John Mack - Newtown Supervisor

Pedestrian Safety Petition

N Sycamore St and Silo Dr

On December 22, 2021, at approximately 11:04 pm, a male was struck and killed while attempting to cross N. Sycamore Street at Silo Dr. in Newtown Township, PA. He was using the crosswalk to catch an Uber with friends. Read more about that...

This was the latest in a series of recent significant pedestrian incidents reported by police, including another pedestrian death along N. Sycamore St.

Suggestions for improving pedestrian safety were proposed at the November 10, 2021, BOS meeting (view the video) and at the January 10, 2022, Meet Mack Monday meeting.

On December 27, 2021, I started the “Improve Pedestrian Safety on N Sycamore St” petition on Change.org. As of today, over 850 people from around the world – and at least 570 from the Newtown area – have signed that petition. Nearly 50 people added comments explaining why they signed the petition and made suggestions. The signatures and comments will be emailed to all supervisors, the Township Manager, and the Chief of Police. See the signed petition embedded below.

As a result, this matter will be brought up for discussion at the January 12, 2022, BOS meeting. On the agenda: “Consideration to authorize report on, and/or implementation of, traffic and pedestrian safety measures on N. Sycamore Street, and to amend any necessary ordinances.” Hopefully, some of the suggestions mentioned above will be quickly implemented by the township!

Update

At the January 12, 2022, Newtown Board of Supervisors (BOS) public meeting, several pedestrian safety measures for N Sycamore St recommended by the township traffic engineers were approved for immediate implementation. In addition, the engineers and township were instructed to move ahead to explore other measures. 

Some Comments from Petition Signers

Here are some comments from people who signed the petition:

  • "I’m signing because there have been too many accidents. The lighting is pathetic in this area and we need to slow down the crazy speeding drivers!!"
  • "Enough of the excuses, it's long past time that something be done despite the general level of incompetence in the administration of this township."
  • "It's obvious that something needs to be done along with the speed being lowered and flashing lights when someone's crossing the road I don't understand why we have to go to a petition Common Sense should make the township do something about it"
  • "I'm reposting here from a discussion I started on NextDoor.com a few days ago after the latest accident... Area residents have suggested any number of common-sense steps to reduce the likelihood of ongoing accidents, including (1) lower the speed limit on Sycamore from 35 to 25 mph; (2) lower the speed limit on 532 (Washington Crossing Road) north of the borough from 45 to 35 mph; (3) install flashing crosswalk lights at Silo Drive; (4) install speed-limiting bumpers on the ground on Sycamore between Jefferson and Durham roads; (5) Make Silo Drive an all-way stop sign; (6) eliminate several parking spots in front of the Green Parrot to create better sight lines for a driver on Silo Drive turning onto Sycamore; (7) install pedestrian signs along this block of Sycamore to only cross at the crosswalks; (8) make the turn from Silo Drive onto Sycamore right-turn only; (9) Improve the street and sidewalk lighting on this relatively dark block. Some of these might require enlisting PennDOT's help..."
  • "Too many people are getting injured or killed for a small town. Vehicles rarely stop for pedestrians in the crosswalks. Lighted signs are needed because the temporary signage does not work."
  • "People all around the area are driving too fast!  We need lower speed limits  on N. sycamore and speed humps!"
  • "[I am signing this petition to] Improve street safety for pedestrians."
  • "I'm hoping there is no need to sign since the need is sadly obvious.  I'm sure it's clear this needs to be an urgent priority since it's otherwise just a matter of time before there's another fatality."
  • "Many crosswalks in Newtown Twp need safety upgrades"
  • "I think the speed limit is too high. Many drivers are unaware of the rules regarding crosswalks, or they are traveling too fast to react to a pedestrian trying to use one."
  • "People drive too fast on N. Sycamore Street.  If we want to make this area more pedestrian family, people need to slow down.  Reduce the speed limit to 25 mph, the typical speed limit we see in our neighborhoods."
  • "There have been too many tragic accidents in this intersection."
  • "I don’t want one more person to be killed or injured at this intersection. It’s been a problem for much too long already!"
  • "I was in a bad accident at that exact corner in 2001. All of the good samaritans who helped me said the intersection was dangerous. Nothing has changed since then, except it has gotten busier. Please make it safer!"
  • "[I am signing this petition] Because this should have been fixed a long time ago. Why did we have to wait until someone died?"
  • ""[I am signing this petition because] I liked Newtown to be a safe place to walk!"
  • "This is a definite trouble spot, which led to a recent tragic death."
  • "It's sad that this is a problem but we fight over stupid things and allow a MEGA WAWA into Newtown that can cause more traffic and congestion. Our supervisors except for maybe 1 seem to show they don't care about us until it is a MEGA issue like this."
  • "Remember when Sycamore Street was nice and quiet? It’s not that way anymore and it’s a shame that someone had to die before anyone paid attention."
  • "[I am signing this petition] To ensure this doesn’t keep happening!"
  • "How many more deaths will it take? Very shocked and saddened by this news!"
  • "This has become a dangerous strip in what once was a relaxing town to walk in. As our community continues to grow, the efforts to keep pedestrians safe from speeding traffic should be just as important as expensive new homes and shopping center renovations. The speed limit on that section is too high, there is poor lighting and there should be clearly posted crosswalks."
  • "[I am signing this petition to] keep people safe while enjoying our town and it’s many offerings."
  • "Please make pedestrian safety in Newtown Township a priority."
  • "[I am signing this petition because] I want to keep this town and it’s people safe!!"
  • "It’s a dark and dangerous intersection with increased pedestrian traffic.  It needs a light-signal & better illumination."
  • "The number of tragedies at this location is horrific. Something must be done."
  • "The Borough and Twp. should have a campaign (eg. hand out flyers, post banners, issue tickets, etc.) to improve pedestrian safety."
  • "Cross walks are for safe crossing, not to get killed. Please help with our tax dollars."
  • "[I am signing this petition because] My high school friend was killed at this intersection"
  • "My dear friend Scott S. was struck and killed by a car there two days before Christmas. He was a good man who had wife and two children who he loved dearly. Apparently this isn’t the first time but it needs to be the last."
  • "Newtown needs to control the speed of cars vs. pedestrians."
  • "[I am signing this petition because] My friend Scott S. was a pedestrian killed by a motor vehicle at this intersection."
  • "[I am signing this petition because] A friend of mine, Scott S. was killed on Dec 22, 2021. WHILE IN THE CROSS WALK!"
  • "[I am signing this petition] In honor of my school classmate who lost his life, and hope that it won’t happen again"
  • "[I am signing this petition] In memory of Paul. As I recall, at the time, there was zero press about this devastating accident."
  • "[I am signing this petition] For my friend Scott and to save another."
  • "[I am signing this petition in honor of] My friend of almost 28 years was killed here"
  • "My friend was killed on the cross[walk] street. Fix it"
  • "Pedestrian safety is most important."

The Signed Petition

The signed petition that will be sent to supervisors is embedded below. You may also access the PDF file directly. 

(c) 2022. This site is paid for and approved by John Mack: john@johnmacknewtown.info
The opinions expressed here are solely those of John Mack and do not represent the opinions of any other person or entity.
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