State College

Ferguson Township evaluates traffic study for current, future needs

The Board of Supervisors got a report card Monday on the state of a few dozen intersections in the township.

These grades don’t measure reading and math skills, but rather how long traffic is delayed at any given intersection. The results are part of a five-year traffic study from Trans Associates in State College.

Township supervisors paid the firm $50,000 in 2009 to start evaluating traffic conditions in the present day and as they are expected to be in 2030 — after 20 years of land development.

Officials said the study will help guide township supervisors and staff on improvements that should be made now and as development continues.

Nick Schaefer, of Trans Associates, reported to the board that a number of intersections in the township have failing grades, meaning they allow longer traffic delays than desired.

But most, Schaefer said, can be improved to the point they are no longer failing with simple tweaks, like changing the timing of the traffic signals.

Other recommendations in the report included adding traffic signals or turning lanes to some intersections.

Township engineer Ronald Seybert said the only project he would recommend going to the capital improvement plan now is work at the intersection of Valley Vista Drive and Bachman Lane.

Seybert said the intersection needs a left turn lane and to be set up for a future traffic signal. He said officials will also have to consider a roundabout at the intersection because of state requirements.

He said other intersections that could be due for a traffic signal in the future are Blue Course Drive and Bristol Avenue and Science Park Road and Sandy Drive North.

Left turn lanes could someday be necessary at the intersections of Aaron Drive and Martin Street and Whitehall and Nixon roads.

Seybert said the grades in the traffic study are not static, and future needs could change if development doesn’t happen the same way township officials have projected.

“We’ll keep an eye on it,” he said.