Crebilly talk turns to traffic

Traffic was the talk of Westtown Township last night, and some of that talk led to laughter.

Traffic engineer Nicole Kline, of McMahon Traffic Engineers & Planners, is representing Toll Bros. in its application to turn Crebilly Farm — at the intersection of Routes 202 and 926 — into a residential development. Toll wants to build a minimum of 317 homes on the 320-acre farm.

Kline told supervisors and other concerned residents during the May 23 session of the conditional use hearing for the project that the highway improvements proposed for the roadways surrounding Crebilly would decrease congestion along Route 202.

The audience reaction was a collective, derisive snicker.

Kline, who performed the traffic impact study for the proposed development, later explained that the process of designing highway improvements for such a project involves mitigating the impact of more traffic caused by the development.

While there might be increased volume of traffic, she said the improvements are designed to reduce wait times and excessive queuing at intersections so they are no greater after the development than they were before the development.

Proposed highway improvements include, in conjunction with PennDOT, adding a dedicated right turn lane on southbound Route 202 for motorists to turn onto westbound Route 926, and adding a second left turn lane on eastbound 926 for motorists wanting to north on 202.

Kline’s projections for a 317-home development show an increase of 2,742 total daily trips in and out of Crebilly. Morning peak hours — between 7 and 9 a.m. — would see 210 trips per hour, while evening peak hours — 4-6 p.m. — would have 266 trips per hour.

The property is bordered on the north by West Pleasant Grove Road, to the east by Route 202, to the south by Route 926 and the west by New Street.

As currently planned, there are four access points into and out of the development. There would be two non-signalized on West Pleasant Grove Road, one each on Routes 202 and 926 and none on New Street. The Route 926 access road would have a traffic signal and line up with Bridlewood Boulevard. While the Route 202 access point is still on the plan, the township Planning Commission has recommended no access there.

Kline said projected traffic from development would have 10 percent of the 2,742 new trips using 926 to continue west beyond New Street and another 10 percent going east on 926 and crossing through 202. On New Street, 5 percent will go north of West Pleasant Grove, and another 5 percent will go south of 926. Projections also indicate 40 percent of the traffic will go north in 202 and 30 percent will go south.

She made similar projections if Toll received any bonus density and allowed to build 397 new homes. That would result in 2,955 new daily trips.

Whether Toll would get that extra density is up to Westtown Township supervisors. Toll would have to provide improvements supervisors deemed valuable enough to the township to warrant the extra homes.

A copy of the traffic study is here on Westtown’s website.

The next hearing date is 6 p.m. at Rustin High School on June 20. Kline is unavailable for that session so she is scheduled for cross-examination on July 25.

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About Rich Schwartzman

Rich Schwartzman has been reporting on events in the greater Chadds Ford area since September 2001 when he became the founding editor of The Chadds Ford Post. In April 2009 he became managing editor of ChaddsFordLive. He is also an award-winning photographer.



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