Home » Hopewell Township Addresses Scotch Rd Safety and New Community Center

Hopewell Township Addresses Scotch Rd Safety and New Community Center

by Cat Jackson

The Hopewell Township Committee met last Monday, June 10, to discuss a number of resolutions and engineering improvements to the Ttownship. The bulk of the meeting was spent discussing possible safety improvements that the Township can implement to the Scotch Road/Pennington-Titusville Road Intersection.

June is LGBTQ+ Pride Month, and has been formally recognized by the Township. Juneteenth will be celebrated on June 19 to commemorate the day that news of the Abolition of Slavery reached the westernmost states of the USA.

Scotch Road / Pennington-Titusville Road Intersection

Township Engineer Jim Hutzelmann provided a presentation on possible improvements to the intersection between Scotch Road and Pennington-Titusville Road. The goal is to make the intersection safer by reducing the number and severity of collisions at the intersection. See also Lawrence Resident Killed in Fatal Motorcycle Accident in Hopewell Twp, Police Look for Witnesses.

More inexpensive solutions include changes to the signage including: installing flashing amber lights, adding extra warning signs for the intersection in the form of additional signs and pavement markings, or redesigning the intersection into a four-way stop.

The more expensive options require changes to the road itself. A raised median would require drivers to slow down in order to make the turn. A small roundabout would dramatically decrease the number of conflict points, or areas that have a high probability of collision. This would decrease both the number of crashes and the severity of crashes, with less disruption than an all-way stop at high-volume times.

The Committee discussed the four-way stop option in great detail. All-way stops reduce the severity of traffic collisions and provide better opportunity for foot and bike traffic to cross, according to Hutzelmann. However, they are not a perfect solution.

“Stop signs – in general but particularly all-way stops – are not intended to address speeding or traffic control,” said Hutzelmann, in response to a suggestion that the stop sign might encourage traffic to slow down going into the upcoming school zones. “You get more noncompliance. You get people speeding up because they feel like they just had to stop for a stop sign that shouldn’t be there.” 

Peak travel times can also be increased by stop signs when implemented on busy roads, and some motorists might be confused by right-of-way at four-way stops. All-way stops also tend to reduce the severity of collisions – but not the number. Any reduction to injury and death is obviously a positive change, but minor fender-benders are still very likely.

More data is necessary for a final decision, according to Hutzelmann. He also acknowledged that it can be difficult to know for certain if a safety measure has worked based on the existing data: “There are some years we had one crash. We might not see results, and we might not have crashes for a year. Is that because of the change, or a coincidence?”

Staff reports and upcoming events

  • The Pennington-Rocky Hill Road paving has been completed, including repairs to sewage and drainage, said Hutzelmann. 
  • There are plans to resurface the basketball court in Independence Park in July. This is just a preliminary schedule, but the court will most likely be unavailable for the better part of that month.
  • BeiGene will have a ribbon-cutting ceremony on July 23, and will begin work manufacturing cancer drugs this year.
  • With the approaching 250th anniversary of the American revolution, the Historic Preservation Committee is looking into a historic zone in Hopewell to include the Hart’s Corner schoolhouse and other nearby historic properties.

Zaitz Property

An amended redevelopment plan has been adopted for the properties known as the Zaitz properties behind the ShopRite just off of the Pennington Circle (See graphic below, Lot 130). This amendment will allow the building of a senior community center as an allowed use for this track of land. Committee Member Kevin Kuchinski explained that the current plans for this land will allow for secondary access to the properties, including high-quality stormwater drainage and separate bike and pedestrian lanes. This resolution was limited to zoning allowances and does not include plans for the community center itself. See also Township and YMCA move toward construction of new HV Senior & Community center.

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