PennDOT: It’s All Good Downtown

If you’ve ever sat through multiple red lights at the bottom of Market Street or been caught in the line of backed-up traffic extending from beyond Hickory Street to Market Street at rush hour, you may believe the City of Warren has some downtown traffic issues.

PennDOT disagrees.

Traffic studies of the intersections at Pennsylvania Avenue and Market Street and Pennsylvania Avenue and Liberty Street are complete and city council was apprised of the results of those studies when it met Monday night.

According to city personnel, PennDOT completed a study of traffic volume and manual turning counts at the intersection of Pennsylvania Avenue and Market Street. The surveys found that volume of traffic and number of accidents at the intersection do not merit changing anything at the site.

“(The study found) Sight distance in turning radius is good,” City Manager Nancy Freenock reported. “They recommend no changes be made.”

As for the intersection of Pennsylvania Avenue and Liberty Street, the notorious four-way stop has been deemed sufficient for the site, also due to overall traffic volume and low numbers of accidents.

While concerns over pedestrian safety and the intersection creating a bottleneck which backs up traffic throughout downtown during busy hours have been voiced, PennDOT reported there is no need for a light at the site.

“PennDOT is satisfied with the four-way stop that is there and recommend the traffic light not be reinstalled,” Freenock reported.

Council also dealt with other issues concerning city streets and maintenance Monday night.

Application for county liquid fuels funds was unanimously approved by council. The city is eligible for $14,646 this year, a decrease from the $15,377 it received last year. Liquid fuels funds are used primarily for roadway maintenance.

Director of Public Works Mike Holtz announced Columbia Gas has postponed plans to install a four-inch line through the city’s Midtown parking lot to serve customers on the east side of Liberty Street.

The city had planned to use $100,000 from its general fund in combination with a $90,000 street opening fee charged to Columbia to repave the lot, a plan that now has to be scrapped.

The city’s share of repaving costs is now able to be used toward other projects.

Council asked Holtz to look into patching the worst locations at the parking lot.