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Lower Nazareth Residents Oppose Proposed Entrance to Saratoga Farms

Lower Nazareth residents were not happy to see Hartman Road extended into a proposed 56-home development next to the township municipal building. Would an entrance on Route 191 be better?

A planned 56-home development along Route 191 in Lower Nazareth Township has nearby residents concerned over increased congestion on already heavily traveled roads.

The Lower Nazareth Planning Commission and a standing-room-only crowd intently listened Monday night while preliminary plans for Saratoga Farms were presented.

The property in question, known as the Frey Tract subdivision, is next to the Lower Nazareth Township Municipal Building. If approved, the 56 single-family homes will be built on one-acre lots.

Zachariah Cobrinik, vice chairman of the Planning Commission at the time, praised much of the development's design in May 2011, particularly where the plan shows traffic exiting and entering via neighborhood roads that do not intersect Route 191.

“It’s all about reducing the amount of traffic on 191,” said Cobrinik, who has since joined the Zoning Hearing Board.

Residents don't agree.

At issue for residents is where the development's main entrance should be located and whether to extend Hartman Road -- a dead-end that intersects Newburg Road -- into the development. Discussion at the 2011 meeting leaned toward not extending the road.

“I’m wondering if the board realizes the amount of traffic on Newburg Road," Delores Hartman said. "We have a difficult time now and I’m concerned about accidents. It’s congested now. Who will be responsible for all this [additional] congestion?"

Earl Snyder, who has lived on Hartman Road for 31 years, said he fears for neighbors who reverse out of their driveways.

"I don't think [extending Hartman] is safe," Snyder added.

Residents who live along Winding Way, which intersects Truman Lane, also expressed concern.

“I’m concerned about all the traffic on roads not built for [that level of traffic],” said Larry Boorujian. “Why can’t there be an entrance from 191? Put it on 191 where it ought to be. You can put the other [entrances] in too, but put one on 191.”

Al Kortze, the township's engineer, said "a lot of factors" determine the placement of the development's entrances. As for putting an entrance on Route 191, Kortze added, "I can’t say if PennDOT will even consider it.”

When asked if a main entrance on Route 191 is possible, representatives -- Joe Piperato, the attorney and a principal for Frey Tract, and Darrin Heckman from Lehigh Engineering Associates Inc. -- briefly paused before replying with a "no."

Piperato's reasoning was that the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation would likely turn down the proposal, so it was not worth the effort or cost to try.

Piperato did tell the residents, however, that the develolpers would be open to not extending Hartman Road if that’s what the township decides is best.

The plan was tabled pending resolution of the Hartman Road extension and entrance issue. At the earliest, a revised plan will be presented to the Planning Commission at its Dec. 17 meeting.

Ben Miller October 20, 2012 at 05:27 PM
Extending Hartman Road is the only thing that makes sense, along with an entrance to the development on Hecktown Road and Truman Lane. I can appreciate how people who have lived on Hartman Road for many years would be unhappy, but in reality, it's a dead-end road that abuts right to the tract. The idea of it being expanded some time in the future when the land behind it was developed was always part of the plan. If you look at it logically, from an unbiased perspective, it seems pretty obvious. 191 is a State Road and there is no way the state will allow an entrance to the development on it between Newburg and Butztown Roads. That stretch of road is backed-up every single day. Adding 75 more automobiles to that traffic (with 56 houses, that's a median number) will never happen. The state won't allow it. Then, there's the Newburg Light, one of the most dangerous spots in Lower Nazareth, especially from 191. It's a blind intersection, meaning that from 191 and north Newburg Road, you can't see traffic coming perpendicular to you. As a former firefighter with Hecktown, I can't tell you how many calls we responded to there, primarily from vehicles on 191 that tried to beat the light. Residents were lucky to have made it 30 years before Hartman Road was extended, so to push the issue now seems wrong. We're talking about inconveniencing them vs. creating a dangerous situation and inconveniencing hundreds of others on 191. No disrespect intended to anyone involved.
R. Buster October 20, 2012 at 06:37 PM
Not Good, 191 & Newburg is crazy during the morning & between 3 & 6pm. Add another 70 odd cars into this area is loco. Fix this intersection first!
TAR2 October 20, 2012 at 06:49 PM
Actually, putting an entrance on 191 AND extending Hartman might actually alleviate some traffic at the Newburg Inn intersection.
Andy Lee October 21, 2012 at 03:53 AM
Spilling more cars onto Newburg Road from Hartman Road, which is 100' or so feet from the 191 intersection, does not seem safe and it will be difficult for cars to enter onto Newburg Road. There's already a through road to Winding Way which would put traffic much higher on Newburg Road which would probably be safer. Folks leaving from this new neighborhood will likely turn left or right on 191, so traffic will end up on 191 anyway.

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