State College

College Township Council accepts Pike Street traffic calming, streetscape plan

Council unanimously accepted a master plan proposal for a Pike Street traffic calming and streetscape project after several years of study and design.

The project began about four years ago, township engineer Kent Baker said, and involved numerous studies and open houses.

“We have considered a number of comments that come from most of the property owners,” Baker said. “I believe at this time we have a plan that has considered comments but still achieves the overall goal of traffic calming and safety.”

The plan remains the same, basic plan as first conceived, he said, and includes sidewalks, crosswalks and parallel parking. The traffic lanes would be narrowed slightly in order to slow traffic.

A lighting plan would also be developed, he said. In a memo to the township, Baker indicated that existing trees in the right of way would be removed, and new trees would be planted.

Suggestions to install a traffic light or stop sign at the intersection of Pike and Dale Street were examined, Baker said. Following an analysis by Trans Associates, installation of traffic controls at the intersection would not be justified as traffic is not heavy enough and could increase rear-end collisions.

However, a crosswalk at the intersection of Pike and Dale is very likely, he said. Signage would indicate pedestrians have the right of way.

The township would need to coordinate with CATA to determine the best locations for bus stops, he said. Stops would also help best decide crosswalk locations.

Snow removal maintenance for the new parking spaces would be handled by the township, he said, with any curb damage covered by the township as well. Property owners would be responsible for clearing snow from adjacent sidewalks, as is the practice across the township.

One of the main areas of contention, according to Baker, is how to interface the parallel parking and sidewalks with the loading and unloading of blank tombstones at Mayes Memorials on Pike Street. Engineers met with owner Dick Stever, who indicated tractor trailers park alongside the property and partially into the street to unload the tombstones.

Stever said he then transfers the stones to his lower property on Granite Lane, Baker said. The township has offered to study truck access at Granite. If unloading still must happen along Pike, reinforced concrete is an option.

The primary goal now is to get detailed designs and cost estimates in order to seek funding for the work, Baker said.