east goshen responds to right to know request on 352 and king intersection improvements

3 intersection

UPDATE 5/3/2019: Today I received a US Mail reply to my Right To Know submitted on 4/23/2019 to PennDOT which was identical to my requests of East Goshen and East Whiteland.

This is why people believe in conspiracy theories.  What any of us have asked for should be simple, right? We live in one of the two municipalities contemplating intersection changes , we live in Chester County, this has SORT OF been being discussed mostly out of the public view for a couple of years, right? (I can’t say intersection improvements any longer since two out of the three parties seem hell bent on hiding from the public what is going on and why?)

Well as per the response from PennDOT well,  they also want additional time to contemplate their bureaucratic navels…letter very similar to East Whiteland’s response so I guess this is going to be a thing?

I am thinking it already is a “thing” since someone I think of as a total social media blowhard (they are not someone I would chose to have in my circle in real life and removed them from a social media group for essentially harassing and haranguing myself and anyone else who didn’t agree with his limited view of the world and life as we know it) has been bandying about my name in vain again. 

Apparently myself and others concerned about this because a roundabout/circle WOULD have to mean eminent domain are essentially drama queens and everyone should remain calm and informed. He claims to be Master of the Universe and to have been having conversations with “one of the players”?  My, my, my is it one of the “players” resisting a Right to Know? Sure hope not because that might be a problem if they won’t discuss this with all residents but will discuss it with select residents? He also says he personally will see that this project gets the attention it deserves. Excellent, right?

I will note that I did not originate discussion on this topic, neighbors closer to him did. 

Here is what PennDOT said: 

PA DOT RTK p 1

PA DOT RTK p 2

UPDATE 4/27/2019: Today  I signed for certified mail from East Whiteland Township regarding my right to know request on the proposed yet somehow TOP SECRET intersection improvement plans for King Rd and Sproul/N.Chester/352 which may or may not end up being a circle or roundabout which in turn could mean eminent domain to gather the necessary land.  I have redacted personal data from the Right to Know, but basically they sent me BUPKIS.  While I appreciate the timeliness of their response (because PENNdot has completely ignored me), I do not understand how East Goshen can send me LOTS of information, and East Whiteland nothing…BUPKIS? 

I also had a comment to this blog which I forwarded onto PENNdot for comment and …well…BUPKIS… I am finding this whole situation curiouser and curiouser.  

Here is what I am adding to this post:

RTK 4.27.19 redactedcomment

⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗

ORIGINAL POST: 

 

The other day I wrote a post about the proposed intersection improvements at King Road and Route 352/Sproul/N. Chester Rd.  I also submited Right to Know requests to East Goshen Township, East Whiteland Township, and PennDOT.  The reason I did that is this whole issue has been sort of out there at different times over the past couple of years that I have been aware of, only most residents feel completely in the dark.  Especially homeowners that would be the most potentially and directly affected and how is that fair to them?

And people feel the municipalities are to blame for the intersection issues because of all of the development approved and continuing to be approved which is incredibly hard on the infrastructure and so on. Failing intersections like these can be directly connected to increased volume thanks to increased development, correct?

March 2018 3 EGTI am vehemently opposed to one of the ideas floating around – a roundabout or “circle” because in order to have it be the right size, people will undoubtedly lose their properties and homes via eminent domain.

I am not sure what I will get out of East Whiteland, and PennDOT did not even acknowledge I contacted them and the head Mahatma Leslie Richards was cc’d.  But I was not impressed with her when she was a Montgomery County Commissioner and figured she was a political payback from Wolf when he was elected to his first term as Governor in PA. (But I digress)

However, I did get a response from East Goshen.  Their manager is very fair to deal with.  Here is what I was told:

I am in receipt of your right to know  request of April 22, 2019

At their meeting on February 19, the East Goshen of Supervisor accepted the February 5, 2019 proposal from McMahon to develop a conceptual  design plan for a roundabout and update the cost  information.  We received the report on March 28, 2019 and are currently working with East Whiteland to set up a  joint meeting to  roll out the  project.  The links below will take you to the agenda for the February 19 meeting and the minutes.

https://eastgoshen.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/2019-02-19_Board-of-Supervisors-Agenda-for-web.pdf

https://eastgoshen.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/BOS-Mins-2-19-19-FINAL.pdf

How the project will be funded has not been determined at this time. There are several federal and state grant programs available and the links to  two of  them are  below.

https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/fastact/factsheets/cmaqfs.cfm

https://www.penndot.gov/ProjectAndPrograms/MultimodalProgram/Pages/default.aspx

Based on past  experience I would add that:

1)      All of these grant programs a very competitive.  

