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Richland adopts new restrictions on truck traffic


In its latest traffic safety initiative, Richland Township has adopted new restrictions on truck traffic. The action was taken by unanimous vote of the board of supervisors on Monday, following a previously advertised public hearing on the matter. There were no comments from the public.

“We’re not against tractor trailers; we recognize they have a role in commerce,” noted Supervisor Tim Arnold. “We just have certain roads that are not conducive to the size of their rigs.”

The revision to the township’s Code of Ordinances prohibits truck traffic on Reservoir Road, between Route 309 and California Road. It also adjusts “the maximum gross weight limit for the Morgan Creek Bridge across South Old Bethlehem Pike to 15 tons.”

While they were at it, officials also established a maximum speed limit of 35 mph for Reservoir Road and added school buses to the list of exceptions wherever truck traffic is restricted. Already on the list are emergency vehicles and those making local deliveries and pickups.

The new ordinance notes that Township Engineer Gilmore & Associates had conducted a truck restriction study for Reservoir Road that was filed in November. It noted the existence of “certain physical conditions of roadways, hazardous traffic conditions, and other safety factors” that called for the new restriction.

For the new bridge restriction, the amended ordinance noted it as “in accordance with the inspection and study prepared by Pickering, Corts, & Summerson, Inc., per inspection date” early last year.

Appropriate signage is to be erected reflecting all the new restrictions, including the warning that they are soon to be encountered.

Also at the meeting, Richland Township Police Chief Rich Ficco announced that the next special event for prescription drugs takebacks will be on Apr. 27, while the ongoing drop box for that purpose continues to be available at police headquarters on California Road during normal business hours. The next shredder event will be May 4. Details on both events are available on the township’s Facebook page.

In addition, Supervisors Chair Kathie Doyle announced that township volunteers had succeeded in getting Richland’s rating from Birdtown Pennsylvania upgraded to Silver, having worked its way up from Green and Bronze. The Silver rating means that two tasks have been completed in five of the six strategy areas of municipal actions, school district actions, community engagement, habitat enhancement, collaborations, and advocacy. Completing three tasks in all six would get them to Gold.

With origins as a program of Audubon Pennsylvania in 2008, the organization works “to promote community-based conservation actions to create a healthier, more sustainable environment for birds, wildlife, and people.”

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