CHAPTER 7 CIRCULATION

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1 CHAPTER 7 CIRCULATION A township s transportation network links its population with the surrounding communities. Transportation networks, including public and private, provide the means by which township residents gain access to jobs, goods, and services in areas other than in which they live. Public transportation networks include organized systems which carry the majority of people in areas of higher population density such as bus lines. The most common form of private transportation is automobiles. In largely rural areas such as East Vincent Township, automobiles and roads serve the majority of residents as the single most important transportation network. Public transportation systems are not available with the exception of a single bus route along Route 724 and New Street. Automobiles transport Township residents to and from work, and future development will depend greatly on the traffic ability of existing roads and the availability of new roads to safely carry increased Township populations. Roadway Functional Classification System East Vincent Township possesses a network of State and Township roads. Roads can be classified according to the purposes they serve and the volume of traffic they carry. The establishment of such a system of classification can be used to prioritize road improvement needs. A standard system of classification used by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation divides roads into the four categories further defined below. Almost all roads within the Township fall into the collector or local road categories. Regional Highways - These are direct links between major metropolitan areas. They carry large volumes of traffic at relatively high speeds and are often limited-access highways, such as the Pennsylvania Turnpike. They are not designed or intended to provide access to adjacent properties. Arterial Roads - These are primarily for through traffic, usually on a continuous route but not having access control. Arterial roads connect the smaller communities with the major traffic generators of the region and usually carry relatively large volumes of traffic. The primary function of an arterial road is to move vehicles. Providing access to adjacent properties is a secondary function of the road. It is usually along the arterial streets that the largest conflicts between traffic and land uses occur. When traffic volumes are low and adjacent development is sparse the conflict is not serious. However, when traffic volumes are high and adjoining land is intensively developed, a number of conflicts and hazardous conditions can quickly become intolerable and destroy the value of the highway for moving traffic. Collector Roads - These roads are typically intra-county roads which link small population centers to regional or arterial highways. They usually have only two lanes carrying low volumes of traffic at moderate speeds. The collector road functions to move traffic and provide access to adjacent property. Minor/Local Roads - These roads are less heavily traveled by through traffic. Usually the generators of traffic are locally oriented. Local roads are normally maintained by the townships. Local roads primarily function to provide direct access to abutting property. 7-1

2 Roadway Classification Table 7-1 classifies the roads within East Vincent Township according to the previous definitions. The Roadway Functional Classification Map shows the roads of the Township according to their classification. Table 7-1 Roadway Classification Classification Regional Highways Arterial Roads Collector Roads Local Roads Roadway None Ridge Road (Route 23) Schuylkill Road (Route 724) Pughtown Road New Street All other roads within the Township Roadway Design Criteria Table 7-2 contains design standards for each roadway functional classification. These design standards can be used to evaluate existing roadway conditions according to their classification and assist in identifying roadways which require improvements. Table 7-2 Roadway Classification Design Criteria Functional Classification Cartway Width (Ft.) Shoulder Width (Ft.) Right-of-Way Width* (Ft.) Maximum Grade* Arterial Road % Collector Road % Minor/Local Road % Source: Guidelines for Design of Local Roads and Streets, PennDoT, * Urban Planning and Design Criteria, Joseph DeChiaraller Koppleman, Roadway Jurisdiction There are three possible jurisdictions for the roads in East Vincent Township: State, Township or private. The agency with jurisdiction of a road is responsible for its maintenance and improvement. Of all public roads in East Vincent Township, State roads comprise miles or 39 percent, and Township roads comprise miles or 61 percent. The State has jurisdiction of roads that have importance which extends beyond one municipality. Township roads are less heavily traveled and primarily serve local needs. Table 7-3 lists the roads in East Vincent which are under State jurisdiction. 7-2

3 Table 7-3 State Roads in East Vincent Township SR 1039 Schuylkill Road (Route 724) SR 0724 SR 1032 New Street SR 1043 Hill Church Road SR 1041 Buckwalter Road SR 1041 Ellis Woods Road SR 1033 Ridge Road (Route 23) SR 0023 Sheeder Road SR 1033 Park Road SR 1041 Pughtown Road SR 1028 Source: Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. All other public roads in the Township are under the jurisdiction of East Vincent Township. Traffic Volumes Traffic volumes can be used for determining areas of heavy traffic and for following trends or changes in traffic circulation. When using traffic volumes for such purposes, average traffic counts are used because they reduce the error caused by day-to-day traffic fluctuations. The process involves taking traffic counts for a two to three hour period at different times during the day. These counts are then averaged over 24 hour periods and recorded as average daily traffic counts (ADT). Table 7-4 lists average daily traffic counts for several road segments in East Vincent Township. The counts for 1972, and 1993, and the average percent change per year are listed for each road segment. The 1972 counts were taken from the Comprehensive Plan for East Vincent Township, July 1980, and the 1993 counts represent the most recent date available from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation as of June 7, The average percent change per year in traffic volume shows the extent to which each road has become more or less important in the traffic circulation network of the Township and surrounding area. 7-3

