Bucks County Herald

Accidents on Richlandtown Pike rise in Springfield

BARRIE-JOHN MURPHY



One resident questions why the stop sign at Passer Road is 15 feet from Richlandtown Pike. Moving it up, she believes, would allow drivers get a better view of vehicles coming from Flint Hill. Some drivers after stopping at the sign immediately pull out, causing collisions.

Springfield supervisors and residents want answers from PennDOT after a spike in accidents on Richlandtown Pike.

There have been 12 crashes so far this year, equaling the total number for 2016, according to township police Chief Michael McDonald, who projects the number to rise to 24 by the end of the year.

In April, an 81-year-old woman was killed in a collision with a Fedex truck at the intersection with Passer Road, a notorious blackspot where five of this year’s accidents have occurred.

Supervisor Karen Bedics says motorists pulling out from Passer Road onto Richlandtown Pike misjudge the speed of drivers coming down from Flint Hill. “So many times I’ve seen close calls.”

Although the speed limit is 45, nearby residents say drivers regularly fly down the hill north of Pleasant View Road at speeds in excess of 60 mph, making something as simple as getting their mail a risky and scary endeavor.

They say the problem has worsened over the years and complain state and township police aren’t doing enough.

“Once in a while they (township police) sit up there at the (Passer Community) center and stop people, but I haven’t seen them in quite a while,” said one Pike resident, who declined to give her name. “I may be missing it, but I don’t see a whole lot of enforcement,” said another resident, Kenny, who did not want to supply his last name.

Dorothy Roy, who has lived on the Pike south of Pleasant View Road for 15 years, said the state needs to reduce the speed limit. “Dogs have been hit, and there’s been two accidents in the past month. If they did the speed limit, it would be a lot safer here.”

Both Roy and Kenny agree that a traffic light above Pleasant View Road rather than a stop sign at the Passer intersection would cut down on the number of accidents. “They’re coming down the hill in the wintertime and to stop here would be hard,” said Kenny.

“A lot of accidents happen down here because it’s a straightaway. If they have a traffic light, people won’t be speeding and a lot of accidents won’t happen down here,” Roy said.

But Kenny’s wife, who declined to identify herself, said visibility was the real issue, particularly for drivers pulling onto the Pike from Passer and Pleasant View roads, where the view of the Pike is partially obscured by a house.

Pointing to Passer Road, she noted, “That stop sign is way too far in. There can’t be any law requiring it to be that far back. This stop sign here should be up near the road.”

McDonald says the Pike’s intersection with Passer is particularly perilous because unlike at State Road, it lacks a fourway stop.

To make matters worse, more motorists are using the road because of the poor state of State Road.

About 11,000 motorists are using Passer daily, double that of State Road, according to police data.

“When State Road is repaired, more riders will return therefore decreasing crashes on the Pike,” says McDonald.

The township will seek an update on the repair status of State Road and also request traffic-calming suggestions for the Passer Road intersection.

“Even if they say dangerous intersection – I mean something to warn people – that would be helpful,” Kenny’s wife said.

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