Main Line officials are trying to decide how to fix an intersection that drivers and pedestrians call “treacherous.”
“It’s a terrible intersection,” said Ken Jacobs of Narberth. “Both for pedestrians and drivers.”
It's the intersection where North and East Wynnewood Roads come together in Lower Merion and Narberth. The intersection features two blind curves and no crosswalks. Accidents involving cars, cyclists and pedestrians have been a constant problem.
“I think the problem basically is speed,” said Nancy Sando of Narberth. “People travel much too fast.”
In light of the danger, Narberth officials are proposing the construction of a small roundabout.
“When you have an accident, it’s a T-bone or a rear-end, or a high-speed, high-injury accident,” said Bob Wegbreit of the Narberth Council Highway Committee. “With a modern roundabout, you have less accidents and the ones you have are just fender benders.”
Liz Rogan, President of Lower Merion’s Board of Commissioners, believes roundabouts rely far too much on driver and pedestrian judgment however. Instead, Rogan believes a traffic light at the 3-way intersection would be safer.
“A traffic signal is really understandable,” Rogan said. “It brings everybody to a complete stop. There could potentially be a pedestrian-only phase of the light.”
Narberth officials believe the roundabout would be more effective than a traffic light however. According to borough officials, a roundabout would force all lanes of traffic to slow down to navigate the circle while a traffic light would do nothing to reduce speed.
Lower Merion Commissioners are currently debating the issue. If they sign off on the roundabout proposal, it would go to PennDot for final approval. If not however, it’s back to the drawing board and more potential danger for those who cross the “treacherous” intersection.