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Springfield hopes to curb truck traffic on 212


Springfield plans to appeal to neighboring Richland Township to help curb truck traffic on Richlandtown Pike.

Supervisors rejected a costly and binding engineering study of the state route and agreed Sept. 25 to send a representative to that township with a plan to divert drivers on West Pumping Station Road north onto Route 309 rather than Route 212 on to the Pike.

Speaking Monday, Richland Township Manager Paul Stepanoff said he had not yet heard from Springfield, but his township was willing to discuss the issue. Richland Township maintains trucking companies are provided with maps of preferred routes and that signage, though small, directs them to Route 309.

Tractor-trailers traverse the Pike as a shortcut to and from Interstate 78 at all hours, with the sound of Jake brakes on constant rotation, according to residents, who have long lamented the routine speeding and wear and tear on the road.

To further deter the big rigs, supervisors opted to provide additional money in the budget for extra police enforcement in the area to deter drivers from taking the Pike and alternative routes such as the narrower and windier 212 to get to 412.

Township Police Chief Michael McDonald expressed confidence once the word got out, truckers would avoid the areas.

If caught violating lights and sign restrictions, drivers would face a fine of $150, half of which goes to the township.

Board members also discussed what to do about the growing spotted lanternfly menace. Springfield, with its abundance of farmland, is particularly vulnerable to the winged predators, who feast on crops and trees in large numbers, leaving behind a sticky residue that stunts and ultimately kills trees.

Supervisors discussed possible options such as logging, which would require certification. Supervisor Karen Bedics suggested sending out educational postcards to residents, which according to the township would cost of more than $1,000. Ultimately, the board agreed to let the Environmental Advisory Council formulate a policy on the laternfly and report back at a future meeting.

“There’s no real golden ticket to resolving this issue,” said EAC member Arianne Elinich.

So far, more than $20 million in federal and state funds has been allotted for research on ways to eliminate the pest as well as public awareness campaigns.