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Innovation & Growth Initiative: Montgomery County Benchmark
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Story from Abington Patch
Drunk Driving Fatality
According to Patch, an Abington man will be arraigned on charges of vehicular homicide and driving under the influence (DUI).
On Wednesday April 25, 2012, a 29-year old man of Penn Avenue, Glenside, waived his preliminary hearing before a district justice in connection with the death of Sharon Ann Minnick on Easton Road. The drunk driving crash occurred on January 27, 2012. The perpetrator will be arraigned in the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas in June. Police Detective Robert Turner conducted an investigation and found that he was traveling not less 59 miles per hour in his 1994 Lincoln Town Car.
The impact was near the intersection of Easton and Jefferson Avenue in Horsham. Alcohol and drugs were cited as causes of the operator wreckless behavior. According to Maurice Mattila, alcohol first affects the most vital components of the brain and “when the brain cortex is released from its functions of integrating and control, processes related to judgment and behavior occur in a disorganized fashion and the proper operation of behavioral tasks becomes disrupted.”
Source: Abington Patch
Author: Theresa Katalinas
Posted on April 25, 2012
Traffic Comments (so far)
There has been a huge response to RMCA's Traffic Survey. Come to Penn State Abington on May 9 to learn more results and see what is being done to keep the character of Abington, but also prepare it to compete in the 21st Century.
Here are some comments to the survey question about the most common problem people see in Abington:
The intersection of Cedar Rd / Huntingdon Pike / Old Huntingdon Pike is awful. Everyone ignores the "Do Not Block Intersection" sign. There should be an extra light blocking traffic on Cedar or white lines painted in the intersection with a "Don't Block the Box" sign. –R
Because of the traffic issues (congestion, construction) on main roads, many cars 'short-cut' through the neighborhoods, going at high speeds. I have witnessed this on the following streets, Fairy Hill, Beverly, Autumn, and Noble Roads. There are cars whizzing by in residential areas, putting the children and pedestrians of the neighborhood at risk. I live on Fairy Hill and watch as cars consistently have no regard for the posted speed signs of 25 mph and watch children.
The township should evaluate methods to eliminate these "shortcuts" and "pass-throughs", with the use of stop signs, police enforcement, etc. –A
Speeding in residential areas. It is bad on Valley Road and Huntingdon Pike. –J
Unsafe driving- not stopping at traffic lights when they are red, running yellow lights. Aggressive driving- switching lanes back and forth, cutting people off. This is especially true at nearly all of the big intersections off of 611.
Taxes are much to high. There needs to be another assessment evaluation to decrease the unfairly high taxes as well as legislation to decrease the income tax!
We need sidewalks or a walkway along Washington Lane or to develop some other safe footpath into Jenkintown/Abington for those of us living in Rydal who want to walk into the commercial area on Old York Road. –T
Lack of sidewalks/not enough walkable areas –D
Inadaquite parking for shopping. Send residents to other townships –C
Speeding on Valley Road with a speed limit that is currently set too high.
Only One lane instead of two on Valley Road, one should be be a turning lane into Rydal Park and Beaderwood Shopping Center. –D & J
Through streets can no longer accommodate the current traffic volume. As a result, streets are jammed and drivers are cutting through residential sections and ignoring speed limits and, in many cases, challenging pedestrians. Traffic calming s needed and major through streets improved; otherwise, we need a bypass. –J
And as you know the problem I see is that a traffic summit would be meaningless unless the people attending have an idea what the PROPOSED traffic via the massive re-zoning will be ..... Take the Fairway alone .... Will look forward to discussing... –L
It would be great if the commercial sector had incentive to make their facades and signs attractive. –M
How to make those responsible for the overall traffic. Accept that there is a problem and it can hinder the needed economic growth in Abington. –P
Too much speeding on residential streets. I beleive the irony of this is most of the speeding is done by other residents. What Abington can do is a public awareness campaign, also encourage more walking and biking when possible. –R
Traffic congestion. –R
Bicycle lanes; safer roads for bicycles.
