Market Street Merry-Go-Round
I have resisted, to this point, but can’t help adding my own thoughts on the controversial topic of the round- about to be constructed at Market St. and Penn Ave. This intersection was redesigned and rebuilt a number of years ago, primarily to accommodate truck traffic turning to go north onto Market St. In that regard, my observations have been that it does what it was designed to do. Traffic seems to flow with no backups like in the old days, the problem that needs addressed is making it safer for pedestrians. Moving one or two crosswalks and making improvements to the traffic signals would correct these shortcomings without making any major changes.
A round-about at that location will take away a large number of on street parking spaces utilized by people trying to do business in that area. Have you tried to find a parking space in that area? They can be hard to find. CVS is going to lose part of their parking lot. That lot is a good one to avoid now, what will it be like as a smaller one?
Round-abouts such as the one at Waterford do a good job of keeping traffic moving in a safe manner. There is need for one on the other side of Waterford across from the car dealership. That is a dangerous intersection. Those intersections cannot be compared to Market St. That’s like trying to compare apples to oranges.
My experience with round-abouts has been in rural settings, none in urban areas. They pose little problem for cars navigating them. Traveling through one with a thirty-five plus foot travel trailer is a different story. My attention is first locked to my left, waiting for an opening I can safely merge with the counter clockwise flow of traffic, then, as we’re trying to keep track of the exit we want out at, I have to make sure people on the right are yielding to me. As we are doing all of this I have to watch my mirrors to make sure I’m swinging wide enough so that my trailer tires do not ride up onto the apron too far. When we exit at the right place, hopefully, I realize I have been holding my breath the whole time. Piece of cake!? Yeah, right! Try it sometime.
These round-abouts were all with no pedestrian crosswalks to deal with. The crosswalks here are to be moved farther away from the intersection? What is going to happen when someone is crossing that requires extra time and traffic has to stop for them? When the flow of traffic stops the merry-go-round fills up, the whole way around. Traffic in all directions will be stopped. How efficient will that be?
Their claim is that it’s a dangerous intersection because it is a five way intersection. A more logical and economical solution would be to turn the bottom of Water St into a cul-de-sac. That’s right, block the end of the street off, then, BINGO! You have a four way intersection. Plant some grass and trees, a couple of benches, and we have another little park.
Because of the extreme width of Penn. Ave., on the west side of the intersection, the pedestrian crosswalk there should be moved to the west edge of Choice’s lot. Penn Ave. is of a normal width there and would be much safer for crossing. It can be regulated the same as the crosswalk between Liberty and Hickory Streets, that one seems to work.
I, also, agree whole heartedly with David Moore’s suggestion of last week. If PennDOT is determined to give Warren a round-about, put it where it will benefit us.
James E. Schmader,