Two traffic roundabouts planned in Warwick Twp.

By on January 23, 2019

Future plans for the Sixth Street Extension in Warwick Township might have drivers going in circles.

But, in a good way.

The plans to extend Sixth Street from Woodcrest Avenue to Rothsville Road in the future call for two traffic roundabouts. One would be at Moravian Manor’s Warwick Woodlands adult community at Woodcrest Avenue. The other would be at Rothsville Road and Clay Road at the extended Sixth Street.

“Roundabouts are good traffic calming devices,” reported Warwick Township manager Daniel Zimmerman at the Jan. 16 Warwick Township Supervisors meeting. The plans for the roundabout on Rothsville Road related to discussion on the sketch plan for the Siegrist Tract, Sixth Street Corridor Master Plan. The plan will affect land development in the area surrounded by Kissel Hill Road, Pierson Road, and Rothsville Road.

“This is an opportunity to look at the whole corridor together, as we make a final push toward the Sixth Street Extension,” noted Zimmerman, adding that elements of the plan have been in the works for many years.

The full plan fits together like pieces of a puzzle, with several entities playing a role in the whole picture. In the center of it is the Lititz Reserve development, which is being expanded. The property was originally owned by Wayne Siegrist, who donated a portion of his farm to the Lititz Public Library and the Veterans Honor Park of Lancaster County. The existing Lititz Reserve development is being expanded by developer Lee Moyer.

According to Joyce Gerhart of RGS Associates, the expansion will include a total of 88 new homes, of which 50 would be single family and 38 would be duplexes. There would be new streets, including Meadow Rose Court and the extended Sixth Street.

The extension of Sixth Street would also affect the expansion of Lancaster Evangelical Free Church, which is located at Rothsville Road and Pierson Road. Sixth Street would provide an additional access to the large church, which is growing quickly. The main addition to the LEFC will be for the auditorium and classrooms, as well as an addition that will replace the current modular buildings. A maintenance building is also being proposed.

There will also be a trail along the north side of Sixth Street, which will ultimately connect to the Rail Trail and provide pedestrian access along Sixth Street to Clay Road. Other components of the entire area is the expansion of Luther Acres Retirement Community, which is adding homes in Lititz Borough and Warwick Township. There is a quarry to the west of the expanded Siegrist Tract development, which will be fenced. That is near the Sylvan Brandt reclaimed wood and flooring business, which will also be affected by the plan. Then there is the original Siegrist farmstead on Pierson Road.

“There is a lot going on,” said Gerhart, noting that seeing the full plan sketches provided an overall look at how each entity will fit together into the overall plan. The extension of Sixth Street will have considerable impact on travelers in the area, providing alternate routes in and out of Lititz to the east. Pierson Road will remain, but the intersection with Rothsville Road will be adjusted, with a new access road connecting Sixth Street and Pierson Road. That road is not yet named. Drivers will be able to travel all the way from Warwick Woodlands to Rothsville Road on Sixth Street.

The Sixth Street access to Rothsville Road would be aligned with Clay Road, which is where the new roundabout would be located. According to Warwick Township assistant manager PatrickBarrett, the roundabout would be similar to the two new roundabouts in Hershey along Route 322.

Barrett provided information from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation on the effectiveness of roundabouts in reducing crashes and decreasing injuries and fatalities. According to the data from PennDOT, modern-day roundabouts reduce crash severity and injuries, while improving traffic flow. They are known as traffic calming devices, that keep traffic moving in a more systematic way. Unlike large traffic circles in states like New Jersey, roundabouts are usually one lane with turnoffs that are easy to access. The PennDOT study looked at 11 roundabouts located in various regions of the state.

“I like the way it looks. It seems to function well,” said supervisor Logan Myers of the Siegrist Tract, Sixth Street Corridor Master Plan.

Supervisors were also impressed with the recent completion of the 7.2 mile Warwick to Ephrata Rail Trail, which fully opened at the end of December 2018. After nearly 30 years, the trail now links Warwick to Ephrata, with the completion of the renovated 109-year-old railroad bridge over Cocalico Creek, which connects Warwick and Ephrata townships. The trail follows the old Reading and Columbia Railroad bed that dates back to 1863. Since 1996, the trail has been underway in various sections. Now it is fully linked, and open to walkers, runners, bicyclists, dog walkers, and anyone who wants to traverse the trail that winds through farmlands, woodlands and crosses streams. Road Superintendent Jason Minnich reported that there are a few stretches of split rail fence that still need to be installed. He plans to have road crews clean up some fallen branches and brush along the trail.

The official dedication of the Warwick to Ephrata Rail Trail will be held sometime in April 2019. In the meantime, Warwick Township is getting a lot of positive feedback from the community.
“People are loving it,” said Zimmerman, adding that the trail is open from dawn to dusk, and is being used for recreational activities, as well as biking or walking to work, connecting Ephrata and Warwick with a safe, alternative mode of transportation.

There are seven designated parking areas that provide access to the trail and five restrooms or portable toilets along the way. There are rules. Vehicles must be non-motorized. Pets must be on a leash. No snowmobiles, horses or buggies are allowed on the trail. The trail will not be plowed. There is a bicycle rental station shed at the Warwick Township Campus Park on Clay Road.

“People tell us how much they love the trail and it’s being used a lot,” said Myers, who enjoys the trail himself.

Eventually it is anticipated that the trail will extend into Lititz Borough along Lititz Run to Lititz Springs Park, where the reproduction of original Lititz Train Station was built years ago.
In other business, Warwick Township Supervisors approved a resolution authorizing the acquisition of TDRs (Transferrable Development Rights) for the Raymond Hurst farm preservation project. They also OK’d 27th-annual Sauders Egg Run and the Lititz recCenter’s fifth annual Triathlon.

Laura Knowles is a freelance feature writer and regular contributor to The Record Express. She can be reached at lknowles21@gmail.com. 

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