Charlestown Township, Chester County, PA

 
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Established June 2, 1997
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Charlestown Twp. Traffic Forum
(Received 03/01/00 - 12/31/00)

 
How to submit your views for this page.  (Please read carefully.)
 
Jennifer Hawes, 115 Mary Hill Rd., 08/18/00
As a concerned citizen of Charlestown Township, I am writing to inquire and bring attention to the dangerous curve on Coldstream Road. This morning I was awaken by the sirens that are becoming a common site by my house on Mary Hill Road. Just two days ago, my husband ran to the scene of another crash of a flipped car on the dangerous curve. This morning I noticed a PennDot truck spreading cinders after the accident. I find the action taken to improve the marking of the curve has been insufficient and not properly maintained, the signs have been knocked down as a result of the many cars that fail to negotiate the curve. I believe proper warning of the severity of the curve, ie blinking lights should be installed, as well as grooving the road to help with traction. I know this issue is a concern to other residents in my neighborhood. Would you let me know what actions are being taken to improve this roadway, and what we can do as concerned residents of Charlestown Township.
Jennifer Hawes
115 Mary Hill Rd.
 
Gene Mitchell, 2095 Valley Hill Rd, 05/17/00
The intersection of Valley Hill and Bodine has been a problem for some time. There is a stop sign that motorists on Bodine do not obey. I have been in about 6 near misses over the years and have witnessed many others. All these traffic control speed signs mean nothing. I have talked to State Police about some of these problems and they simply will not enforce traffic problems in Charlestown.
Gene Mitchell
 
Jean Sauer, 126 Stewarts Ct., 05/17/00
I'm thrilled to see the new stop signs and reduced speed limits on Union Hill and Rees Roads! It's a great step in addressing the excessive and aggressive traffic traveling those roads.
I don't live on Union Hill or Rees Rd. but having lived in Washington DC for the past 12 years, it's an absolute treat to drive those roads and enjoy the beauty!
Jean Sauer
126 Stewarts Cr.
 
Steve Petridis, 105 Loudoun Place (Charlestown Hunt), 05/02/00
I have been watching the debate on closure and/or restrictions on Union Hill Road and Rees Road with interest, and I have already sent my comments to the Township supervisors.
From the various notes posted on the traffic forum, I note that people are getting very emotional and polarized with this situation but unfortunately the reality is that traffic volume will continue to increase with new developments. Sadly, closing down roads only satisfies temporarily the needs of the few whilst exacerbating the problem for the rest of the community because we are dealing with a funnel effect: people still need to get to the Corporate Center to work and access points are limited. If we close the roads, we simply push the problem elsewhere and soon enough somebody else will be complaining. What we need instead are some constructive ideas on how to solve the problem.
I see 2 distinct issues with distinct solutions:
  1. Speed: Clearly, traffic has become heavier and certainly more people are breaking the speed limit. This is a safety issue. Lowering the speed limit is not the best solution since human nature suggests that those who break the speed limit now will also break it if it is lowered. Furthermore, closing the road does not guarantee that a local resident or one of their guests will not speed and cause an accident. A more practical solution in my view is to put speed bumps along the road. This is rather inexpensive, quick, and will force all drivers, outsiders and local residents alike, to slow down, without restricting access.
     
  2. Traffic Volume: This is a quality of life issue and the result of increased development and the closing down of access points like Creek Road. I have lived here for a while and I noticed that volume has increased dramatically on Union Hill this year. This is not because suddenly "outsiders" have discovered our roads, it is simply because other access roads have been closed forcing many drivers to find alternative routes. This is a zero sum game: a certain number of cars needs to reach the Corporate Center every morning for work and the more roads you close the heavier the traffic becomes on what is left. I even wonder whether the work on R202 and the increase in traffic this year is also simply a coincidence, or cause and effect. In any event, closing down Union Hill and Rees is not a practical long term solution.
     
Some of the ideas already proposed make common sense:
  1. Repair the bridge on Creek Road immediately.
     
  2. Restrict the quarry trucks coming onto 29 to before 7:15am or after 9am.
     
  3. Slow down development or force the developers to contribute part of their profits towards new roads to deal with the added traffic.
     
