ironworks Creek Sidewalk Project was discussed next. This project provides sidewalk connection from Tanyard Road over Ironworks Creek along Second Street Pike and will be funded through a grant.
The Buck Road Bridge Replacement Project was outlined, which will replace the bridge on Buck Road and include traffic signal modifications at Buck and Old Bristol Roads. There will also be a southbound left turn lane and a dedicated westbound left turn lane in addition to a right turn lane at Old Bristol Road at Buck Road. It was noted that the businesses will remain open as part of this project.
The Jacksonville and Almshouse Road project was discussed next, which includes widening for a dedicated westbound left turn lane on Almshouse Road. In addition, there will be widening for separate turn lanes on Jacksonville Road and traffic signal modifications. This project was added to the State’s Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP).
East Holland and Holland Road were the next topic, which includes minor widening to provide a separate left turn lane along Holland Road at East Holland Road and East Robin Road. Next, the 2015 Green Light Go Grant was discussed, which includes Holland Road and Upper Holland Road/Middle Holland Road and includes traffic signal upgrades. Specifically, it involves installation of video detection and removal of in-pavement loops with the installation of countdown pedestrian timers. It was noted that there will be a 50% reimbursement through this grant.
Under the 2017 Green Light Go Grant, traffic signal upgrades include Jacksonville Road and Almshouse Road, Jacksonville Road and Pulinski Road, and Almshouse Road and Tanyard Road. This includes installation of video detection and removal of in-pavement loops, including the installation of advanced radar detection. This is an 80% reimbursement.
Finally, the various sources of funding opportunities were presented by Mr. DeSantis.
At this point, the discussion was open to questions. Mr. Ingle inquired about the connector road and roundabout. Mr. DeSantis provided an overview of the connection and the properties that will be impacted. The funeral parlor property was discussed and Mr. DeSantis noted that the Township is looking at parking alternatives. In response to Mr. Ingle, Mr. DeSantis discussed the Richboro Sidewalk Project, specifically with respect to terrain and grading. Mr. DeSantis noted that this project will be funded in majority by the grant, but there will still be additional costs. The Township will consider these funding options. He noted that there will be ongoing coordination with the property owners as well.
Mr. Ingle noted that he is happy that Almshouse and Jacksonville Road will be addressed by the State, but is not pleased with the timeline.
Dr. Friedman stated that he has seen people walking throughout the Township and noted sidewalks will be used if constructed. He did raise some concerns about the roundabout and Second Street Pike being one lane. Mr. DeSantis noted that the traffic improvements all fit together like a puzzle.
Mr. Gannon and Mr. Shapiro discussed traffic backups at various intersections throughout Richboro. This discussion included impacted properties, including the rescue squad.
Mr. Gannon discussed his concerns with the roundabout project and it was noted that a grant has been received to fund engineering. Mr. DeSantis noted that the connector road diffuses traffic and the relationship between the roundabout and connector roads was discussed. Mr. Gannon noted that he does not consider this improvement to be a priority.
Mr. Gannon inquired about Bustleton and Bristol Roads. Mr. DeSantis noted that the project is being evaluated, including Churchville Road.
In response to Mr. Saddlemire, Mr. DeSantis noted that the construction of the roundabout is not fully funded. Traffic levels were also discussed, including major intersections and pedestrian crossings.
Mr. Gannon inquired about Temperance Lane. Mr. DeSantis noted that this is an area that was looked at by the Township and it does not warrant a signal.
Dr. Friedman noted that he could go without the roundabout. In response to Mr. Ingle, it was noted that the road widening on Almshouse Road will be funded by the Dreher project. There was discussion in response to Mr. Bryson regarding the Jacksonville and Almshouse Road project.
Rev. Doug Dwyer, Pastor of Addisville Reformed Church, 106 Manor Drive, raised several concerns including the sidewalk project and the impact on the Church, access, concerns with traffic flow of the roundabout, and turns onto Newtown-Richboro Road.
Rev. Ryan Sweet, Associate Pastor at Addisville Reformed Church, 941 Second Street Pike, stated that the embankment is very steep in front of the Church property and will impact the sidewalk.
In response to Rev. Sweet, Mr. Ingle stated that there is certainly a steep embankment at the Church and that a wall should be considered.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.
Michael T. Solomon
Director of Planning and Zoning