Round and round we go
One of my favorite things about living in Warren is the ability to travel where I need to go without having to worry about what traffic is going to be like. In my opinion, it’s what aggravates people most about the traffic situation at Penn & Liberty on weekday afternoons. Traffic backups are a situation Warren County residents don’t have to deal with often, so when we encounter one, it’s very noticeable and very frustrating.
That’s the biggest reason I’m confused about why there is a strong opposition to the roundabout. We don’t like the Penn & Liberty intersection because we just sit there, crawling along Pennsylvania Avenue, while we watch pedestrians on the sidewalks move along faster. So why would we want a traffic light at the busiest intersection in the city?
The roundabout will be more efficient than a signaled intersection (U.S. Federal Highway Administration and PennDOT). More examples of traffic lights slowing us down include the Warren Commons and Jackson Run Road intersections. Green left arrows for nobody hold traffic up for everybody. We also have six remodeled intersections along Market Street in the city, where people push the “walk” button, don’t wait for the walk signal to appear and walk anyway. Then, red lights stop vehicular traffic in every direction for nobody to cross the street. I don’t want traffic lights and hand-holding. I don’t want to sit at signaled intersections twiddling my thumbs. Traffic should keep moving. Pedestrians and drivers should be held accountable when they don’t follow the traffic rules.
One of the biggest arguments against the roundabout is the annual maintenance. Now that PennDOT has agreed to maintain the concrete apron, that is no longer an issue. There’s not much else to a roundabout (that is driven on) to maintain. Even $8,000 annually for a traffic light intersection is farfetched. Other cities budget for $1 per day per intersection in electrical costs with LED lights. The sewer main that dates to the 1940s is also approaching its useful life of 100 years without a rehab, assuming it’s cast iron or clay. Fix it now instead of waiting for it to cause bigger problems.
I respect both Councilmen Zavinski and Wortman. I’m proud to have voted for them last election. At the same time, forcing city taxpayers to reimburse PennDOT $180,000+ so they can pull the project with no infrastructure improvements to the intersection would be a monumental waste of our money.
Also remember — being uncomfortable or unfamiliar with how something works doesn’t make it a bad idea.