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PennDOT rejects speed signs at Smithtown Road


With a speed reduction on River Road (Route 32) near its intersection with Smithtown Road denied by PennDOT because of insufficient crash frequency, Tinicum Township is now seeking warning signage to mitigate what officials say is a significant hazard for motorists turning northbound onto River from Smithtown.

The report was made at the Feb. 19 public board of supervisors meeting.

Officials noted that engineering help had been enlisted from both the township and the state’s local technical assistance program (LTAP), and that options of taking no action, making the lower portion of Smithtown one-way, and closing the intersection had all been deemed to be inappropriate.

PennDOT was noted as saying crash data were insufficient to call for a speed limit reduction on River, which is presently 40 mph, nor any special lighting or signs. Its LTAP unit was said to have noted four crashes on the state road from 2013-2017.

Police Chief Matt Phelan said the hazard derived from a sight distance of only 150 ft. for motorists looking to turn left from Smithtown to northbound River, which was not enough for the southbound speed limit on River. He added that PennDOT’s ruling out warning signage referred to special oversized types, and that he hoped to gain alternative warning signage, citing the LTAP report.

Later in the Feb. 19 meeting, Phelan warned to be on guard for telephone scams recently targeting residents. One claimed to be reporting ID theft, and offering help via providing personal information, and another claimed to be a relative in need of cash.

Both were noted as “clever,” and not so easy to spot. Phelan also thanked the community for recent donations of an additional defibrillator for the department, as well as another taser.

At the outset of the meeting, supervisors conducted a special recognition for Police Officer Mark Compas, who last Christmas Eve “was dispatched to a cardiac arrest call. He arrived within 4 minutes and was able to utilize a defibrillator to deliver a shock to the patient, and provided continuing care until other first responders arrived.”

The patient, Ronald Hamilton, rose to personally thank Officer Compas, and was followed by his wife, Karen, who filled the room with her own gratitude.

Chief Phelan then presented a Certificate of Life Saving Award, while the board noted recognition for “outstanding police performance, in the saving of human life, and the display of exceptional initiative, capability, attention to duty, and teamwork.”