is the Woodhaven Road Extension Project about?
the surface it has been presented to the public as an initiative to provide congestion
relief along the 1.2 mile stretch of Byberry Road between Evans Street and Bustleton
Avenue since residents cannot get out of their driveways.
supports the extension and who opposes it?
only civic group in the project area who supports the Extension is the Somerton
Civic Association (SCA) who has been working with PENNDOT for 20 years on various
alternatives that would build the Extension to Philmont Avenue.
in 2002, once the news spread about the expanded scope of PENNDOT's proposed construction,
additional civic groups formed in Philadelphia, Bucks and Montgomery counties
as the Tri-County Coalition to fight PENNDOT and SCA from ravaging the Community.
is the Byberry Road congestion mainly along the 1.2 mile stretch between Evans
Street and Rt. 532 (Bustleton Avenue)?
is congested in that area for 2 reasons. Because EVANS STREET IS A STRESS POINT
and Rt. 532 (BUSTLETON AVENUE) IS A RELIEF POINT.
(1) THE STRESS is caused
by: Evans Street funneling Woodhaven Expressway traffic onto the 2 lane Byberry
Road. This intersection is not a 4-way, but a 3-way intersection - with the majority
of the turning movements being 90 degree left and right hand turns - which slows
down the traffic flow creating approach delay. Another issue is the fact that
the US POSTAL SERVICE uses Evans Street as an entrance and exit ramp to the Expressway.
Their tractor trailer trucks complicate the flow of traffic at this intersection
and help compound the congestion at this intersection.
THE RELIEF: Although the intersection of Byberry Road and Rt. 532 (Bustleton Avenue)
has operational deficiencies due to lack of phasing signals and poor timing, once
the vehicles move through this intersection congestion is relieved since Rt. 532
(Bustleton Avenue) is a 4 lane arterial highway. That is why the the congestion
ends at this intersection.
hasn't the Extension been built if the traffic congestion on Byberry Road is so
The most important thing to remember is this:
can only move forward with the Extension IF there is community concensus - BUT
the communities in the project area do not agree on how to alleviate the congestion
on Byberry Road. (2) And secondly, it's not
about traffic relief - it's about creating truck access and building a 'mission
critical' new chunk of roadway.
did PENNDOT build Evans Street if it is such a traffic nuisance?
the Woodhaven Expressway theoretically ends at Route 1 - it technically ends at
Evans Street because the US Postal Service Facilty needed access to the Woodhaven
Expressway eastbound for their trucks. The Postal Service agreed to build their
facility at the current location on Byberry Road under the condition that Evans
Street would be built as an access ramp to and from the Expressway. That is why
Evans Street was built 1/4 mi. west of Route 1 - in order to be in direct alignment
with the entrance gate to the US Postal Service parking lot. Additionally, PENNDOT
assumed they would gain community consensus to build an Extension to Bustleton
Avenue and motorists would be routed onto the new Extension instead of Evans Street.
is 'replacing the CSX Bridge' one of the project needs since the bridge is safe
for vehicles not exceeding the 3 ton weight limit?
Because replacing the
bridge also means removing the 3-ton weight limit which means tractor trailer
trucks will have full access to our communities - making the congestion even worse
- since it would open up the communities to even more truck traffic. There are
many trucking companies nearby that would utilize this bridge. and as a result,
PENNDOT has included 'the replacement of the bridge' as a 'Project Need'.Fortunately,
the Somerton Civic Association was aware of this and prevented the bridge from
being replaced. The SCA doesn't want additional tractor trailer truck traffic
to be routed onto Byberry Road between Evans Street and Bustleton Avenue. To ensure
they would be spared the truck traffic, SCA would support the extension to Philmont
Avenue if PENNDOT would construct the new bridge and the Woodhaven Extension simultaneously.
The extension would be designed in such a way that trucks will be routed away
from SCA's segment of Byberry Road and diverted into the neighborhoods south of
Byberry Road. The Woodhaven Road Expressway is a component of PA's Priority Commercial
Network between I-95 and US 1- and serves as a major through-route for fully loaded
trucks. Although the Expressway was not linked to the PA Turnpike as originally
planned, the trucking industry is seeking access to Bustleton Avenue - even it
means building this new truck route through residential neighborhoods.
the contrary, the TCC respects all of the stakeholders in the project area and
will not allow truck routes of any kind to be built through anyone's neighborhood.
The TCC has researched this issue and has learned that a new facility in any form
is not needed to alleviate congestion - and the promotion of a road or street
in the Right of Way is an attempt to pave the new truck route. The truck route
IS the Woodhaven Road Extension Project.
haven't Somerton's legislators or the Somerton Civic Assocation asked PENNDOT
to improve the intersections in their neighborhood since they have the congestion
on Byberry Road?
Because SCA doesn't want to relieve
the congestion through intersection improvements - they want PENNDOT to build
the Extension in the right-of-way. SCA will never ask PENNDOT for intersection
improvements because they know the improvements will be succcesful and will allow
traffic to flow more freely along Byberry Road. They are trying to frustrate residents
and motorists on Byberry Road - they have NO intention of making their commute
believe that if they play this game long enough, people will beg PENNDOT to build
the Extension. But that has not happened, most people do not want the Extension,
they want intersection improvements and less destructive methods to address congestion.