John Mack - Newtown Supervisor
Residents Discuss N Sycamore Street Pedestrian Safety

At the November 10, 2021, Board of Supervisors (BOS) meeting, Police Chief John Hearn gave some details regarding an October 22, 2021, serious accident involving a pedestrian near the North Sycamore Street/Silo Drive Intersection. Residents on Nextdoor have started a discussion for how to make this area safer for drivers and pedestrians (“Silo Drive & North Sycamore: A Dangerous Intersection”).

There must be a way to improve sight visibility for drivers on Silo Drive AND enhance pedestrian safety on N. Sycamore Street.

At the November 22, 2021, Meet Mack Monday Zoom meeting, I updated participants regarding traffic and pedestrian safety issues at this location and summarized the comments and suggestions of Police Chief Hearn (see here). This was followed by a lively discussion that included several ideas for mitigating the danger to both pedestrians and drivers. [See the the suggestions from a traffic engineer resident of Newtown].

Listen to the discussion:

Mack's Newtown Voice · Pedestrian & Traffic Safety at N Sycamore St & Silo Dr

It’s time for the township to step up its efforts to improve pedestrian safety along this stretch of road.

I started the "Improve Pedestrian Safety on N Sycamore St" petition on Change.org. If you believe as I do that it's time for the township to step up its efforts to improve pedestrian safety along this stretch of road, then please sign the petition and add comments. The signatures will be presented to the Newtown Board of Supervisors.

PLEASE SIGN THIS PETITION to let the Newtown Township Board of Supervisors know that you support immediate actions to protect the safety and well-being of its citizens.

Comments on NextDoor

"Flyers!? Everyone here has come to the same conclusion, 25mph and get rid of a few parking spaces in front of green parrot to improve sight lines. It’s that obvious. Don’t mean to come off snarky, but, “flyers” is hilarious!"

"...how much money would it be to eliminate 2 parking spaces and buy a few 25mph signs? I think we’d all chip in. Sometimes the answer is obvious and doesn’t always need a “study”." [I agreed: if we had a Joint Traffic/Pedestrian Safety Committee more residents can have input into solutions and speak directly to Supervisors.]

"What does it take for action to happen? I agree with you on what is needed. Traffic calming measures, speed limit has to be lowered from 35mph to 25mph. Something has got to change ASAP, it’s terrible to think someone else has gotten hurt. Let me know what I can do to help you advocate for these improvements to our safety."

"It’s more than just speeding drivers that have to be controlled. The lighting has to be majorly improved!!My husband was driving the speed limit the other night and almost missed seeing an individual attempting to enter their car!! That shook us up!!"

"yes, lighting needs to be added, that is an excellent point! I am so sorry to hear the news that a person was killed last night. Very heartbreaking, I feel so sad about this. Things have to get underway with improvements. The proof is in all of the accidents and tragedies. There really is no time to waste with studies, and committees, the residents of our community and surrounding areas, have spoken on this platform, and so many people offered very helpful suggestions and ideas."

"After the Susan Schechter incident and the few horrible accidents that happened before hers I begged people to invade the Newtown Township Supervisors meetings and protest. This dangerous area needs to be fixed. Suggestions from those who CAN fix this problem were passing out fliers. A ridiculous answer. The township blaming the victims is unconscioncable. A policeman stationed 24/7 on that corner was another dumb solution. I suggested blocking off that side road entirely or just make it for one way Enter Only and it was turned down because I was told it is private property. Well who allowed that traffic flow design to pass and why? Follow the yellow brick road to someone's pocket or hand out. That area is a death trap and needs to be fixed!!"

"How about not using silo at all . It’s a mess there with all the different driveways turning in different directions . Four way stops at two intersections . Complete insanity."

A Traffic Engineer's Take on N Sycamore St Safety

Comments via email by Newtown resident Tim Szwedo, P.E., P.P. | Senior Project Engineer | ARORA and ASSOCIATES, P.C.

John,

I read with interest your recent e mail concerning a pedestrian crash and pedestrian safety on the North Sycamore Street at Silo Drive. A number of years ago as a member of the Township Traffic Committee I presented to the BOS options for consideration to enhance pedestrian safety in this area which included the following:

  • Retain 35 MPH  or lower the speed limit to 30 MPH from the Bypass [Durham Rd] to the traffic signal at the 7-11, Richboro Road.
  • The roadway context changes at this point and there is more pedestrian activity, therefore the posted speed limit should be lowered to 25 MPH from Richboro Road -Centre Street to Goodnoes Corner traffic signal which is the terminus of  Township jurisdiction of Sycamore Street.
  • Petition PennDOT to lower the speed limit on Route 532 coming into town from Linton Hill Road direction from 45 MPH to 35 MPH from a point at the bottom of the hill to Goodnoe Corner. Traffic coming in this direction comes into Goodnoe Corner very fast if they approach on a green signal.
  • I had the opportunity to review a traffic study done for a possible McDonalds in the shopping center and the traffic count for Silo Drive at N. Sycamore Street revealed that 95% of the traffic was turning right at this intersection. The 5% trying to turn left or to cross over to the Sycamore Grill side would cause excessive delays for all traffic and make drivers accept small gaps in traffic which compromises safety. I suggested directing all of the left turns and thru traffic to use Ice Cream Alley to  a right turn onto Rt 532 Durham Rd then the left turn and thrus can be made under the safety of the traffic signal at Goodnoes Corner.

These options were met with objection from [a local business owner] and the head of the Newtown Business Association based on their [belief] that if Sycamore Street was posted 25 MPH drivers would avoid this area and it would hurt business. I stated that in my experience every business owner I met wanted lower speed limits so pass-by traffic has the opportunity to view the various businesses within the 25 MPH zone. Obviously these two township business owners won out and the BOS would not endorse any of the options.

I hope these ideas help you in finding a plan to enhance pedestrian safety and overall roadway safety in this area.

(c) 2022. This site is paid for and approved by John Mack: john@johnmacknewtown.info
The opinions expressed here are solely those of John Mack and do not represent the opinions of any other person or entity.
Campaign Websites by Online Candidate