Crebilly’s impact on Thornbury considered

Testimony in Westtown Township's April 21 conditional use hearing for the Toll Bros./Crebilly Farm plan focused on how traffic and road conditions could impact a residential development in Thornbury Township.

Thornbury Township, Chester County, has party status in the case. The development of Bridlewood at Thornbury is directly across Route 926 from Crebilly. A proposed connector road through Crebilly is, currently at least, designed to be in line with Bridlewood Boulevard.

Under questioning from Kathy Labrum, Thornbury's solicitor, Thornbury's traffic engineer, Frank Tavani, said the location of that connector road — which would run from W. Pleasant Grove Road through the Crebilly site to Route 926 — could lead to Thornbury reconfiguring Bridlewood Boulevard.

He said the concern would be to prevent motorists from using Bridlewood as a cut-through to avoid the already heavily trafficked intersection of Routes 926 and 202.

Reconfiguring Bridlewood could include right-in/right-out only to and from Bridlewood "or possibly some other measure," Tavani said.

After reviewing testimony and transcripts from other traffic engineers — Nicole Cline for Toll and Al Federico for Westtown — Tavani said earlier traffic studies and plans showed more traffic but indicated the connector road would not be necessary to ease traffic flow.

He added that the site has changed with reduced intensity, but with the connector road added to the plan.

"The applicant had never relied on the cut-through traffic, even when the site was more intense. It would be my recommendation to protect the health, safety, and welfare of existing residents of Bridlewood at Thornbury to not allow that cut-through activity. Instead, pursue what was an earlier plan, which did not rely on using Bridlewood Boulevard," Tavani said.

He added that PennDOT has not objected to Thornbury's desire to limit traffic going through Bridlewood and that Toll has no objection to Bridlewood not being used as a cut-through.

Under further question from Labrum, Tavani said there had been no studies to determine the effect of a right-in/right-out configuration at Bridlewood and 926.

Gregg Adelman, Toll's attorney in the matter, asked whether both townships and PennDOT would have to consent to any changes to the intersection. Tavani said he didn't know but added, "I do believe…there was mention of working in a spirit of cooperation, and I think Toll even went so far as to offer to work with Thornbury Township in preparing potential alternative designs of the intersection."

In response to another question about the effect of closing off Bridlewood to prevent it from being used to avoid the intersection of 926 and 202, Tavani said there would be no negative impact on surrounding roadways.

In response to questions from others, Tavani said PennDOT and the applicant would determine what will happen with the intersection of Bridlewood and Route 926 if aligned directly with the connector road.

Westtown Supervisor Dick Pomerantz asked Tavani why PennDOT would want Bridlewood to be used as a cut-through.

The engineer speculated that PennDOT might be trying to avoid "making expensive or difficult improvements along Route 202 and, instead, is trying to eke out available capacities on parallel routes."

Later, Supervisors' Chairman Carol De Wolf asked why people would want to use Bridlewood as a cut-through because she's used it and doesn't like it. Tavani said he couldn't answer that directly.

The next hearing is scheduled for 7 p.m. on May 26.

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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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