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Ferguson Township presents traffic calming options to residents

Ferguson Township recently presented five traffic calming options to residents, three of which included diverters on Park Lane.
Ferguson Township recently presented five traffic calming options to residents, three of which included diverters on Park Lane.

A traffic calming study was recently competed for East Park Hills Avenue. It’s the first study that’s been done since Ferguson Township instituted a traffic calming policy in February 2015.

David Modricker, public works director, said the township got a petition in July signed by 14 residents requesting the study.

After determining that East Park Hills Avenue met the eligibility requirements and hiring consultant Pennoni, the study was completed and various traffic calming options were presented at a public meeting to residents living in the study area, Modricker said.

Eighty-five residents representing 71 of the study area’s 169 parcels attended the meeting on Jan. 25, he said.

The township’s policy says that a residential street with more than 1,000 vehicles a day qualifies for traffic calming, he said. Additionally, if the 85th percentile for speed is more than 10 mph over the posted speed it qualifies.

The road qualified for volume mitigation, but not quite for speed, he said.

The options presented to residents were mostly volume mitigation efforts to help with cut-through traffic, including partial and full diverters in five different locations, he said.

The five options were: a southbound partial diverter on Park Lane, a northbound partial diverter on Park Lane, a full diverter on Park Lane, a diverter on Glenwood Circle and a diverter on Cherry Hill Road.

The majority of those in attendance were not in favor of diverters, he said.

“I think the biggest that I heard is that while people are concerned about traffic in the neighborhood, most of them do not want to be inconvenienced by putting in a diverter that would limit their access to North Atherton Street by traveling up Park Lane,” Modricker said.

As this is the first time the township has gone through the traffic calming policy, he said he can’t say for certain what happens next.

He said he could talk to the Board of Supervisors about amending the policy to lower the speed threshold or re-evaluate various other traffic calming measures.

It could be that a combination of speed humps, line striping and signage may give the desired effect for volume and at the same time help with speed, Modricker said.

More than likely, he said, there will be another public meeting where more options will be presented.

At some point, the township will pick a preferred option and the neighborhood will vote, he said. The township would need a 50 percent return rate from residents in the study area, and of those, 70 percent would need to support the option.

If the township doesn’t get the support, the process would end there, Modricker said.

“Traffic calming is not something that the township is forcing upon the neighborhood,” he said.

Sarah Rafacz: 814-231-4619, @SarahRafacz