State College

College Township Council weighs Manor Road woes

As the residents off Manor Drive continue to deal with their troubled road, neighboring residents are fighting against a possible route connecting adjacent neighborhoods.

The residents of Mountainview Avenue, the road at the top of Manor, brought their concerns to Township Council in February. At the time, poor plowing along Manor was making accessing the properties along Mountainview increasingly difficult, with some residents unable to stop when leaving their neighborhood, sliding into East College Avenue at the bottom of the hill.

Residents at the February meeting claimed they were told when they purchased their properties that a road connecting Mountainview to nearby township roads was in the works.

On Thursday, Township Council attempted to begin discussions on a road that would connect the south end of Mountainview to nearby Ivy Hill Drive. Township engineer Kent Baker said according to the township solicitor, since most of the road improvements would not be along the properties of Mountainview, construction of the road would come from township funds.

Township Manager Adam Brumbaugh said connecting the two roads would be the best and quickest option to alleviate the issues along Manor. The first step would be to get an estimate of what engineering costs would be generated before a formal proposal for the road would be made.

Immediately, the idea of the road hit opposition from the residents of Stearns Crossing, the development through which Ivy Hill runs.

Stearns Crossing resident Mark Tice said he opposed the idea, saying it would set a precedent of the township taking responsibility for private roads. He said he couldn’t understand why the property owner of a majority of Mountainview couldn’t be held accountable.

Another Stearns Crossing resident, Christopher Cessna, said he opposed the connection for two reasons. First, he said he was concerned of the traffic impact a new neighborhood would bring on a development that hasn’t been fully built out yet. Second, he said he was concerned that the drainage from the new road would double the washout he already sees on his property.

Mountainview residents were on hand to refute some of the claims.

Craig Colombero said the biggest problem is trying to find a way to get rid of Manor Drive, claiming fire trucks have a difficult time getting up the hill were there an emergency, and can’t get up at all when the hill is unplowed.

Bernie Oravec said there are only about 20 properties along Mountainview with a total of about 30 cars on the entire street.

“The problem won’t go away as it is,” he said, saying this is an issue that will have to be addressed at some point, and hopefully not because of a fatality.

Brumbaugh said the township has looked into other options before, including connecting Mountainview to other roads, such as Commercial Boulevard.

Council unanimously approved seeing estimates for multiple options, including connecting Mountainview to Ivy Hill, modifications to Manor Drive, stormwater considerations and traffic counts.