This movement for the safety of our roads started when our humble owner's association (Hidden Lake Owner's Association) was concerned about some of the potential impacts of the State College Area Connector (SCAC) Project and has grown into a group of concerned Centre County citizens as we found more serious impacts to motorist safety, bicyclist safety, and bus safety.
Safety Is Our Largest Concern
We are concerned about safety along SR 45 due to the numerous accidents, injuries, and fatalities. The PennDOT's PEL Study found that SR45 had a higher incident rate than routes 144 and 322 and that 35% of SR45 was substandard today and the entire length from Boalsburg to Centre Hall was a candidate for improvements. Yet no improvements to SR45 are planned by PennDOT or Centre County. This is a disservice to the thousands of drivers on this road that is made worse by the connector road between SR45 and the proposed 322 highway.
How We Became a Movement
In September 2021, the SCAC had its first public meetings. We were concerned about routes that bordered our neighborhood (especially those with intersections "circled" on the borders of our neighborhood. We provided comments about the impacts to our neighborhood.
In April 2022, the SCAC had its second public meeting. The routes added a connector road between SR45 and route 322, which borders our neighborhood. In the short public comment period, we drafted a letter and petition to state our concerns and impacts, which included residents who own property in both Harris and Potter Townships. We briefed the Potter Township supervisors who stated that their only comments to date were to keep the road as close to the existing route as possible. We are not aware of any specific action by decision makers to address our comments, so we started to organize and dig deeper.
The SCAC released the down-selection of routes to advance to the NEPA stage of the process where traffic, safety, and environment are more thoroughly studied. Though we were pleased that certain routes were removed (322-2 and 322-3), were were very concerned that the new connector road was still being added as part of the 322-1 routes and that the study area excluded other existing SR45 connection options that have substandard safety.
Although we have concerns about impacts to our residential community in the vicinity of the connector road. Our primary concern is safety and that is what this movement is about.
Why You Should Consider Joining the Movement to Improve Safety
In our research we noticed that the safety and traffic boards considered SR45 as one road, yet there was a plan to add a connector road that split the road into two. We reviewed crash information from PennDOT (crashinfo.penndot.gov) over the past 5 years of real data and noticed that the Potter Township side of the SR45 connector had the highest fatality rate (2x - 4x higher) of the other routes while the Harris Township side of the connector had no fatalities. Yet PennDOT is planning additional access which will bring additional traffic and additional fatalities.
We do not support or oppose a specific route, but we strongly oppose the connector route because its clear from the traffic projections and from a common sense perspective that a new interchange and connector road will add traffic to the deadliest section of road in the study area.
How You Can Help (and Join the Safety Movement)
Contact us with your contact information so we can keep you informed.
Let us know if you have specific concerns so we can forward them to decision makers.
Spread the word.
We Are Neighbors
We are neighbors who are concerned for the safety of our roadways. We are concerned about our children riding the bus, the bikers on our routes, the commuters who use our roads. At the end of the day, we are simply neighbors who want to make our region's community safer by providing information and a perspective to consider.