Traffic talk at Crebilly hearing

It was all about traffic at the latest Toll Bros./Crebilly Farm conditional use hearing in Westtown Township Monday night. Traffic engineer Nicole Kline, of McMahon Associates, wrapped up her testimony being cross-examined by attorneys and others with party status.

The current hearings, referred to as Crebilly II, since this is the second set of conditional use hearings for the farm's proposed development at Routes 926 and 202. Township supervisors denied approval two years ago for the proposed 319-home development.

During the Sept. 14 session, conducted via Zoom, attorney Kathy Labrum, representing Thornbury Township, Chester County, asked Kline about traffic calming measures in the area of Route 926 and Bridlewood Boulevard. Kline responded saying there have been some talks about traffic-calming measures between Toll and Thornbury, but the township has not offered any specifics about what it might want.

Possible locations for speed tables along W. Pleasant Grove Road.

They also discussed improving the intersection at 926 and S. New Street. Toll has proposed widening that intersection so that there would be dedicated right and left-turn lanes, both eastbound and westbound. However, to accomplish that, Toll would need an easement from Thornbury Farm Trust, which owns properties on both the southeast and southwest corners of that intersection.

Kline said the owner is not willing to grant the necessary easements. So, she added, Toll would only be able to widen the road from property it controls, which would mean there could only be dedicated right-hand turn lanes at the intersection.

During cross-examination from Fronefield Crawford, representing Birmingham Township, Kline repeated the need to acquire the easements for Toll to widen the intersection at S. New Street and Route 926 to install dedicated straight through and turn lanes.

“The right turn lane can be completed within the applicant’s property…We do not believe a left turn lane can be provided along 926 in either direction without acquiring right of way that the applicant does not control.”

Kline also told Crawford that the dedicated right-hand turn lanes would still help reduce the development's traffic impact if approved.

“We have demonstrated through the traffic study that there is no overall impact at this intersection from the development and, with the addition of the right turn lane, westbound — which the applicant can provide — there would be an improvement at the intersection. The left-turn lanes are needed today and are not directly attributable to the development, but the applicant, in discussion with PennDOT agreed to pursue them and would install them if the right of way could be acquired to construct them,” Kline said.

The cross-examination then moved to a discussion about traffic avoiding the intersection of 202 and 926. Crawford used the example of a Birmingham Township resident driving west on Route 926, wanting to go north on Route 202.

As things are now, the driver would need to go to the intersection. However, Kline said one of the changes, the one involving a new road, Orvis Way, would allow that motorist to turn left onto S. New Street, then right onto W. Pleasant Grove Road, left onto Orvis to Stetson where a left onto northbound 202 could be made with the safety of a traffic light. Orvis Way opened late last year.

Under further questioning from Crawford, Kline said that the same motorist could access W. Pleasant Grove Road and Orvis Way by using the proposed connector road in the development.

Throughout the rest of the hearing, Kline said Toll proposed speed tables as traffic calming devices along W. Pleasant Grove Road, but the locations would be decided upon by the township.

Toward the end of the evening, Kline told Supervisors’ Chairman Dick Pomerantz that the traffic study indicates there would be 1,432 vehicles on the connector road daily. She also said that none of the intersections would be worse after development than they are now, that improvements would mitigate any increased traffic volume from the development.

The next hearing session is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Oct. 22, also on Zoom.

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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