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Middletown not aware of potential truck traffic increase from Londonderry plans

By Laura Hayes

laurahayes@pressandjournal.com

717-944-4628
Posted 9/11/19

Middletown Borough Manager Ken Klinepeter told the Press & Journal he hasn’t seen any correspondence from Londonderry Township regarding zoning ordinance amendments that likely would lead …

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Middletown not aware of potential truck traffic increase from Londonderry plans

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Middletown Borough Manager Ken Klinepeter told the Press & Journal he hasn’t seen any correspondence from Londonderry Township regarding zoning ordinance amendments that likely would lead to an increase in truck traffic on Main and Vine streets in the borough.

The Londonderry Board of Supervisors unanimously approved zoning amendments Sept. 3 that will expand the C-2 commercial district and add conditional uses within the district that would make way for constructing a logistic center on the northern part of the Lytle Farms development and two other tracts in the township.

Trucks from the potential logistics development on the northern portion of the Lytle Farms development in Londonderry, just east of the Swatara Creek along Route 230, are projected to use Vine Street in Middletown to get to Route 283.

“My concern at intersections would be how well the drivers of longer trucks can negotiate the turn radius at any particular intersection,” Klinepeter said in an email.

When asked if the borough had any concerns about increased truck traffic, Klinepeter said, “I guess that would depend on how much truck traffic we can expect. I can only speak for myself that I would be concerned as a resident or commuter living or traveling along the corridor used by the trucks. I believe increased truck traffic causes longer lines and additional wait time at traffic signals. In addition, they increase noise and congestion along the corridor.”

Vine and Main streets are both state-owned roads.

Londonderry resident and truck driver Thom Bell said during a Sept. 3 public hearing he wasn’t opposed to the development, “but Middletown isn’t going to be very happy with this truck traffic going to Vine Street.”

Bell said the curbs at the intersection of Vine and Main streets are “busted up,” and he said the intersection may have to be rebuilt or redesigned because it is a “nuthouse” trying to get trucks around the bend.

“I hate to go through that intersection, and my trailer is not that big,” Bell said.

During the Sept. 3 hearing, Londonderry resident John Gearhart suggested widening Swatara Creek Road so trucks could go along the creek and get to Vine Street north of Route 283 and avoid going through Middletown.

“That would take the load off the borough, and could be a very good negotiating point when you finally talk to the borough,” Gearhart said.