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Tree removal helps viewers at hazardous intersection


Thanks to effective cooperation among Tinicum Township, PennDOT, and a property owner, a long-running, hazardous, intersection sightline problem has been remediated.

At the township’s Dec. 17 public board of supervisors meeting, Police Chief Matt Phelan reported that motorists traveling north on Cafferty Road will no longer have a tree in the way when they look to the left at the intersection with East Dark Hollow Road.

Residents had complained about the obstructed sightline, and a tree was recommended for removal by an engineer from PennDOT’s Local Technical Assistance Program earlier this year. Township police then enlisted help from PennDOT and the homeowner, and the tree was removed last month, at PennDOT’s expense.

In another roadway matter, Supervisor Chair Rich Rosamilia announced that a meeting is in the works among PennDOT, the township, state Rep. Wendy Ullman, and state Sen. Bob Mensch to discuss what might best be done further to alleviate residents’ concerns about speeding on River Road (State Route 32), especially when entering it from Smithtown Road, Tinicum Creek Road, and the three Bridge Lanes.

Last month, to applause from residents, Phelan presented copies of a letter to Ullman and Mensch from PennDOT District Executive Kenneth M. McClain, in which McClain noted that PennDOT had “reevaluated the existing 40 mph speed zone between Dark Hollow Road and the town of Point Pleasant to determine if a reduction was warranted,” and had concluded “the department will approve a reduction in the speed limit from 40 mph to 35 mph,” with the township responsible for the new signs and enforcement.

McClain further 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.” He also noted the denial of the use of radar as an enforcement tool for municipalities, which has been a source of increasing complaints from local officials, and said other tools were available to local police.

He also noted PennDOT’s intention to replace side road warning signs and speed limit “advisory signs” (not enforceable) to help alleviate the insufficient sight distance for motorists entering River Road from Smithtown Road, and the intention to “undertake a similar review of River Road through the entire section of interest (East Dark Hollow Road to Bridge 2 Lane) to ensure signing is up to standard.”

In another matter, Chief Phelan expressed gratitude to the Tinicum Township Police Foundation for its donation of $10,000 to allow for all marked police vehicles to be outfitted with in-car dash cameras. Comprehensive info about police department activities is available via the Police button on the township website,

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