Request for traffic light on Route 30 denied in Franklin County

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ST. THOMAS TOWNSHIP, FRANKLIN COUNTY, Pa. -- Many of motorists have probably driven through a busy intersection and wondered why there isn't a traffic light.

It's a question being asked by officials in St. Thomas Township.

Some drivers are concerned about the meeting point of Route 30 and St. Thomas-Williamson Road.

Driver Natasha Schooley said "because it's dangerous. And you'll sit in traffic for minutes at a time. I sat there for 20 minutes at one time, trying to get out."

St. Thomas Township officials would like to install a traffic signal at the busy intersection, but Penn DOT isn't giving the township a green light.

PennDOT spokesperson Fritzi Schreffler said "in order for a municipality to get a traffic signal, they actually have to have it warranted. There are a lot of different factors that go into that, the biggest one being crash data."

"I think we need a light just for the kids' safety. It's a school zone. Kids walk home from school all the time, and I feel that a light would be the best thing for this little town," Schooley said.

There have been six crashes in the last five years where Route 30 and St. Thomas-Williamson Road cross.

"How many more car accidents have to happen before they put a light in," Schooley said.

PennDOT doesn't have a certain number of crashes required to approve a signal on a state road, however, the St. Thomas Township intersection doesn't show enough of a pattern of danger to warrant a stoplight.  It will get something else instead.

"We're going to improve the paint lines, the pavement markings. We're going to add some additional 35 mph signs, but really, without any crash data, it's really hard for PennDOT to come in," Schreffler said.

Ultimately, it takes more than crashes for PennDOT to approve a municipality seeking a traffic light. The cost is $100,000 to $200,000.

"That would be a lot of money spent, not only on PennDOT's side, which is taxpayer dollars and resources, but also on the side of the municipalities who are going to be responsible for the maintenance, the installation, and the upkeep," Schreffler said.