Traffic from unofficial bridge detour worries Boyd Road residents in Manor
A crumbling road that is less than a half-mile long has been discovered by drivers as a way to get around a Hill Street bridge construction project in Manor.
But the unofficial detour has Boyd Road residents revved up about the traffic increase they say reaches some 100 vehicles a day since construction started in June.
“It's a one-lane road, but it's just like a main highway now,” Boyd Road resident Lex Bowser said.
Boyd Road is little more than potholes, asphalt patches and brush-covered berm with posted speed-limit signs of 15 mph where it starts on Garretts Run Road and ends at Hill Street. A handmade speed-limit sign painted on plywood has been put up by a homeowner to remind drivers of the speed limit. Bowser said none of the signs are doing much good.
“People are very rude when they come through here. They don't even want to stop,” he said. “They zoom. People come up here and they just don't care. I'm just afraid somebody's going to get hurt.”
Late Tuesday morning in the span of an hour, about two dozen cars made their way up and down Boyd Road. Some drove boldly, gunning around its bends despite its limited visibility and the web-like cracks in the asphalt. Others slowed and accelerated with trepidation around the bends.
A large pickup truck heading toward Garretts Run Road pulled off into a driveway to let pass a small sedan heading in the opposite direction on the narrow road. To inch out of the way while staying on the road would have meant coming dangerously close to a steep dropoff that straddles Boyd.
Facing one another just up the road near Bowser's home, two drivers carefully negotiated how to get around one another on a road that was barely wide enough for one of them.
Manor officials, prompted by a petition from residents urging action at an Aug. 6 township meeting, have tried to solve the problem. They closed Boyd Road and issued driving permits to the about 12 homeowners who live on the stretch on Aug. 15.
But a week or so later, the “Road Closed” and “Local Traffic Only With Permit” signs that had been put up were replaced by ones that said “Road Open to Local Traffic” and “Watch Children.”
“I wondered, ‘Why is there so much traffic on this road again?' Then I saw the signs,” said resident Heather Clark. “The signs changed, and they didn't tell anyone.”
Township Supervisor Paul Rearick would not talk about the signs or problems with Boyd Road. He said officials have been advised by their attorney not to comment, but that the issue would be addressed at a Sept. 3 meeting of the Manor Board of Supervisors.
Meanwhile, Clark said residents on the street are living in fear.
“My 10-year-old son is afraid to even walk to the school bus. He's almost been hit several times trying to cross the road,” said Clark's husband, Gordon.
The Clarks said before construction, traffic on their road was so sparse that their sons often played football in the middle of it without being in any real danger.
“Now, it's not the official detour, but it's being used as the detour,” she said.
Julie E. Martin is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-543-1303, ext. 1315 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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