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Honesdale council postpones traffic pattern decision

Susan J. Smith of CVS addressed the Honesdale borough council on December 10.

December 12, 2012

The Honesdale Borough Council wants more time to discuss the traffic patterns at the intersection of Main and Fourth Streets where the CVS Pharmacy plans to build a super-drugstore. The new store will replace the building that formerly housed DSFI, Inc.

The new traffic pattern concerns the right-turn lane at the foot of Main Street. CVS want to increase the degree of the lane turn so that large trucks can more easily handle the turn. Since the new project will attract a larger number of trucks, the need for such widening is critical, company engineers say.

CVS promised to purchase a piece of property at the intersection from the Meagher Agency if the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) approved the change.

After a presentation at the recent meeting on December 10 by Susan Smith, an attorney speaking for CVS, and after an agreement had apparently been reached that would solve the problem of the traffic flow, an objection was voiced by council member Bob Jennings and Mayor Ed Langendoerfer.

The CVS people left the meeting, thinking that they would present a development plan of the traffic flow later in the week and seek the approval of PennDOT. PennDOT has already approved a previous plan presented to them by CVS.

“I object to the process that is being followed,” Langendoerfer said. “I think we are going about it in the wrong way. CVS wants us to approve the development plan at the intersection and then go to PennDOT for approval. Why should we approve a plan that we haven’t seen? In my opinion, the borough council should approve any new CVS plan first before they approach PennDOT. Why should we approve a plan before we see it?”

Council member Bob Jennings voiced a similar opinion.
“What’s the rush?” Jennings said. “We shouldn’t approve any plan before we see it. If we do what CVS wants and they get the approval of PennDOT, then we’re stuck. We won’t have any control of what happens at that intersection.”

When the council moved to table the discussion to a meeting on next Monday evening, Jennings was the only member who voted “no.” The mayor has no vote in any council decisions.
The issue will be taken up at a meeting on Monday, December 17 at 7 p.m.

Two borough businessmen, Paul Luddick and William Davis warned of the dangers inherent in the CVS project. Davis said that the new location of CVS is a loss to the quality of life of the borough. “I urge you to proceed slowly and with goals in mind that are in keeping with the mission to represent the best interest of the citizens of Honesdale,” he said.