I live in Jenkintown and work in Abington. I would like to ride my bicycle to work and to shop in Abington. However, I don't feel safe riding my bike around Abington, esp. on busy streets like 611 or Rydal. –F
Vehicle failing to yield the right of way for volunteer personnel –S
There are many areas I see people walking in without sidewalks. Sidewalks on heavily walked streets make sense-i.e. parts of Woodland Road and Cloverly Road, between Valley and the Penn State Abington campus. –T
Although I am a Philadelphia resident, I attend school at Penn State Abington. One issue I have is that a lot of people are using cell phones while driving. Then again this is a common issue all around, so other than that, everything seems up and up. My one issue as stated on this survey, is that there doesn't seem to be enough jobs in Abington. –P
The lights for turning do not always change even when people are sitting at the light and waiting for the green arrow. –A
Enforce heavier laws on speeding drivers especially students, who cause danger to others on the road. –K
Traffic on Old York Road between Highland Ave and Moreland Rd is too fast and not safe for pedestrians. –M
We need turn lanes. –R
Students driving too aggressively. –J
The Abington Township does not see Penn State Abington as a partnership or a viable part of the community. The township seems to not care if we are present and would like to have us gone. I have worked at other institutions and find this to be unique. A WORKING partnership would be best for all especially if the township wants to grow and be known as a welcoming community. –J
People not stopping at stop signs around the Penn State Abington campus.
I would like to see more bike paths / bike lanes / bike locking stations.
Also as of April 9th your "Other ideas about the future of Abington:" form field is limited to just 5 characters which is less than useful. –R
Drivers routinely ignore pedestrian crossings. Crossings should be better marked (only a small percentage have signage in addition to the painted pedestrian crossing lines on the pavement). –D
People driving on their cellphones and not stopping at stop signs. I'm a NJ native and am absolutely mortified but this! –A
Pot holes –J
Widen footpath and install additional street lighting on Woodland Road between Abington campus and Old York Road, for safety and security of all pedestrians and evening class students. Additional utilitarian pole lights as a minimum, but visually appealing short pole lights affixed with Penn State U banners along that stretch would be especially nice.
Recommend similar treatment of pathway from Septa train station to PSU Abington Campus. –D
For me traffic is the most common/biggest problem in Abington.
The traffic –R
While, I have absolutely loved my time spent within the boundaries of Abington, I feel that its roads and traffic patterns are no longer adequate in handling the influx of residents, businesses and students. –J
It's really dark on some of the smaller streets like Cloverly Lane. Perhaps a few streetlights? –K
There are no current problems. –A
In the Rydal Meadowbrook area, there are very few sidewalks for pedestrians to walk safely. As this is a residential area with people who like to walk their dogs, etc. It would be much safer to add sidewalks, particularly around Penn State Abington. –K
There are many pot holes, cracks, and dents along Old York Rd (611)all need to be repaired –K
No parking spots causing students to be late for class. –L
City drivers driving too wildly. –D
People are generally driving too fast. However, the speed limits should not be reduced. There is a difference between 'too fast' and five miles, or several, above the speed limit (which is reasonable). There should be another way to make sure people aren't driving too fast; maybe by having someone watch for high-speed areas. Ultimately it can be changed if individuals were actively more cautious with their driving, since mistakes while driving can be fatal. Near the Penn State campus people speed both around the campus and inside the parking lots. The speeding inside the parking lots is a concern because of pedestrians or other cars that are unaware of someone coming around a corner or passed parked cars. –A
Texting and calling while driving, it needs to be stopped or slowed down as much as possible –S
Pot holes I find to be a major problem in Abington. As a commuter to college I drive often to and from school for classes and events. The roads I take (i.e. Old York Road) is covered in pot holes and put a lot of stress on my tires. To fix this problem the roads should be repaved, and not the holes just filled in. Filling the holes in doesn't fix the problem, it just postpones it until it becomes worse. –S
Lack of early morning or late evening shuttle transportation to and from Rydal train station and campus. –C
The conditions of Old York Road are terrible. The right lane on both sides is full of pot holes. OYR desperately needs to be repaved. –K
There is too much traffic in Abington. However, the biggest problem is that there are huge pot holes in roads at numerous spots, making it dangerous to even drive sometimes. Something needs to be done about the holes in the roads. Right when one passes the Willow Grove Mall on Moreland rd, heading towards Old York Rd, outside of Bottom Dollar, there is a very very deep pot hole, and something needs to be done about it. There are several others like this one all over Old York Road. –N
I don't really see problems while walking or driving around Abington. –B
People not coming to a complete stop at stop signs. –G
A lack of common sense. Everyone pray that people will develop common sense. –C
People not observing speed limits, especially 25 mile per hour. I often drive most of the length of Highland Avenue in the morning. I am tailgated the entire way. Interesting, when I look in my rear view mirror sometimes the driver of the car that is right on my bumper is also on the phone. It is so clearly marked and even clearer when you go by the schools. You go by two schools and a hospital and people seem to think that the speed limit is just a concept, not a reality. –N
I do not think the township itself has problems –H
Speeding seems to be a problem especially because of the pedestrians in the area - both home owners and students. –R
Women driving suvs on the phone. –M
The police are wasting too time and effort pulling over Penn State Abington drivers for "rolling stops" While it is illegal, the real danger lies in fast drivers. Focus more effort on pulling over those who are speeding. –C
Blown stop signs. –T
Many neighborhoods are without sidewalks and even with low speed limits, cars often use side streets as quicker ways and go too fast. I worry about the safety of my 6 year old as we walk or bike in our neighborhood. I would like more sidewalks.
