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Patton Township Working on Toftrees Avenue Safety Solutions

by and on January 03, 2020 5:00 AM

With more and more traffic coming through Toftrees Avenue these days, Patton Township leaders are looking at ways to improve safety in the area.

On Dec.11, the township Board of Supervisors decided to install a rectangular, rapid-flashing beacon at the intersection of Toftrees Avenue and Presidents Drive and Beaumont Road to increase pedestrian safety at the intersection.

Recently, the township installed walkways and additional signs in the area, trying to make the road safer for pedestrians; but there is still a concern that the road is unsafe, so the township has been working at new traffic calming plans for the road.

The beacon was the recommendation of the public works department after a traffic study was completed and rumble strips and speed tables did not move forward as a solution.

After the traffic study, the township surveyed residents about the possible installation of rumble strips and speed tables. It was determined by residents that the use of rumble strips was not advisable due to concerns about noise .

The township has also discovered there is now too much traffic for the use of speed tables.

“The board’s initial preference was of rumble strips. That initial discussion had maybe 40 people out here, none of whom spoke in favor of rumble strips,” said board chair George Downsbrough Jr.

“The board’s second selection is speed tables, and the engineering staff informed us that the traffic counts of Toftrees now exceed the allowable traffic counts for speed tables.”

Speed tables are midblock traffic calming devices that raise the entire wheelbase of a vehicle to reduce its traffic speed. Speed tables are longer than speed humps and flat-topped, with a height of 3 to 3.5 inches and a length of 22 feet.

During the traffic study, Trans Associates determined that traditional traffic signals are still not warranted.

The board also plans to look at other potential solutions for the area. The rapid-flashing signal beacon will be installed after permits are received.

TOFTREES CORRIDOR IMPROVEMENT PLAN

To address traffic in another section of the road, the township held a community meeting to discuss the beginning of a long-range plan for upgrades to the older portion of Toftrees Avenue, from Waddle Road to The Station’s driveway.

The township’s consulting engineering firm, Navarro and Wright, conducted the open house to gather input on current problems and potential solutions. A session with property owners and facility managers is scheduled for Jan. 18.

The township is asking for community members to take a survey at www.toftreescorridor.com about the potential improvements to the area before any plans are considered.

Potential improvements include a roundabout at Waddle Road and Toftrees Avenue, intersection improvements for the golf course and Bellefonte Rail Trail, on-street parking and improvements to the bikeways.

Patton Township is looking for input for the Toftrees Corridor Improvement Plan, which is in development. The long-range planning process aims to make upgrades to the older portion of Toftrees Avenue, from Waddle Road to The Station’s driveway. Photo by Vincent Corso/The Gazette



This story was produced by the staff at the Centre County Gazette. It was re-published with permission. The Centre County Gazette is a weekly publication, available at many locations around Centre County every Thursday morning.


Vincent Corso is writer for Town&Gown and the Centre County Gazette.
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