Bob Wantz of Manchester Township recently asked why transportation officials didn’t take land from Cousler Park to realign Church Road to make one intersection at Greenbriar Road.
Currently, two intersections exist at Church and Greenbriar roads. Both have traffic signals and are only a short distance apart.
Cousler Park falls under a section in the U.S. Department of Transportation Act of 1966 that helps to protect park and recreation lands, wildlife and waterfowl refuges and historic sites in project development, Will Clark, chief of transportation planning for the York County Planning Commission, explained in an email. He cited the Federal Highway Administration website explaining the rules.
To impact these type of properties, the Federal Highway Administration must determine that the impacts are “de minimis” or undertake an evaluation. If the evaluation identifies a feasible and prudent alternative that completely avoids such properties, it must be selected. If not, the Federal Highway Administration does have some discretion in selecting an alternative that causes the least overall harm. It also must find that all possible planning to minimize harm of the property has occurred, according to the website.
Clark said that at the point in time the project was completed, the purpose was to solve a safety problem — not a congestion problem. Therefore, the purpose was met by installing two separate signal lights without having to impact the park.