Tuesday, September 2, 2014

No speed reduction on Kercher Road

Current congestion issues play part in Traffic Commission's decision.

Posted on May 16, 2013 at 1:00 a.m. | Updated on May 16, 2013 at 6:21 p.m.

GOSHEN — There are a handful of plans to upgrade Kercher Road in the coming years, including widening the road and intersection work, which will make major changes to the heavily-traveled thoroughfare.

The Mayor’s Traffic Commission decided Thursday, May 16, that a reduction in speed will not be one of those changes.

The commission considered a request from a resident that lives on the road at their monthly meeting Thursday.

In an email sent to commissioners, Rodney Chlebek stated a concern for the safety of residents as well as the people traveling on or near the road, whether on foot or bicycles or in vehicles.

Chlebek said he believed the posted speed limit of 45 mph was too high for the area, adding his belief that the situation has only gotten worse since a new gas station began operations recently.

“I can understand (the request),” said commissioner John Billman. “There’s definitely a lot more traffic out there than there’s been in the past.”

Commissioners, while sympathizing with the residents, couldn’t justify reducing the speed limit.

“I feel for the residents,” Jim Ramer said, but added, “I’m hesitant to slow traffic down as congested as that is.”

“I don’t think 35 is reasonable for that road.”

In addition to the congestion issue, data from two traffic counts of the road showed the average speed of vehicles on that section of Kercher was lower than the 45 mph limit.

The Traffic Commission ultimately struck down the request, though Billman did note that some of the large trees on the south side of Kercher Road that posed a threat to travelers will be coming down and the road is scheduled to be chipped and sealed in the coming months.

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Updated at 9:00 p.m.
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