Also, my son goes to Rydal elementary school. The cars speed down Mill Road and with no sidewalks and no safe way to to cross Mill road, I am forced to drive my son to school. I would like to feel safer crossing Mill Road to walk my son to school. Perhaps sidewalks should be put in this area and definitely a crossing guard. I even think that maybe a stop sign or two for Coates Road and/or Dale Road would help to slow the drivers down on Mill Road. –L
There is a three way stop sign in the corner of Hampton Road and Woodland Road. This is unnecessary since one is a main road and the other is a small side street. I see many people being pulled over (me not being one) including numerous people that live in the community. Also, police cars park on the small side street where there are clearly “no parking” signs waiting for people to run the stop sign. This has created a problem for me when trying to pass the police car since the road is already narrow and cars are driving in the opposite direction.
The sidewalks and street crossing lights are very out of date. The fact that the crossing light from PSU to Abington Hospital is not working is a huge danger to hospital workers as well as students who take public transit. (Other lights along Susquehanna, Old Welsh, and Easton are also not in current working condition.) Also, the sidewalks in the entire township are in serious need of repair and re-pavement. Most of them have huge pot holes and cracks and walkers and bike riders have injured themselves on the pavement. –K
The Fairway needs drastic traffic calming measures implemented. Vehicular speeds are high along that corridor (mainly due to the linear geometrics), and with the Baederwood Shopping Center finally becoming a destination for residents, the township needs to look at calming traffic. –J
The intersection at susquehanna and old york road. Making a left onto old york road from susqeuhanna is difficult and dangerous. There should be a left turn light because every time I try to make a left I have to wait till the light goes red and i am stuck in the intersection. Cars must rush because only 2 or three can actually make a left per light. If people run the light from the other side it can make an accident for the line of cars turning left. –D
Crappy road paving.
New road surfaces that last longer. –J
The intersection at Old York and Susquehanna Rds the westbound turning arrow is malfunctioning (on Old York). This malfunction is causing rush hour traffic to back up to Woodland Ave. This is a major problem, but when corrected should solve most of Abington's traffic problems. Also I've noticed speed traps set by the local police during the morning rush hour and I think this is a great way to reduce fast driving through the township. –M
I don't think there are enough signs directing visitors to the college, its fields, the police station, or the nearest hospital. Many visitors come to Abington to attend events at Penn State Abington. If you're not familiar with the area, it's hard to find your way around and there are very few places that you can pull into to ask directions. The biggest problem I see with traffic is driving behind someone who keeps breaking because they are lost and unsure where they are going.
