In Narberth Borough Council's first meeting of the new year Wednesday night, members spent significant time discussing how the three-way intersection of East Wynnewood Road and North Wynnewood Avenue might be made safer.
This followed a similar discussion the Lower Merion Board of Commissioners had the previous week, and at both meetings, Merion resident Pam Loughman explained her online petition to install a traffic light at the intersection.
The impetus for these conversations: a Dec. 13 accident in which a vehicle badly injured a teenage pedestrian.
Narberth Councilman Bob Wegbreit, chair of the Highway Committee, told his colleagues that Lower Merion had already shown support for a traffic signal at Wynnewood & Wynnewood, or at least for a study to see whether PennDOT considers a signal warranted.
A traffic analysis from Pennoni Associates later this month should tell borough council whether the intersection might need at least a temporary signal during the demolition and reconstruction of the nearby Narberth Avenue bridge, slated for 2014-2015.
Several council members were keen to pursue studies of the intersection without committing to a particular remedy—such as a traffic signal, stop signs or traffic-calming mechanisms—ahead of time. A condition of PennDOT's involvement would be that its recommended solution be implemented, Wegbreit said.
It was not immediately clear how improvement of the intersection might be divided between the municipalities, jurisdictionally and financially. East Wynnewood Road marks the boundary between the borough and township to the east of North Wynnewood Avenue.
Loughman, whose traffic-light-and-crosswalk petition has garnered over 450 signatures, told the council to figure out a partnership with their neighbors soon so that improvements can begin as soon as possible: "The public wants it, and your duty to safeguard public safety requires it."
Another resident, Carol Hagen, said to the council, "I use that intersection all the time and I'm worried about it. ... I'm not surprised Pam got so many signatures on her petition. Please give this the most responsible, thorough look that you can."
Wegbreit said Highway Committee members would convene with Pennoni at their next meeting this month on this issue. Meanwhile, Lower Merion Township's administrative staff are investigating possible improvements to be reported back to township commissioners.