Route 220 discussed at Woodward Township

LINDEN – Representatives from the state Department of Transportation showed conceptual designs for safety improvements to Route 220 Wednesday night at the regular meeting of the Woodward Township Board of Supervisors.

Christopher J. Neidig, of PennDOT, stressed that all of the designs were conceptual and in the earliest stages of development.

“We are open to suggestions from the community,” Neidig said, as he discussed ideas about making certain streets off Route 220 one-way streets, and addressed the problem of the dangerous intersection at Queneshaque Road.

But missing from any of the plans were traffic lights, which Woodward Township resident Dot Fuller noticed.

“Why is there nothing on there about red lights?” Fuller said. “Is that a taboo thing?”

Neidig said that statistics show adding traffic lights will make the corridor more dangerous.

“They will increase the number of accidents,” he said, adding that he expects two more public meetings to be held on the matter, one within the next month, and another in September where more detailed concepts will be presented to the public.

As he did at the public meeting held in April at the township fire hall, Neidig once again said that modifying the behavior of the average driver is difficult, so changes to the road are necessary.

“Woodward Township residents will adapt to the changes,” one resident said.

Neidig said there are many travelers driving through the corridor who aren’t from Woodward Township, motorists who don’t distinguish it from an interstate and don’t slow down.

Chairman Alan Worth praised the time and effort PennDOT and the public have so far invested into the issue of Route 220.

“I think it’s a good thing that citizens are getting involved in this project,” he said.

Worth said any change to the corridor will be inconvenient, but that they will go to make the highway safer.

Neidig said a finalized project is at least two to three years off and will cost anywhere from $7 million to $8 million.