Here is another idea: Make R29 from Phoenixville to the traffic light at the railway crossing (Charlestown Rd. junction) a one way road with 2 lanes. Then make Charlestown Rd. from the traffic light back to Phoenixville a 2 lane, one-way, road also. This should quickly double the capacity of R29 without the need to close it down, thus avoiding even more problems. Although this will force cars and buses dropping off children at the school to go round in a circle, the fact that all traffic is moving in the same direction should alleviate delays on both roads.and should eliminate a potential source of accidents on a very dangerous road.
I don't know whether the above are acceptable and whether the jurisdiction issue (state, township, county) will even allow something to be done. What I do know is that closing access will not make the problem go away. Instead, a long term decongestion plan is necessary to alleviate a situation that will only get worse as time goes by and development in Charlestown and surrounding areas continues unabated.
Best regards,
Steve Petridis
 
William J. Longua, 1061 Rees Road, 04/20/00
Hello fellow residents.
I would like to submit some food for thought on the road issues. I am a resident of Rees Road, and I am in favor of "Hours of Use" restrictions.
 
  1. The volume of traffic that uses Rees Road is primarily composed of outsiders that use it as a cut-through to get to Swedesford Road. If that passage was made unavailable - then you would not see a drastic increase in traffic on other roads - most of the drivers would not come through Charlestown at all.
     
  2. All we need to do to get help with State Roads like Hollow is ask. I have talked to PennDOT, and all it takes is a formal request from the township to have signs put up. A 'No Through Traffic' sign would be enforceable by the State Police, and curtail abuse.
     
  3. Not doing anything about traffic helps out no one except for the commuters from Phoenixville, Collegeville, and where ever else they are coming from.
     
  4. This is about Quality of Life. We should all strive to improve our quality of life in the township. The noise, garbage, speeding, and volume of cars all combine to create a nightmare for residents. We got caught off guard - we didn't choose to live on a major road or highway. We were taken hostage and are now being told to shut up and like it because that's life. Well no it isn't. I am doing my part to protect the residents, their children, and the quality of life in our neighborhood. And I suggest you do the same. The greater good should prevail here. Increasing the commuter time of the outsiders (and unfortunately some residents) by 10 to 15 minutes is minor in light of the relief we would have of the Three Hour traffic stream that blithes our nationhood.
     
  5. This is not outlandish in any regard. Time restrictions are all over the place because of the abuse that has taken place by commuting traffic. This is done all the time when a quite road is discovered to be a convenience.
I will not cower behind anonymous letters. I express my views at the township meetings and I encourage all of our neighbors to do the same.
William J. Longua
1061 Rees Road
Malvern, PA 19355
 
Paul Stevens, 2168 Bodine Road, 04/19/00
Bodine Road is not one of the major arteries of Charlestown. But, as our neighborhood grows with every passing month, more and more cars, trucks and delivery vans are using it. The problem is, Bodine starts as an off-shoot of Valley Hill road, with an acute drop of (I'm guessing) 30 or 35 degrees, along with several sharp bends. In the winter it is treacherous because this is the north side of Bacton Hill where the sun never shines, so ice and compacted snow don't melt readily. In the summer there's always a lot of loose aggregate due to constant wash-off from rain and wind. The speed limit is 35. And I think that's too much. In perfect weather, going down and twisting around those grades at 35 is borderline out-of-control. In bad weather it's an invitation to an accident. I have seen cars actually overturn on the hill. I'd like to ask the township to consider reducing the speed limit along the top part of Bodine from 35 to 25, in the hopes that some of the drivers will obey it. Most of the time, most of the cars on this road tend to excede the speed limit. So maybe a 25 limit will slow them down to 35.
Paul Stevens
2168 Bodine Road
 
