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Tinicum residents call for signs on River Road


Residents’ safety concerns about a troublesome River Road intersection in Tinicum Township, already addressed by PennDOT, have now broadened beyond that immediate vicinity to address other problems related to speeding on River Road. Gaining relief might require basic changes in how PennDOT addresses this type of problem.

Over five years ago, PennDOT established prohibition of a left turn from Smithtown Road onto River Road (Route 32), due to an obstructed sightline. At the request of a resident in 2017, the township and PennDOT began to also address an uneasy right turn onto that state road.

The speed limit on River Road in that vicinity is 40 mph, and the township asked PennDOT for reduction to 30 mph. But after the state agency conducted a speed study, it concluded that the 40 mph limit was appropriate, and instead installed side road intersection warning signs calling for slowing down to 30 mph.

Last March, responding to continuing complaints from menaced residents, township Supervisors Chair Rich Rosamilia said he had asked township staff to appeal for more signage, to include the opposite sides of River Road.

At the Sept. 17 public board of supervisors’ meeting, residents living not far from Smithtown Road broadened the discussion to include hazardous conditions not directly related to the intersection. One told of a recent accident, where her vehicle was hit by one traveling 60 mph. Another spoke of a car being pushed into the canal by a truck, and the two were joined by a third in asking what might be done to get relief.

Officials responded that PennDOT addressed such complaints through a fixed framework of “warrants,” that featured crash data, and that if data did not fit the framework, no relief would be granted. They added that residents could not place their own signage in “PennDOT’s right-of-way,” but could apply for a permit to install a “hidden driveway” sign. They also urged residents to contact PennDOT themselves, through a link on the township website behind the “roads” button, and promised to contact state Rep. Wendy Ullman’s office in a request for support on the issue.

Also at the Sept. 17 meeting, supervisors approved naming the new park, off Route 611 in Ottsville, near Cooper Mechanical, as Tinicum Community Park, and also approved an ordinance establishing rules and regulations for its use.

The ordinance was described as closely following similar rules and regulations for the use of county parks. Thus, topics include prohibiting destruction of natural and constructed features; fires without permitting; hunting and trapping; camping; alcoholic beverages and illegal drugs; and horses and bicycles on walking paths.

Among other rules are limitations on the operation of vehicles, including unmanned aircraft.