MANCHESTER – A township resident has seen enough accidents in a section of the township over the years and travels through it enough times that he’s worried. He’s calling for a traffic light.
“For years now Commonwealth Boulevard and Northampton Boulevard have been a problem intersection and for whatever reason the county and township have ignored this issue,” resident Shawn Galbreath said on his change.org petition.
Galbreath would like to see this situation change. “They obviously know it’s an issue since rumble strips, flashing lights and flashing stop signs are already installed. It’s time something is done before someone else is seriously hurt or dies.”
The resident sees only one answer: “If a traffic light was installed most of these accidents would stop!”
As of press time, Galbreath has more than 1,501 supporters of his petition.
Galbreath said the intersection has presented a safety issue since the 1950s. “I went to school in Manchester and back then it was a problem. It was a problem way before 20 years ago. I moved out of the area for a while but came back five years ago. There seems to be a bad accident there just about every week.
“A friend of mine suggested that I speak up so I started the petition. I think things have gotten worse over the last six months. The township has said that the county is responsible and the county won’t do anything. We pay enough in taxes and I think something can be done,” Galbreath said.
Galbreath said he knows Mayor Kenneth Palmer is aware of the problem because he also lives in the Pine Lake Park section of the township near the intersection.
“There are really three bad areas in the town when it comes to accidents, Broadway, First Avenue and this intersection. There have been plenty of times that I have taken that intersection and it is hard to see with the way the homes are situated. It is a hard intersection to turn on and many drivers are just moving too fast and I guess are trying to get home quicker,” Galbreath said.
The resident has gotten a lot of support from those in his neighborhood who said commented on a Manchester Facebook page and got the conversation going about taking action on getting a traffic light at the busy intersection.
“I’ve been told there has never been a traffic study done of that intersection. I don’t know if that is true,” Galbreath said.
The resident said he’s thinking of going before the council at a future meeting with his petition. “I want to get more involved. I have a wife and a 14-month-old and Manchester is a good town. I just want to see it be a bit safer,” Galbreath said.
Township Mayor Kenneth Palmer said he understands Galbreath’s frustration. He recapped the history of the problem intersection saying, “we have petitioned the county in the past, about four years ago and they felt the traffic ‘warrants’ did not justify a light at this intersection.”
“That’s when the county installed the rumble strips and the flashing stop signs. We have recently petitioned the county again with updated traffic information and accident related information,” Palmer added.
The mayor said the county is presently doing an additional traffic survey. “I am expecting their results within the next couple of weeks. Hopefully, the new data will support a light. If not, I may want to help (Galbreath) get some more signatures for that petition.”