Swarthmore may seem like a quiet, leafy-green borough, but it shares at least one issue with its suburban neighbors: Traffic.
Council Vice President David Creagan said a recent meeting of the Public Safety Committee, which he chairs, brought out more than two dozen residents living along Yale Ave. who had concerns about speed on their roadway.
Creagan said they were interested in a report requested of, and prepared by, borough engineer Joseph Mastronardo, of Pennoni Associates. The engineer presented a number of options termed “traffic calming” which may be considered in coming months.
“One action we are taking right away is to purchase a second ‘This is Your Speed’ device. We have one, but this will give us some flexibility as to where we can use them,” said Creagan of the sign that has a digital read out of miles per hour.
At a subsequent Council meeting, Creagan referred to the device again, noting the new purchase, at a cost of about $2,000, is run on solar power as opposed to the battery powered sign already in use on borough streets.
Another strategy Mastronardo illustrated was a “bump out” from the sidewalk into the roadway at Dickenson Ave.. It narrows the road, giving visual cues to slow down, and also makes the pedestrian crossing shorter, and therefore safer. The drawback, Creagan said, would be elimination of the bicycle path at that specific location.
“It seemed to be an option a lot of the people attending liked,” said Creagan.
Painting crosswalks and more signage were other possibilities. The “speed cushion” or temporary raised humps/bumps was yet another option, particularly for a section of Yale Ave. between Dickenson and Swarthmore aves. Creagan said the engineer would be assembling pricing for the option as part of a final report.
While a two-hour-plus Public Safety meeting is somewhat unusual, Creagan said it provided for a thorough discussion for residents who lived on Yale, mostly between Swarthmore and Park aves. Those living more towards the Chester Road intersection were not as involved at this point. But Creagan noted, “We may not have heard the last of this discussion.”
Pedestrian crossings at Yale and Haverford and Yale and Rutgers have been the subject of a previous project still under consideration.