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Do Route 30 drivers cut through your neighborhood? Springetts is making such detours less convenient

Tina Locurto
York Dispatch
Friday, Feb. 14, 2020–Springettsbury Township will be placing speed humps on 11th Avenue near Whiteford Road.Bill Kalina photo

Springettsbury Township officials are taking steps to limit cut-through traffic in residential areas created by commuters trying to beat congestion on Route 30. 

In response, temporary speed humps on 10th and 11th avenues will be installed this spring. The township board of supervisors' decision comes a month after residents complained about speeding and traffic congestion.

"It is a growing concern in the neighborhood," said resident Chad Zeigler in January. "My neighbor) is afraid to let his kids in the front yard because he's afraid of what might happen to his children."

Township manager Ben Marchant said two speed humps purchased in 2004 will be installed on the avenues. The standard size for speed humps can be between 3 and 4 inches in height, and they typically cost $1,000, he said. 

Traffic at the intersection of 11th Avenue and Whiteford Road Friday, Feb. 14, 2020. Bill Kalina photo

Though only two speed humps will be installed, traffic studies on nearby Whiteford Road will be conducted in the future to determine if more speed humps should be installed.

The temporary speed humps at both avenues could become permanent depending on how effective they are at preventing cut-through traffic, which will be evaluated by further studies.

Three-day traffic studies conducted late last year on 10th and 11th avenues found that there were 44% more westbound vehicles than eastbound. There was 32% more traffic on 10th Avenue than on 11th Avenue. 

"Those volumes aren't huge, but at four o'clock on 10th, there were 30 vehicles in the peak hour," said John Luciani, of First Capital Engineering, who took a lead on the project. "That's a lot for a little residential street — there's a car every two minutes, which you're not normally used to seeing."

A map of 10th and 11th Avenues, in conjunction with North Sherman Street, Route 30 and Whiteford Road.

Officials said backups on Route 30, particularly at busy intersections such as North Hills Road, lead drivers to take a cut-through from 10th Avenue to Whiteford Road.

Though residents of the nearby homes said speeding was a main concern, the traffic studies concluded that the 85th percentile of traffic clocked in at 25 mph, and officials decided traffic volume was the real issue. 

"What can be attempted to help their situation?" Luciani said. "We're making some effort, but I think we need to test if these speed humps will make some sort of mark."

In addition to speed humps, the board of supervisors unanimously passed a motion for the township solicitor to draft an ordinance for the posting of speed limit signs on 10th Avenue and St. Thomas Street. 

Though both are municipal streets, in order to enforce speed limits an ordinance must be drafted and voted on, Marchant said. 

"We're trying to make it inconvenient for the cut-through," Luciani said. "The volume reduction we're hoping is people won't cut through those streets and (will instead) stay on 30."

— Reach Tina Locurto at tlocurto@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @tina_locurto.