The lack of a resident hall for students brings hundreds more cars to and from campus daily than necessary. –L
Too much traffic on main roads like 611. They are always doing something (repairs) and there are constant detours. People drive too fast on streets and roads where you can not go fast because of traffic lights or the amount of cars. –R
More Parking avaliable. –R
Speeding and aggressive driving. More police monitoring traffic. –J
Bradfield n Susquehanna Rds too congested during rush hrs and its Alittle dangerous crossing for school kids since there's no crossing guard. And also people speed on Bradfield going 35-40 instead of 25 also making crossing the middle of the road scary. I would like to see left turning signals at the intersection turning on Susquehanna each way so its less backed up and have a speed meter on bradfield near the firehouse –K
Alot of road closings due to extended construction projects; flooding –P
Would like to see the fairway area, all the up to B&N area become more community, town focused- sort of that college town feel with shops, community cafes, more central place to hang out. something like a small town feel but also traffic could use 2 lanes or 1 extra lane for passing if traffic increases. –I
The T-Intersection at the RR-bridge—where Susquehanna Road meets Washington Lane—creates a bottle-neck that routinely extends in all three directions but, in particular, northbound along Susquehanna Road. –R
The condition of 611 through Abington and Willow Grove. The road's surface needs to be replaced. The road is very uneven and bumpy. Potholes and patches are rough and ugly. –D
Traffic on Susquehanna Rd between 611 and Fitzwatertown needs to be alleviated during rush hours. –D
Not sure. –N
As a Penn State student, I see the traffic and unsafe acts committed by students within my community. They speed down Woodland road and frequently disobey the stop signs and other posted traffic control devices. I don't think they understand the amount of children and other citizens that live in the immediate area. Students need to be held accountable as well as the campus security for encouraging a safe environment for all that live, attend school and drive within the area around Penn State. –J
Related to traffic: Rt 611 congestion; RR bridge at Valley Rd and Susquehanna; how to balance the Township's active exploration of ways to further develop the Fairway and Noble station areas versus impact on traffic.
Please present the results of the traffic study done last year for the Noble station study (sponsored by Matt Lahaza I believe). The study provided a good description of the current status surrounding the Noble area. That was one of the best local traffic analyses I have seen. Its presentation might catalyze good thinking and conversation.
Related to comments above about environmentally sustainability:
Given the size of our community, we could have a substantial impact if we: increased the amount of recycling (by helping residents better understand what they can recycle); made a township-wide effort to promote water and energy conservation in homes and businesses (by providing information about options; by leveraging the power of bulk purchasing to make resource-saving devices available at affordable prices; by mandating certain practices, such as the use of low-flow dish sprayers in restaurants and institutions). I am happy to help with resource conservation issues if others have similar passion. –E
The local townspeople not stopping at the four way stop on woodland road, and people not understanding how four way stops work. –E
I'm interested in learning more about ways to make the township safer and more accessible for bicyclists and pedestrians. –C
There are few accommodations for pedestrians. I am a Penn State Abington student and do not always drive to classes. The walk from Rydal Train Station to the Penn State Abington campus feels unsafe. There are no sidewalks on Cloverly Lane, Woodland Road, or Valley Road. Crossing Valley Road to get to the train station feels especially dangerous. I would like to see sidewalks on these roads, as well as pedestrian-focused enhancements to intersections. –B
Old York Road and Susquehanna is a choke-point. Please focus on getting more cars through each turn of the light. Add turn lanes or enable the light to be timed properly to let cars go through. Please consider buying the building on the northwest corner and making the property into a turn lane.
Because people know it is a choke-point, they avoid the intersection and go through back-streets. This means that shopkeepers on Old York Road miss opportunities to attract or serve potential customers. –S
I see a lot of empty buildings, especially along Old York Road, which presents many problems and is certainly not attractive to people passing through. What does that tell them about Abington? –K
Cars go way too fast on side streets; I think speed bumps should be implemented on the worse ones. I live on Weldon Ave.off of Easton Road and I can't tell you how many cars come speeding down our street, right where there are people walking their dogs and children are playing. –C
Speed, We live on a hill, Highland Avenue, the speed limit is 25 miles/hour. However, unless you have your brakes on, gravity itself pulls you to atleast 45 miles/hour and higher. It is extremely dangerous trying to pull out of our driveway and no one seems to care. We have contacted the police and they have put traffic vascar line further north up on Highland up at the peaks of the hills not at the bottoms. (We are on the corner of Fortune and Highland). It would be wonderful to have speed humps or if greater ticketing would occur. –K
1 comments by Members are their personal opinions (see RMCA policies)
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