Quakertown borough officials announced Monday night a recent borough traffic study, performed along Broad and Branch streets, may prompt a change in vital traffic patterns.
Officials have been pondering whether to adapt the one-way streets in the downtown to provide better flow of traffic and attract more attention to present business fronts.
Traffic Planning and Design, Inc., located in Pottstown, performed the traffic study in September after the start of the new school year. This provided a better handle on the amount of traffic to the specific area during peak hours throughout the day and evening, officials said.
Each intersection in the downtown was also studied, specifically Broad Street intersecting with Fourth, Third and Front streets.
A presentation of the study’s findings as well as a conceptual plan were offered during the borough council meeting by Bob Stone, representative and project designer of Traffic Planning and Design, Inc.
“The pattern would change to two-way traffic on Broad Street and one-way traffic traveling (west) from Doylestown on Branch Street,” Stone explained.
Stone also said traffic counts in the morning and afternoon/evening during peak intervals were studied through intersections and alternatives were reviewed.
“In all there were four different plans that were looked at with only one presented,” explained Councilman Mike Johnson.
The conceptual plan provided would see Branch Street with a one lane west bound only pattern that would also allow for angled parking to the rear of Broad Street businesses. Broad Street would then follow a two-way traffic pattern.
Officials admit there will need to be further decisions made as to whether traffic lights should be removed completely or adapted in some way to accommodate traffic at the intersection of Third and Branch streets. If a traffic light is removed at the location, a stop sign would need to be placed there.
Although the plan is in the very early stages of becoming a reality, officials feel the change will potentially allow for drivers to recognize businesses of the downtown better and provide a better flow of traffic. Councilman Ed Scholl pointed out the importance of adding signage on Branch Street to show the route to Memorial Park and perhaps use Branch Street as an event route to cut down on traffic woes.
Borough Manager Scott McElree explained the next steps of the process as, “Getting together with Mr. Stone and developing a construction plan with costs and talking with PennDOT. A meeting also needs to be set up with stakeholders (merchants and residents) to hear their thoughts.”
McElree added there may be grant funding available for this type of a project or budgeting money from the borough’s general fund may also need to be addressed. McElree plans to provide more insight on the project and its cost at the borough’s January work session meeting.