Last Wednesday evening, over 50 locals tuned in via Zoom to hear the Langhorne Borough Planning Commission’s alternative to PennDOT’s proposed revamp of US 1. PennDOT’s improvement project is divided into three segments and spans approximately four miles, from Old Lincoln Highway in Bensalem (the construction of which is currently underway) to just north of the PA 413 (Pine Street) overpass in Middletown Township and Langhorne Borough, which would be the third and final phase.
The plan presented by PennDOT for the Langhorne Borough section of US 1 would expand the road to six lanes and include a “cloverleaf” design. Residents expressed fear that this would dramatically increase traffic and ruin the small town nature of the borough.
“The PennDOT plan is the start of changing Route 413 into a major highway,” said resident Lou Procaccino. “Route 413 will be similar to New Falls Road if PennDOT has their way.”
Planning Commission chair Brian Smiley presented the group’s own plan that was largely approved by Langhorne Borough Council. It would maintain local roads, expand acceleration and deceleration lanes for drivers getting on and off US 1, and implement bike and pedestrian pathways, allowing residents to travel from Langhorne Borough to Penndel without a car.
Smiley urged meeting attendees to keep making their oppositions heard. He said, “We certainly need to stay engaged. Plans can and do change frequently right up to when shovels are going into the ground.”
These words were met with much support. One local said, “We are citizens of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and our taxes pay for PennDOT. Therefore, they work for us, the citizens, and our needs and concerns come first. They do not know our town the way we do and don’t know what is best for it.”
Another voiced her appreciation of Smiley’s goal to make the borough more walkable. She said, “I was born in Langhorne Borough and it was a quiet town, easy to walk everywhere. When I came back after being away for 20 years, I was disappointed when you can’t walk or bike many places. It’s become disconnected, the whole community, and this will make it much worse. I love the plans you have proposed.”
Updates can be found at us1bucks.com.
Samantha Bambino can be reached at email@example.com