Pine Grove is set to see a decrease in flower power.
Evelyn E. Harris, president of Pine Grove Beautification Committee, said members of the group recently decided to discontinue maintenance of a planting located at the intersection of Market Street Extension and Akeley Road. They first took it over in the summer of 1984.
Before starting the project, Harris said there was overgrown sumac, trees and weeds so high motorists could not see from one side of the intersection to the other. The committee cleaned it all out and planted annuals, perennials and shrubs at first.
Photo submitted for publication
End of an era
A planting at the intersection of Akeley Road and Market Street Extension will no longer be maintained.
After a car jumped the curb, Harris said five shrubs were damaged. Next, members put in more perennials so at least the roots would remain if the flowers were damaged.
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation put in higher curbing, Harris said, but there were still two more accidents. As a result, members are concerned for their safety while volunteering to tend that area.
"Over the years, we have noticed an increase in traffic and the speed of the vehicles," Harris said.
According to Harris, some of the added traffic is a result of new big-box stores in the area. Around Memorial Day, a car came by so fast it hit the curb while the committee was working.
At that point, Harris said she was done. She told Wes Hess, PennDOT's maintenance manager for Warren and Forest Counties, they would give PennDOT back the right-of-way.
"It will look different," Harris said. "We enjoyed doing it, but safety comes first."
PennDOT workers would remove vegetation currently there, Hess said, and put something in they could maintain. This might be grass or another material suitable through both summer and winter months.
The intersection is a busy one, Hess said, and that's why improvements are being made at different areas along Rt. 62 North. Originally, it was PennDOT which allowed the committee to use that island for making improvements.
"If they have safety concerns working out there, it's entirely their choice," Hess said. "They have the right to take that position."
If another interested group would be willing to take over the area, Hess said PennDOT would be willing to work with them. However, PennDOT does not have the resources to maintain it in its current state.
On Route 6 entering Youngsville, there is also a planting maintained by another group. In that case, Hess said it's further away from the street and there is less of a safety concern.
Anybody interested in maintaining the Akeley intersection can contact the PennDOT Warren County office at (814) 723-3500. The department appreciated those who took care of the area for so long, Hess said.