PennDOT studying dangerous Route 201 intersection
The busy intersection of Route 201 at Fayette and Vernon avenues has been the site of numerous accidents over the years.
But it hit home for Jamie Miller last month when she was involved in an accident at the Washington Township roadway.
Fortunately, the township supervisor said she was not seriously injured. And she's asking the state Department of Transportation to come up with suggestions for making it a safer throughway.
On Nov. 28, Miller sent a letter to PennDOT's District 12 office in Uniontown, seeking a traffic study of the busy three-way intersection. That study is currently under way and is expected to be complete early in the new year.
At that intersection, there were five reportable accidents over last the five years, including one fatality, said Jay Ofsanik, safety press officer for PennDOT District 12.
Ofsanik said speeding and alcohol contributed to the fatality. In the other accidents, contributing factors included careless turning, a distracted driver and running a red light. Three people sustained three moderate injuries and three others suffered minor injuries, Ofsanik said.
Reportable accidents are crashes in which someone is injured or a vehicle or vehicles are towed from the scene. Fender-bender accidents are not classified as reportable and would not be included among statistics maintained by PennDOT.
PennDOT District 12 Traffic Engineer Rob Dean said a study of the intersection is under way. Typically, traffic study requests are made by municipal officials, he said.
Normally, PennDOT responds with its findings within 30 days of a traffic study request. Because of the holidays, that could occur shortly after the start of the new year, Dean said.
“If any municipality asks us to do survey and have a concern, we will do it,” Dean said.
The traffic study will review the section of Route 201 within 1 mile of the intersection, addressing bus stops along that road as well.
The study will include a review of crash data and checking signage to make sure everything is operating normally.
“We're going to review the signal itself, too,” Dean said.
Dean said it's too early to discuss possible remedies until the study is complete.
“I have not done a comparison with other intersections, but the number of accidents does not seem a high number as compared other intersections,” Dean said.
“We're always concerned whenever there are crashes and fatalities,” Ofsanik added.
Miller, of 1114 Second St., in Washington Township, was traveling north on Route 201 at 2:24 p.m. Nov. 6, when her vehicle collided with a car driven by Timothy Sedlak, of 231 Vernon Ave., who was driving on Vernon Avenue, crossing Route 201.
Washington Township police reported that Miller sustained minor injuries and was treated at Monongahela Valley Hospital.
“The thing that brought it to my attention was the phone calls from parents about the bus stops along there,” Miller said.
Miller said numerous motorists crossing from Fayette to Vernon avenues or vice versa try to beat the bus as it navigates along Route 201.
Miller said with cooperation from Belle Vernon Area school officials, they were able to coordinate stops so the bus stops are on the same side of Route 201 as the bus door. That ensures that children — especially elementary-aged students — do not have to cross Route 201 to enter or exit a bus.
Miller declined to suggest how to make the intersection safer, noting, “That's why the study needs to be done, because they are the professionals. We'll do what PennDOT advises us to do. We work well with PennDOT.”
Miller said she drives through the intersection in question every day, sometimes five times a day. The accident last month was her first ever.
“Mine was just an accident that happened that day and luckily no one was seriously injured,” Miller said. “It just reminded me how dangerous that intersection is.
“I'm just trying to do the right thing for the people of Washington Township and everyone who drives through that area.”
Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Man’s holiday spirit lights up Belle Vernon
- Convocation center booze battle rages on for California and Cal U
- 2 charged in Charleroi drug, gun find case
- Cal U students aid Fayette survey
- Trials ordered for 2 charged in Monongahela mugging case
- Rostraver seeks big bucks from gas service co.
- Trio arrested by Monessen police on drug charges
- Several Washington County police chiefs support cameras
- Ringgold agrees to stay under Pa. tax limit
- Author takes final look back in Brownsville history series
- Amity landlord arrested for allegedly hitting tenant with hammer over rent money