Snyder: PennDOT making safety changes on three area highways

HARRISBURG, Jan. 22 – State Rep. Pam Snyder, D-Greene/Fayette/Washington, today said that the state Department of Transportation is making changes at three Greene County intersections where safety concerns have been raised.

“I asked PennDOT for safety reviews at the three sites, and it agreed to modifications,” Snyder said. “It is everyone’s hope that the upgrades will improve safety and protect motorists.”

The three intersections where changes are completed, under way or planned are:

  • State Routes 21 and 4010 and Hidden Valley Road in Gray Township;
  • State Routes 221 and 19 -- the Ruff Creek interchange of Interstate 79 -- in Washington Township; and
  • State Route 88 at Shortcut Road in Jefferson Township.

Snyder said the most extensive changes are planned for the passing zone along Route 21 where multiple accidents with fatalities have occurred.

“PennDOT informed me that its investigation revealed that a reduced passing zone is warranted, as well as upgraded warning signs and revised center line markings,” Snyder said. “The plan is to install oversized signs and placards warning motorists of the intersections, the distance to the intersections and the changed passing zone.”

The passing zone will not be eliminated but reduced near the intersections. Lane markings will be changed once weather conditions permit painting.

Snyder said that the PennDOT District 12-0 office notified her that it planned to recommend parking restrictions along Routes 221 and 19 in Washington Township where parking on the right-of-way to access a local business may be impeding motorists’ line of sight at the Ruff Creek interchange of I-79.

“PennDOT also said it is studying whether a nearby gravel parking lot is creating congestion,” Snyder said. “In the interim, PennDOT is installing a sign warning of the intersection and upgrading signage in all four directions.”

Snyder said PennDOT is installing more and larger “No Left Turn” signs where northbound Route 88 approaches Shortcut Road in Jefferson Township.

“Left turns from the northbound lane of the highway are dangerous and already banned,” Snyder said. “It is likely that increased enforcement might be the best remedy.”

Snyder noted that requests for traffic signals at various sites must originate from the municipality and include a funding commitment to cover installation, maintenance and electrical costs of any electrical device.