Residents and business owners spoke up at the Langhorne Borough Council meeting on Feb. 9 to voice their opposition to PennDOT’s proposed U.S. 1 Section RC3 Improvement Project, which would expand and add a cloverleaf interchange design to the road.
Representatives from the Langhorne Borough Business Association fear the project will impact businesses, the ability to hire and retain employees and property values. They said, “We agree that we need traffic to and through the borough. This traffic, however, should be with the ability of these travelers to navigate safely – no matter what time of day – and to enjoy their journey into Langhorne Borough, stopping and staying for a while.”
The LBBA shared some alternative improvements that wouldn’t generate “bad traffic,” such as reducing speed limits, implementing better parking options, and adding pedestrian-friendly and bike-safe corridors for local travel.
Four out of the seven council members voted to approve sending a letter to PennDOT, urging the department to “pause” its RC3 efforts so that further studies on the impacts of its design can be conducted. The letter asked for a face-to-face meeting with PennDOT. Also in a vote of 4-3, the council approved Safe Highway Engineering of Trevose to serve as traffic consultant. The “yes” votes were Nancy Culleton, Kathleen Horwatt, Anthony Marfia and Rich Mason. “No” votes were Kristen Farry, Scott Haldeman and Paul Murdock.
The letter read, in part, “Given our town’s vibrant pedestrian community, its truly historic character, and its importance in Black history as an 18th century settlement for former slaves, the appropriate goal is to divert traffic from – not invite it into – the borough … an interchange with four lanes plus up to two turning lanes will open the gates for more cars. If current trends are any indication, they will race for position as they enter the town, ignore and pose dangers to pedestrians, and seek faster transit by speeding through side streets.”
A solution was included in the letter – directing traffic around the borough by “shifting the designation of PA 413 from its current path through Penndel, Langhorne Manor, Langhorne Borough and Middletown to one that would leverage the existing highway capacity of I 295 and the PA 332/Newtown Bypass.”
Samantha Bambino can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org