Pete Bunten, 2061 Union Hill Rd, 04/11/00
I would like to make a comment to those using Rees and Union Hill Roads for commuting purposes. Please wake up and pay attention!!!!!!!
This includes the countless people on their cell phones, apparently asleep at the wheel and definitely not going 25 MPH, the sign that was recently hit down 1/3 the way up, and as posted just beyond the underpass going up Union hill Rd. These people are not in the minority. I would like to thank those, who have headed the education of the state troopers last month and now show some courtesy. I don't think that you would like someone driving 51 MPH through your neighborhood as your children waited for the bus talking on the phone, looking of to the sunrise and definitely exceeding the limit for speed. People have passed cars on Union Hill and Rees for what? To get to the stop sign earlier. I think that if we all left a little earlier, observed the regulations you could choose alternate routes, proceed more cautiously, and make the township a little more appealing.
After all a little time is better than the possible alternatives of a guilty conscience, traffic violations, and potentially worse ramifications. Secondly, we need to push the developers as Lionsville did for part of their profits to go to offset the added increases for traffic, school renovations or new buildings, and for the police force we will ultimately require to enforce the regulations. They get their developments in and are off with no penalty for not allowing adequate traffic routes or minimal upgrades to existing strained roads, the schools are busting at the seams and the township residents are left to hold the bag, this should be a cost the developer aid with as well as the added services the township will have to supply.
Please next time you commute across these roads or any other roads like them remember to treat the street residents as you would treat your neighborhood or a road you, your children or anyone you care about would be on.
Pete Bunten
2061 Union Hill Rd.
 
Andrea Griffiths - 4291 State Rd, 04/10/00
Hi All
I don't know how many of you tried to travel Route 29 this morning (4/10/00) but I did, since I live on it. this was the first morning of White Horse being closed.
I live at 4291 State Rd, the old Aldham Post Office, between the one lane bridge & 29/Union Hill intersection. My house is not even 2 miles from the light at 29/Charlestown Rd/Phoenixville Pike. It took me 30 min to get from my house to that light on route 29- which in my opinion is ridiculous, especially when I have 2 children under the age of 4 in the car. This was because White Horse was closed. I left my house at 7:30 am & got to Day Care (in the Commons at Great Valley) at 8:05am do you know how frustrating that is. Now I know Charlestown has no control over White Horse being closed, but think about if you restrict people going up Union Hill - it would be like this every day for eternity. I am also tired of seeing buildings go up in the corporate center but none of the roads are being improved. The new Middle school alone will cause a tremendous influx of traffic, but nothing has been widened or fixed. Does anyone have any forethought on these things? It has become a veritable nightmare to drive in my area of the township between normal working hours and I don't have the luxury of being able to alter my hours so I don't have to drive at peak traffic times.
I am also tired of hearing that 29 is a state road so we can't do anything, the light at Potthouse is in Schuykill township so we can't do anything, something else is in East Whiteland so we can't do anything. Can't the townships and state get together to work issues or at least the townships work together & present some ideas to the state instead of just passing the buck? Or even talk to the coporate centers who are increasing the traffic.
Some things that might help -
restrict the quarry trucks coming onto 29 to before 7:15am or after 9am - I sat there the other day & counted 6 of them getting onto 29 ahead of me
widen the 29/Phoenixville Pike intersection so that cars that want to go straight onto Phoenixville Pike or turn onto Charlestown Rd have more of a lane. This would also help alleviate traffic on Union Hill/White Horse, because whenever I go that way, I always see several people make a right from White Horse & get in the left lane to turn onto Phoenixville Pike
Increase the left turn signal time to stay on 29 so a few more cars can get through
Widen White Horse to 4 lanes - it would make most sense to do that since its pretty straight, so you wouldn't have to carve through a hill on 29 AND most importantly its a township road so you can just do it
Well there's my 2 cents worth, thank you for taking time to read it & for letting me rant & rave.
Sincerely
Andrea Griffiths
 
Renee P. Hashinger - 2660 Charlestown Road, April 3, 2000
On Monday, April 3, I conducted my own traffic study of Charlestown Road. Between the hours of 7:15 and 8:15, 957 cars passed by my house at 2660 Charlestown Road. In a 6 minute interval, (7:54-8:00), 100 cars drove by. So as you can see, I to understand the pains that individuals on Union Hill and Rees roads experience everyday.
We are all feeling the effects of the rapid growth in Chester County and surrounding areas. This is the price we must pay for having such a beautiful countryside. Everyone wants to live here. However, putting restrictions on roads in Charlestown Township or surrounding townships is not the answer. Better roads to support the traffic is the answer.
Sincerely,
Renee P. Hashinger
2660 Charlestown Road
 