2)      State and federal grant money comes with a lot of strings and red tape attached.

3)      The Township  will have to fund some of the project costs.

4)      While it is possible to receive grant money for engineering and construction; you  typically have a better chance if the project is shovel ready.

Call if  you have any  additional  questions.

3 Attachments

2019-03-28_Nagel_ Smith_Feasibility

Executed 020519 Proposal

Memo to BoS 021419

Because a roundabout or circle would drastically affect around the Lockwood Chase development, I am including the photos below:

2 circlecircle area

Here is the video of the East Goshen meeting referenced above:

I will note that since 2015, articles have occasionally been appearing about how New Jersey is REMOVING circles.

Someone wrote to me from East Goshen:

Go to the Wegmans in Frazer/Malvern and see how good circles work! They SUCK. When we lived in northern Chesco and used Hares Hill Road between 724 and 113, we had 3 “4 way stops”, and a one lane bridge. even during rush hrs everyone would do the every other car thing. Circles don’t invite such nice driving habits.

As a matter of fact since I wrote my first post on this topic, the conversation on it has been coming at a fast and furious pace. And the consensus is (1) the townships are not discussing this enough with the public and should be more forthcoming (especially East Whiteland), (2) those who live around the intersection and in these townships do NOT want a circle or roundabout, they was signalization which would make each side of the intersection go one at a time and (3) the only people in favor of the circles and roundabouts don’t necesarily live in either East Goshen or East Whiteland Townships.

One of the things I wonder about is if either township has taken the temperature of Immaculata and Villa on this because buses have a crazy impossible time with circles and roundabouts and these academic institutions have many school buses daily and the big coach buses that transport visiting collegiate sports teams. And a lot of trucks also have issue with circles and roundabouts.

I will also note that if you are concerned, contact East Whiteland and East Goshen, preferably in writing.  If you submit a Right To Know, you may find the following helpful:

“The Right-to-Know law has an express presumption that all records in possession of government agencies are public. However, there are more than 30 exemptions that allow agencies to deny access. There are two critical things to understand about exemptions An agency’s use of an exemption is discretionary; they are not required to deny access just because they can. There are other state laws that mandate secrecy but the Right-to-Know law does not. The legal burden of proving the legitimacy of the exemption falls to the government, not the requestor. In the years since the passage of the Right-to-Know law in 2008, significant case law has been developed, so it is critical to do some legal research on any specific exemption.” http://pafoic.org/right-to-know-law-exceptions/#ex22

If anyone else responds to my Right to Know I will continue to update my readers.  I will close with sharing my friend Tim’s presentation to East Whiteland recently:

6 thoughts on “east goshen responds to right to know request on 352 and king intersection improvements

  1. I’m interning with the Philly Streets Department currently. Some of the higher-ups told me PennDOT is pressuring them to cram in traffic circles wherever possible. Just about everybody in the department hates the circles.
    I have a feeling PennDOT’s doing something similar statewide, and this is a result of it.

  2. If you are looking for people unable to successfully navigate a roundabout, I suppose you will find them. With that in mind, there are plenty of people who are able to manage the task with little trouble.

    I personally would suggest the issues are more a function of drivers lacking discipline. A four way intersection is fine, but slow and clunky. When things fail and accidents happen, they can be catastrophic, people are vulnerable to being T- boned at high speed.

    It’s very difficult to be T-boned in a circle. Most accidents tend to be less severe.

    Traffic circles work, providing people are educated drivers – and they want it to work. The day we can get the Zipper merge to work in this country- the mysteries of the traffic circle will be solved. There’s nothing wrong with them.

