Bucks County Herald

Motorists defy road signs in Route 313 detour

Police report traffic snarls and snarly drivers

CLIFF LEBOWITZ

With the Route 313 culvert replacement closure in Bedminster between Blue School Road and Route 113 less than halfway through its expected duration, officials are reporting serious problems with motorist cooperation.

Use of posted detours is causing traffic problems on local roads, and threatening an increase in accidents.

In his monthly report at the April 12 board of supervisors’ meeting, Police Chief Mark Ofner noted the corridor sees 14,000 vehicles a day, and that hundreds of motorists each day were not following posted detours, causing congestion problems on local roads in Bedminster and Hilltown, including numerous incidents of tractor trailers getting stuck.

In addition, Ofner said, high traffic volume on one road was making it difficult to safely stop vehicles for speeding violations. After the meeting, he elaborated that motorists were deliberately using their vehicles to knock down road closure signs, and that when questioned about ignoring detours, drivers are saying they were just following their GPS.

Also at the April 12 meeting, following a public hearing on the matter, supervisors unanimously adopted the ordinance that allows for growing, processing, and dispensing medical marijuana in the township’s industrial zoning district. Supervisors had authorized advertising of the ordinance, which is similar to those adopted by other townships in the area, at their Feb. 8 meeting.

It will be left primarily to the state health department to see to it that any of the permitted businesses functions in accordance with the extensive regulation set up by the state’s Medical Marijuana Act and the related state code.

For now, licenses are being offered on a limited basis, only a few within large regions, and within short time windows. But it is assumed the number would increase if the regulatory program works out as hoped, and with substantial application fees and letters of credit remaining as requirements in any case. There are currently no plans for any such business in Bedminster.

Township Manager Rich Schilling announced that this year’s paving projects will be Fairview Road, from Mink Road to Edge Hill Road; Farm School Road, from finish to Deer Run Road; and Creamery Road, repair of three sections.

Schilling, now in his third township manager position, following previous experience in public works management, praised Bedminster supervisors for their unusually high level of involvement in road maintenance and improvement, including frequent site visits.

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