East Penn Press

Tuesday, March 19, 2019


Thursday, March 22, 2018 by SHARON SCHRANTZ Special to The Press in Local News

Slowing cars on Mill Creek Road on fast track

The .7 mile stretch between Spring Creek Road and Sauerkraut Lane was a major discussion by a traffic engineer from McMahon Associates at the Lower Macungie Township Board of Commissioners meeting March 15.

Analysis of the road indicated the lanes are 10.5 feet across and the average speed along the road is 31 to 38 miles per hour. There have been crashes at Sauerkraut Lane and Mill Creek Road, Mill Creek Road and Spring Creek Road and at Seem Road. Analysis also showed 5,600 vehicles travel this stretch within a 24-hour period.

Suggestions for controlling the speed on this road include speed radar signs and varying the location of the signs. It was noted this is a difficult area to monitor due to the lack of pull-off areas.

Other recommendations include speed humps which are not recommended. Speed humps come in two forms – one form is a three to four inch gradual incline and the same for the decline; the other form has an incline and decline but with a flat area between looking like a table.

Another idea is the use of rumble strips. This is low cost and can be quickly implemented. It was also suggested LED lighting be added at the Seem Street intersection.

Another form of speed control are optical speed bars. These are horizontal strips painted in a way to create an illusion of a driver needing to decrease speed. These are considered to cause a continuous effect versus slow signs. There is a sample of this type of speed control at the on-ramp at Route 100 and Interstate 78. There are also communities who have used this idea successfully including one in Hatfield. It was suggested several options could be combined.

Some discussion has been held with Lower Macungie Fire Department Chief Dave Nosal. His recommendation for emergency vehicle purposes is for the speed humps in the table format. Further considerations include school buses and law enforcement.

The commissioners are looking for a quick action for this problem. Due to the large amount of information, this topic will go back to committee but it is recommended action occurs by early April.

Commissioner Douglas Brown suggested there are not enough speed limit signs. One proposal is to add three new speed limit signs with the elimination of two older signs.

Commissioner Brian Higgins said the problem will not be helped with speed limit signs. “Radical action needs to happen, something dramatic,” Higgins said. “This problem is way beyond signage.”

Residents expressed concern for drivers getting used to optical lines. There was also a concern for motorcycles.

The Stone Hill Land Development for Phase Two was discussed. This development is off of Gehman Road and has a gated second entrance/exit onto Willow Street in Macungie. Phase Two will add 23 lots for a total of 85 lots from both phases. Trails are included in this plan. These trails connect Alburtis and Macungie. The streets will be private. The second phase preliminary plan was tabled with an extension granted and the sewer module for Phase Two was approved.

Lehigh Valley Health Network has requested road closure for the VIA Marathon Sept. 9. Fish Hatchery Road will be affected. This was approved.

Waste Management, the township trash hauler, offered to extend the contract for another year for the same price. This was approved.

Township Engineer Alan Fornwalt said Heritage Park and the lighting project at Quarry Park will be completed as soon as the weather improves.

The addition of 28 acres to the Kratzer Farm Agricultural Security Area was approved.

There was a request for antennas for data usage on cell phones. These antennas are smaller than cell towers and are closer together. The zoning amendment was approved.

Word was received grant approval was geared to larger areas last year. It was suggested the township try again for a project for an inclusive playground at the community center.