The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Opinion

April 27, 2013

City becoming large maze of traffic signals

---- — One thing the city of Hermitage doesn’t need is another traffic light. But this week, that’s what Hermitage commissioners agreed to install on Route 18 at LindenPointe.

It takes forever to get through Hermitage with all the red lights, some of which are questionably coordinated. But that didn’t stop adding one by the new Kohl’s development on the so-called Shenango Valley Freeway – which is anything but a freeway. Now, there will be a new one on Route 18.

It’s just too bad more commissioners didn’t have the creativity of Commissioner Rhonda Paglia, who proposed a roundabout rather than a traffic light at LindenPointe. That would keep traffic flowing and would probably be safer, and likely reduce road rage.

It’s too bad there aren’t more progressive thinkers on the board. In rejecting the plan for a roundabout, Tim Ruffo commented, “For blind pedestrians, these are horribly dangerous.”

Probably for blind drivers too.

I’ve never seen a lot of blind pedestrians strolling along Route 18, but I think most intersections with red lights are dangerous for blind pedestrians. I never checked, but do all the red lights in Hermitage have equipment that notifies blind pedestrians when it is safe to cross?

I love how many of the traffic lights in Hermitage go to blinker late at night to allow traffic to progress at a better pace. But man, those really have to be dangerous for blind pedestrians.

Drivers today are impatient and they hate sitting at red lights when they actually could go. For example, Hermitage and PennDOT should review the light at the intersection of South Buhl Farm Drive, Pine Hollow Boulevard and Mercer Avenue.

When coming out of Farrell, it is ridiculous that a driver must sit at a red light in the left turn lane when there is no traffic coming the other way. At some hours of the day, traffic backs up almost to Farrell because people can’t legally turn even though the road is wide open.

There are some other similar situations around the area too – such as the light by Combine’s and Sheetz on Route 18 – but I think that one at Buhl Farm is the worst. I hope Hermitage and PennDOT do a better job when they install the new roundabout – oops, I mean traffic light – by LindenPointe.

• You know what really is dangerous for blind pedestrians – when “Sidewalks to Nowhere” that new businesses are forced to build suddenly end because there are no sidewalks on other properties.

I realize that Hermitage is considered the most progressive of our area cities, but it will never become a pedestrian metropolis. It will always be a community that people drive to and through.

It’s just that you have to drive through at a walker’s pace because of all the traffic lights.

The Herald’s Lynn Saternow writes this column each Saturday for the Opinion Page. He can be reached at lsaternow@sharonherald.com unless he is stuck at the intersection of Mercer Avenue and South Buhl Farm Drive.

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