State College

Patton Township seeks traffic signal improvement grant

A PennDOT grant could cut costs for a proposed traffic light project by half, according to township Manager Doug Erickson.

In a presentation Wednesday to the Board of Supervisors, Erickson described the Green Light-Go grant, which would would provide about 50 percent funding to deploy “next generation signal controllers along the Valley Vista Drive corridor.” This would include intersections with Carnegie Drive, Lowe’s, North Atherton Street and Green Tech Drive.

Over the years, the township has tried several different programs trying to get a progression of green lights along that corridor, he said, but none worked due to the variance of traffic along that route.

“Adaptive signals is the next level of technology,” he said. Traffic lights would be connected to a server based in the nearby municipal building on Patton Plaza. The server would have the ability to change the timing on the signals in real time.

The township was alerted to the grant by consulting group Delta Development, Erickson said, which is helping to put the grant together. The project is expected to cost about $183,000, meaning PennDOT funding could exceed $90,000.

The project was targeted in this year’s budget, he said. If the grant comes through, it would allow the township to save some money.

He said he hopes the traffic signal project can be completed later this year.

In other business, the board approved setting a public hearing for a proposed change to the perimeter setback for the Oakwood Planned Community District.

According to the board, the township received a letter from the Oakwood Presbyterian Church requesting their property be rezoned from Planned Community to R-2 low density residence. The church is interested in expanding their facility and is limited due to the current setback requirements.

The new setback requirements would change setbacks along the perimeter of the community — along Waddle Road — from 100 feet for structures and 50 feet for parking to 30 feet for both, said Centre Region Planning Agency planner Eric Vorwald. Properties that do not lie along the perimeter would also be changed to the 30-foot requirement.

Three parcels within the community would not be affected by the change, he said: Oakwood Centre, Heritage Village and Pickwick Avenue.

By changing setbacks for the church, the township avoids spot zoning as well as making neighboring properties nonconforming, he said.