Nearly 350 residents to date have come together to say their narrow streets hold no place for large trucks.
State Representative Perry Warren started an online petition to ask the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to place weight restrictions on Main Street (Taylorsville/Yardley-Morrisville Road/Pine Grove Road) and River Road (Delaware Avenue) in Yardley and Lower Makefield Township.
The freshman State Rep. attempted to write legislation on the matter earlier this year. However, after reviews from the House of Representatives, it was decided the Bill would not be valid, due to PennDOT’s past ruling of Main Street and River Road.
Warren mentioned a few accidents that have occurred on Main Street in the past year.
“This could bring the subject to PennDOT’s attention and ask them to address what certainly appears to be a dangerous situation,” Warren said.
The petition was posted on Monday and gained more than 350 signatures by Thursday afternoon.
“As a borough, traffic calming and traffic issues have always been one of our top priorities,” Yardley Borough Mayor Chris Harding added.
Mayor Harding was quick to share the petition on social media.
The Mayor agreed with Warren, “I don’t know if there’s one action that can get PennDOT to change its decision on the traffic that it has allowed, on most specifically, Main Street and River Road.”
Both agree this petition could be an added factor in any decision PennDOT might have to make on the roads.
Yardley Borough Police Chief, John Kelly, has been on the force since 2015 in the Lower Makefield Township section and recalled one specific accident.
The March 2016 incident involved an 18-wheel tractor-trailer and left damage to the side of the Starbucks building.
Starbucks on Main St. after March 2016 accident
“We do get more frequent minor accidents involving trucks,” Chief Kelly recounted, “where a truck will drive by and remove a mirror or side swipe a legally parked car on Main Street.”
Chief Kelly said accidents like the March one are rare, but on the tight streets of Yardley Borough smaller incidents are a different story.
“We encourage everyone who has previously expressed concern about truck traffic to seize this opportunity, sign the petition and have their voice heard in Harrisburg.”
In fact, the streets of interest have not seen a traffic study done by PennDOT in 10 years.
Brad Rudolph, Deputy Communication Director for District 6 PennDOT, said they did not receive a request for another study.
“That would need to be initiated by the borough or township municipality,” Rudolph explained.
Don Centafante, Traffic Studies Supervisor for District 6 PennDOT, confirmed nothing was found during the 2007 study performed.
“I mean that was 2007,” Rudolph backed up, “and if things have changed then it comes down to the municipality to make a formal request to PennDOT. In reality, they need to come to us. We are not against the petition.”
Rudolph and Centafante explained that the last study in Yardley and Lower Makefield determined the roads of concern were able to support truck traffic.
“We’re all for the safety of roads, but there are processes to go through,” Rudolph concluded. “Maybe a new study is needed.”
Rep. Warren said his office has left a message with PennDOT.