4 Table 7-4 Traffic Volumes for Selected East Vincent Roads Road Segment Route 724 East Coventry Township Line to Average Daily Traffic Volume ,600 11,342 Average Percent Change Per Year Route 724 to New Street 11,800 10, Route 724 New Street to 13,000 13, Route 724 to East Pikeland Township Line 12,500 10, Route 23 to 2,100 3, to Route 724 1,800 3, Route 724 to Spring City Borough Line 5,300 5, Route 23 South Coventry Township Line to East Coventry Township Line 4,200 5, Route 23 East Coventry Township Line to Sheeder Road 3,200 4, Route 23 Sheeder Road to 4,100 4,

5 Road Segment Route 23 to East Pikeland Township Line Average Daily Traffic Volume ,500 5,120 Average Percent Change Per Year 4.99 Pughtown Road South Coventry Township Line to Sheeder Road 1,050 1, Pughtown Road Sheeder Road to West Vincent Township Line 1,800 2, Sheeder Road West Vincent Township Line to Pughtown Road Sheeder Road Pughtown Road to Route , Ellis Woods Road Route 23 to East Coventry Township Line 550 2, East Coventry Township Line to 600 2, to Buckwalter Road Buckwalter Road to Hill Church Road Hill Church Road to Route Route 724 to East Pikeland Township Line Not Available 1,025 Buckwalter Road Route 23 to

6 Road Segment Average Daily Traffic Volume Average Percent Change Per Year Hill Church Road to Route New Street Route 724 to Spring City Borough Line 5,100 11, Park Road Route 724 to Spring City Borough Line 2,000 1, Average Daily Traffic Volumes are for both directions. 2 Source: Comprehensive Plan for East Vincent Township, Source: Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. These volumes are the most recent estimates from Penn Dot s Roadway Management Information System (PARIS) Summary, as of June 7, The most significant increases occurred on Ellis Woods Road between Route 23 and the East Coventry Township Line (13.75%) and between the East Coventry Township Line and Bridge Street (12.21%). These increases are most likely attributable to residential development in the nearby area. There has also been a decrease in traffic volumes on a number of roads in the Township. One such road which has experienced a decrease in traffic is Route 724. This decrease is probably a result of motorists using the Route 422 Expressway as well as the loss of industrial jobs in Pottstown. Safety Problems Accident data is also an important factor to consider when evaluating the circulation network of a township. Accident data points out the roadways and intersections in a township which are dangerous and can help the township to plan for their future circulation needs. Table 7-5 lists accident and injury accident information for roadways where five or more accidents occurred during the three year period of Table 7-6 lists information for intersections where five or more accidents occurred during the same three year period. There were a total of 224 accidents with 104 injuries and 3 fatalities in East Vincent Township during this three year period. 7-6

7 Road Name Table 7-5 Reported Accidents and Injuries by Roadway Accidents / Injuries Route /21 29/12 28/11(1-Fatal) Route 23 15/4 13/5 18/4 11/7 11/8 7/4 Pughtown Road 7/5 2/0 4/2 Reitnour Road 3/2 5/2 0/0 Seven Stars Road 5/3(1-Fatal) 3/3 6/1 Park Spring Road 0/0 2/1 3/1 Other 5/0 8/5(1-Fatal) 4/3 Total 81/42/1 73/36/1 70/26/1 Source: East Vincent Township Police Department, Table 7-6 Reported Accidents by Intersection Intersection Route 724 & Pikeland Avenue Route 724 & Stony Run Route 724 & Park Road Route 724 & New Street Route 724 & Heckel Avenue Route 724 & Route 724 & Kolb Avenue Route 724 & Reitnour Road Route 23 & Ebelhare Road Route 23 & Vincent Elementary & Quarry Road & & Route Pughtown Road & Sheeder Road Seven Stars Road & Lucas Road Total Accidents Source: East Vincent Township Police Department,

8 Existing Road Conditions The maintenance and repair of the existing State roads in East Vincent Township is the responsibility of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and the maintenance and repair of the existing Township roads is the responsibility of East Vincent Township. The Township employs a road superintendent who performs routine maintenance and conducts minor repairs of the Township roads. The road superintendent also recommends and oversees major repairs to Township roads which are contracted out by the Township to roadway construction companies. Currently, a Traffic Impact Study for East Vincent Township is being prepared which will study the roads of the Township to determine where repairs and improvements are most needed. This study, when complete, should be referred to for roadway repair and improvements recommendations. 7-8

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