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Ross Commissioners: Options Limited in Resolving Complaints About Poorly Maintained Road

A resident of the Woodhawk Club said the intersection of McKnight Road and Johnanna Drive is dangerous.

When Vicki Chang turns off McKnight Road toward her home at the Woodhawk Club, the entrance to Johnanna Drive acts like a speed bump. (See video and Click "view larger map" for exact location) 

"Because of the poor road conditions, drivers slow down to a nearly complete stop when entering from McKnight Road," she told the Ross Township Board of Commissioners Monday night. "This greatly increases the chances of rear-end collisions because the cars behind you are still traveling at nearly 40 miles an hour."  

Chang asked the commissioner to do something to improve Johnanna Drive, which acts as an entrance to McDonalds, Mick's Chrysler Dealership, EZ storage, Ivy Woods Condominiums and the Woodhawk Club.

The problem, Board President Grant Montgomery said, is that Johnanna is a privately owned road.

"We don't have the funds to take care of private roads," he said. "Our responsibility is to take care of the township roads. I totally get what you are saying, but it we try to enforce your situation, then we'd have to do that for every private road in the township."   

According Chang, Johnanna is owned by McDonalds, Mick's Chrysler Dealership, EZ storage, Ivy Woods Condominiums and the Woodhawk Club. She said her complaints, so far, have fallen on deaf ears. 

"I do understand it's a private road and I know what that means," she said. "But I have spoken with different people and they have given me difference answers." 

Ross Police Chief Robert Bellan told Chang and the Commissioners he would look at the history of accidents at that intersection, and speak with PennDOT, which owns McKnight Road, to see what options, if any, are available to the township.

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Paul February 07, 2013 at 02:38 PM
It sounds like everyone wants to pass the buck. It's not my problem. Until someone gets in an accident and gets killed then they will be out politicizing and grandstanding.
Adam February 07, 2013 at 04:10 PM
I have a solution. If it's a privately owned road and the owners aren't going to spend the money to fix the issues that are causing dangerous traffic situations on a state road, then the state should start proceedings to revoke that cut into McKnight road and build a curb there. I drive this stretch every day and the flow problems caused by this side road combined with the jug handle further up the road creates tons of lane change issues. People jump out of the right lane to bypass the traffic coming to a complete stop making the right hand turn and then cut back across 2 lanes to exit at the jug handle. If they misjudge the number of cars making that turn, they end up cutting off vehicles traveling in the right lane and causing backups as they brake so they can exit at the jug handle.
Cindy February 08, 2013 at 03:35 AM
I totally agree about the entrance to McDonalds. It is just like driving over a curb! I crawl over it for fear of damage being done to my car. I couldn't imagine using it daily!
CT February 08, 2013 at 04:56 AM
i empathize with vicki chang. that end of johanna drive has been in disrepair for YEARS!! although i do not live in the woodhawk club complex, i do need to turn onto johanna drive on occasion. also i have been behind other drivers who needs to turn slow and carefully turn onto that road, and, too i am fearful someone is going to rear-end my car, because i am also going slow. if mcdonalds or mick's or the woodhawk club will not own up to their responsibilities to repair johanna drive, then we should boycott their businesses.
Richard February 08, 2013 at 01:18 PM
I can't believe that the people who own that road can't pitch in and pay to asphalt approx. 20 feet of that road. If I lived up there I would move. I do not ever go into that McDonalds anymore. I worked asphalt and it would not take much to fix that small area. Besides it really takes a toll on your front end. What a Shame.
Carolyn Schuk February 08, 2013 at 06:35 PM
The commissioners can't ignore it any more because now that it's on the record at a public meeting, a judge will be more likely to hold them liable for accidents. And the only thing politicians worry about more than being responsible is being liable!

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