Borough President Paul McConnell Challenges Traffic Studies

Borough Council President Paul McConnell posted the below statement this morning to his Facebook page. In the statement he questions the validity of the current method for producing traffic studies and challenges people to question these studies.

During the Wawa hearing before Borough Council, McConnell made many of the same points he makes below. He voted against the Wawa and cast votes against the Corson Street/West Elm apartments and the variances for an apartment community on Washington Street. He did vote in support of selecting Keystone Properties to build a hotel at West Elm and Fayette and a new office tower at West 1st Avenue and Fayette.

Here is the statement:

Traffic congestion in this area is a huge problem that has been years in the making.

The first step in improving this challenge is to reject the current model of developer hired and led traffic engineers doing myopic traffic studies on singular developments. They consistently come up with the same conclusion: the development will not make anything worse.

Simple common sense and a drive during rush hour invalidate their conclusion. These kind of traffic studies are actually counter productive because they mitigate any basis for long term improvements.

These traffic studies do not pass the test of common sense. The traffic engineers never validate there results 1, 3, 5, and 10 years later as part of any continuous improvement process. They are based on old standards tables in old books.

But equally as bad, local governments, planning commissions, the county, and penn dot (sic) just accept them with rare pushback. Stop doing this. Challenge them.

Brian O’neill (sic) will be presenting his traffic study for the 617 proposed apartments this week and has previewed it to have no impact. The traffic engineer for Corson street (sic) apartments said they would not change elm/Fayette (sic) intersection since it is already a failing intersection (which is moronic since it will make it that much harder to fix the intersection).

Stand up and challenge these so called traffic studies. This is step 1. (Step 2 will be coming next week). Feel free to share this post.

The presentation he mentions will be at the Borough Council meeting on Wednesday, November 20th at 7:00 p.m. at West 8th and Fayette.

So what do you think Conshy?