    • You are missing the point. People will lose their homes and properties if they choose a circle or roundabout. There are other non-land taking alternatives. And nobody knows what to think because the townships aren’t being particularly forthcoming in the opinion of the residents.

  3. Thank you for writing about this and keeping us up to date. I wanted to share something with you that you might not be aware of. Over the last 6 years, a few dozen residents along Carol/Summit have been complaining to EW township about speeding cut through traffic. We are dealing with drivers, buses and large trucks who are cutting through our neighborhood to avoid the light at 352/King. We understand the reasons and many of us are sympathetic to those reasons, the light is congested and downright dangerous. The problem is many are speeding through our neighborhood, blowing stops and most importantly not respecting pedestrians/children. Since the light is getting congested many are bringing that speed/driving behavior onto Carol and Summit. Over the last several years the demographics has changed along Carol, Summit and the surrounding streets, older residents moved out and young residents with children moved in and that speeding traffic does not mix well with dog walkers, joggers and children riding bicycles/scooters. Over the last 6 years there has been 5 traffic studies performed along Carol and those studies have shown elevated speed/volume. You mentioned that you were concerned about buses and trucks not being able to navigate a circle at 352/King, right now all of our school buses use Carol/Summit. We continue to have large trucks cut through our neighborhood and our officers found out that many drivers’ navigation systems or the Waze app are sending drivers through our neighborhood when there is congestion at 352/King. When the congestion is really bad, we are seeing drivers take Brookmount to Treemount to Carol to Summit and vice versa to avoid the light. So, we have to do something to improve the light. I agree I’m not for circles and I don’t want to see anyone lose their land. I just wanted to let you guys know that the congestion from this light has been spilling over into many of the neighborhoods surrounding it. Please reach out to me at my email provided. We have been working with EW township and our police (unsuccessfully) over the last several years and would love to chat more about this and bring you up to speed on our side. Thanks again for all you do!

    • Hi Kevin,
      Sorry to hear about your traffic problems.
      Suggestions:
      First: Bryn Mawr makes a section of some streets only One Way in one direction in the morning rush hours and then reverse it in the afternoon rush hours. Maybe this could help with the problem.
      Second: Ask the police to contact the GPS organizations and WAZE to remove their suggested cut-throughs on your streets.

      Good luck,
      Herb

    • Kevin,
      I understand and appreciate your concern. Here’s mine: the proposed circle solution involves leveling my house (where I have lived for 23 years). Alternatively the widening eliminates pretty much my entire front lawn– essentially destroying my property, too.

      The primary change they need to make at the intersection is a protected green (both ways) on 352 using “intelligent” sensors to adjust for actual traffic conditions. It’s not rocket science. It’s not “traffic engineering”. It’s common sense.

      There is absolutely no need to build a circle or to widen the road and to destroy over a dozen properties in the process.

      If you have ever used Waze, you should know that it often tries to bypass lights with slightly elevated but essentially normal amounts of volume. (It’s quite frustrating in that regard.) Just because vehicles are being routed around an intersection doesn’t necessarily mean the capacity at the intersection needs to be increased (or that the bypass route is even faster). For the vast majority of the day, the traffic is steady but light at the intersection. Even if the capacity (throughput) were to be increased, when the traffic gets down to the narrow underpass or the intersection at Route 30, there will be a much larger bottleneck. So, Waze will simply direct drivers through different neighborhoods (much like yours).

      If your problem is that people are speeding or illegally passing through your neighborhood, it seems like the first solution should be something other than a plan to destroy your neighbors’ homes. If nothing else, it should be to start by addressing the people breaking the law.

      Further, some significant portion of the traffic on 352 during rush hour are people cutting off the portion of route 202 between Boot Rd and 29. (Essentially doing the same thing with 352 that others are doing with Carol Lane.) I know this because when there is an accident or construction in that section of 202, the volume at the intersection goes up dramatically. So, if much of the volume is a result of bypassing 202, another solution would be to increase capacity on 202…. which would not likely anyone’s home either.

      We’re all in this together and it’s not your neighbors who are causing the problems.

      Tom

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