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Council talks unpopular intersection rules

There are several intersections in the City of Warren that don’t make a ton of sense and can outright annoy residents.

The Warren City Council has heard those complaints.

But the answer isn’t likely to please area motorists.

Councilman John Wortman said he’s had inquiries from constituents about a couple intersections where “right on red” is not permitted — Fifth Avenue and Market and Fourth avenues and Hickory — and asked whether those decisions fall to the city or PennDOT.

“Your question comes up periodically,” Acting City Manager Mike Holtz said. “Those traffic signals are governed and approved by PennDOT.”

Holtz said state officials will “tell you, good bad or indifferent” that there are not adequate sight lines if you stop at the stop bar. He acknowledged that if one drives into the crosswalk that’s no longer an issue.

“But that’s now what you’re supposed to do,” he said. “We’ve asked those questions and those are the answers we get.”

Wortman also asked whether the intersections could be changed to “no right on red” for certain portions of the day.

“I understand that point of view on Hickory and Fourth during business hours,” he said. “It still applies at 12 o’clock in the morning.”

Holtz explained that the city could have an engineer perform a traffic study, which he said is “not a cheap study.” He also questioned whether the study would have the desired effect.

Councilwoman Wendy McCain asked if the light cycles could be shortened as a measure to address the same issue.

Holtz said those can’t be changed because of the four-way stop process for pedestrians.

“The scramble was an all stop,” he said. “It’s safer for pedestrians. The drivers are not happy.”

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