Tim Garrett, Resident of Charlestown Hunt, March 24, 2000
I agree we have a major traffic problems in Charlestown Township. I do oppose the Union Hill/Rees Roads access limitations. I too received a flyer in my community. Comments were made that speeding and littering was part of the problem. I think we should let the Police take care of this issue and we could all be a bit more responsible to help eliminate further problems.
One point we have not considered is the closure of Creek Road in Schuylkill township back in late September. Much of the traffic entering Route 29 from Buckwalter Road is now heading south since the northern route in closed. I have started to use Union Hill, Hollow, Whitehorse and Yellowsprings roads, due to this closure. Has Schuylkill township scheduled a date to have this bridge repaired? I think once the bridge is back in operation the traffic will be less on Union Hill and Rees Roads.
Route 29 is in desperate need of repairs. The intersection of Charlestown Road and Route 29 need to be the primary focus. I wish I had ideas for that problem.
Thank you.
Tim Garrett
114 Lewisville Court
Charlestown Hunt
 
Emily Pickering, Charlestown Resident, March 16, 2000
I have read the unsigned flyer addressing the issue of road closure in Charlestown and agree emphatically with the message posted by Sue Staas. I drive my children to school in Rosemont and have seen on a daily basis the horrors of traffic, not only on Union Hill, Whitehorse, and Rees Roads, in our Township, but on Yellow Springs, North Valley, and Swedesford Roads, too. And then further on in, in Paoli, and Newtown and Radnor Townships. Oh, by the way, I do car-pool and observe all speed restrictions....
The proposed solution to close any of the roads in Charlestown is, I think, unworkable, even unthinkable. It would deter no one, and aggrieved drivers would simply inundate the entire area further. What disturbs me most about the proposal however, is how it could divide all of us here in Charlestown, and distract us from the real threat, that of the slip ramp. If we put our resources and energies into disputing each other, the Turnpike Commission will prevail.
Emily Pickering,
4133 Hollow Road, Phoenixville
 
Sue Staas, Charlestown Resident, March 9, 2000
Today, I found a flyer at the bottom of my driveway. A copy is at the end of this message (not included on the web). I live on Hollow Road, near the Nature Center. Although the authors did not identify themselves, apparently they are opposed to the proposal to close Union Hill and Rees Roads to commuter traffic.
My reaction to the flyer was mixed! I appreciated the time and effort these Charlestown residents put into composing, printing and distributing the flyer. The message on the flyer is a good one! If the township supervisors don't hear from us, how can they make decisions that take all of our needs into account? Our supervisors, who are our neighbors and friends, campaigned for office on a message of inclusion and involvement of all of us. They have specifically invited and encouraged citizens to share their experiences and concerns with the traffic in Charletown. So come to the meetings and participate - constructively!! Offer to help!
And that is why I was saddened by the first four lines and the overall tone of the flyer which implied that the neighbors on Rees and Union Hill are the enemy. These are our neighbors and friends who are living and raising children on a road that has recently become very dangerous! They need our help, not our censure. And the rest of us, of course, do not want to see our own roads and neighborhoods become more dangerous. As the last lines on the flyer said, "Let's work towards solutions that work for ALL of us." (And in the meantime, if you do use our country roads, please drive slowly and carefully - if you drive slowly and safely, those following you will be forced to!)
PS: I am sure it was an oversight; but may I suggest that those who compose and distribute flyers sign them.
Sue Staas
4 Hana Lane
suestaas@aol.com
 
Note from the webmaster - While Sue enclosed the flyer in her email, it was both unsigned and attacked those who favor traffic controls and as such will not be printed on the web site. I reiterate (see guidelines), if you send email for this page, please identify yourself and keep your comments to the issues, and not about those whose opinion differs from yours.
 
 
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