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Tinicum Police Foundation to present agenda


While progress is continuing in Tinicum Township toward relieving speeding concerns on River Road (Route 32), impatience from residents seeking more results is also continuing.

At the Jan. 21 public board of supervisors meeting, residents heard a detailed report from Supervisor Chair Jim Helms about a recent meeting among township supervisors, their staff, PennDOT officials, state Rep. Wendy Ullman, state Sen. Bob Mensch, and others to discuss what might best be done further to alleviate residents’ concerns about speeding on River Road, especially in Point Pleasant; the vicinity of the Bridge Lanes; and entry points from Smithtown Road and Tinicum Creek Road.

Helms noted that a request from residents to lower the speed limit further, from 35 to 30 mph, had been denied by PennDOT, who referenced a Penn State study on the “effects of unreasonable posting of speed limits,” which noted that postings of speed limits of more than 5 mph below those recommended by engineers “were found to increase crash frequency and reduce speed limit compliance.”

PennDOT had previously approved a reduction of the 40 mph speed zone between Dark Hollow Road and the town of Point Pleasant to 35 mph.

But PennDOT did agree to revisit consideration of expanding a 25 mph zone in Point Pleasant, north to Bridge Lane 2. Meanwhile, among other items, requests for new pavement markings and new signage as traffic calming measures are snagged on who pays for them; liability they add; and PennDOT’s view that adding new measures to areas that already display controls can cause disregard of all controls. However, the township can assist residents with hidden driveway signs for private roads.

Installation of new pedestrian crossings was deemed a very involved process, including maintenance, while encouraging new crossings was noted as “not a good idea.”

Supervisors and staff did not support a request from a resident to establish a new traffic committee to work with PennDOT, noting that they already had one, in effect, through their office staff, police, engineer, and solicitor. In any case, underlying PennDOT consideration of any changes in any traffic controls is insistence on accident data as a major guideline. Going forward at this point, permanent electronic speed signs for River Road, to replace township police occasional mobile signage, are understood to be in the works through a grant application by Rep. Ullman.

Also at the Jan. 21 meeting, Police Chief Matt Phelan reported success from a two-year investigation of a home improvement fraud case, with restitution for the resident “anticipated to be ordered in the amount of approximately $126,000.” In another home improvement fraud case, “restitution of approximately 6K is anticipated.”

Phelan added that his request to the county to install solar panels to power their jointly-owned bridge cameras had been approved, replacing batteries, and thereby improving reliability to film damage caused by motorists, and allow for pursuit of restitution.

He also thanked the Tinicum Civic Association for another donation of a defibrillator, “which now allows for each marked patrol vehicle to be equipped with a device.”