PHOENIXVILLE >> After five years of watching speeders blast down Second Avenue, often blowing through a stop sign, Nicole and Dan McClure finally had enough when one of them crashed into their parked car.
They made use of the five weeks their car was in the shop to organize their neighbors to sign a petition and take their concerns to borough council.
They did that at the Aug. 8 meeting, delivering a petition with 75 signatures and convincing 10 people to attend the meeting and attest to the dangerous conditions there.
Phyllis Wilt, a resident of the street for 62 years, told council that when she raised her children, it was not dangerous for them to walk to nearby Barkley Elementary School.
“But now, we like to sit on our porch and it’s like watching NASCAR,” she said.
“It blows my mind that people drive like this when there’s a school right there,” said Troy Burkhart.
The problem, said the residents is that unlike many roads in the borough, Second Avenue is wide, is on both directions, and so is used a short-cut for drivers trying to get from Nutt Road to Gay Street, Main Street or even Starr Street on the other side of town.
Several said their cars have been hit, or almost hit multiple times. Many said that drivers rarely come to a full stop — or anything close to it — at the intersection of Second Avenue and Lincoln Avenue.
“We were warned by the neighbors when we moved in that we would be living on the ‘Nutt Road By-Pass’” said Nicole McClure.
Middle Ward Councilman Michael Kuznar, who met initially with the concerned residents said he was surprised at how easy it was to gather 75 signatures on the petition submitted to council.
“It’s getting very scary,” said Nicholas Algier, who told council he moved from Brooklyn to his home at the corner of Gay Street and Second Avenue in 2013. “We need your help.”
The speakers were evidently convincing, as council voted unanimously to have the police conduct a traffic study.
Borough Manager E. Jean Krack warned the residents that the process of studying the problem and coming up with a solution may take some time.
“Doing a traffic study takes time and money,” said Krack. “We may find ourselves here talking about this in December,” he said.
Council President James Kovaleski said the matter would be referred first to the infrastructure committee and then to the finance committee “to figure out how we pay for it.”
The McClures said they were pleased with the outcome and had not expected anything to happen immediately.
“We’re interested in a long-term solution and we don’t want anything that is just going to push the problem to another street,” said Dale McClure.