Allegheny Township officials hope roundabout will fix Route 356 woes
A new kind of road intersection will replace an old, problematic one in Allegheny Township: A “roundabout” intersection is in the works for Route 356 and La Belle Vue Road.
A roundabout is a one-way, circular intersection where cars yield and merge.
Roundabouts have proved to be safer than intersections with traditional traffic lights and signage, according to PennDOT. In fact, the agency is on track to install more roundabouts throughout the state in coming years, according to its webpage on roundabouts.
The Allegheny Township roundabout is rolled into two other nearby road projects — replacement of a Route 356 culvert bridge and the addition of a turning lane at the intersection of Route 356 and Hyde Park Road, according to Josh Zakovitch, a PennDOT project manager.
The project has been added to PennDOT’s Transportation Improvement Program for 2022, which means there’s money for designing the project, according to Zakovitch. Construction contracts could be awarded around 2022, but it’s too early to confirm the timing and cost of the project, according to Zakovitch.
PennDOT will hold a public meeting closer to the project’s start.
For years, Allegheny Township officials have been wanting a roundabout at Route 356 and La Belle Vue Road, which is a “Y” intersection that has been the site of numerous accidents and backups during rush hour, according to township manager Greg Primm.
“That intersection has been a bad intersection,” he said. “That intersection during rush hour, it backs up as far as McCutcheon’s (Enterprises), which is, like, 2 miles. It’s horrible.”
The intersection is just east of the intersection where Melwood Road/Hyde Park Road crosses Route 356. There’s a traffic light there.
As it is now, there is one stop sign at the La Belle Vue Road/Route 356 intersection, and that’s for traffic heading north on 356.
Traffic heading south on Route 356 or straight onto La Belle Vue flows freely, and that’s the problem, Primm said.
He said motorists trying to proceed north on Route 356 can’t be sure whether traffic traveling the opposite direction is going to bear right onto Route 356 southbound or go straight ahead onto La Belle Vue.
Zakovitch said the addition of a turning lane at Route 356 and Hyde Park Road should ease some of the problems.