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Dollar Store in Hawley raises questions

By Vera Moret Frendak
April 30, 2014

HAWLEY, PA — Much of this area struggles with the balance between drawing commerce and jobs to the area and maintaining its quiet, rural character. This issue was strongly in evidence at the latest meeting of the Hawley Borough Council, when Jason Raleigh, an engineer representing Dollar General Development, gave a presentation of projected traffic. Raleigh’s job was to analyze the current traffic situation and roads near the proposed location of a Dollar Store, approximately 600 feet south of the Silk Mill off Route 6 East, and advise on the possible impact, problems and solutions. While Raleigh’s analysis predicted little impact on the current status of existing roads, both Hawley Borough Council and the general public had many concerns.

Much of the discussion surrounded the size and safety of the tractor trailer truck utilized weekly by Dollar General to make its store deliveries. The size of the truck was originally estimated as being 55 feet, which presented few concerns. However, the council has now been made aware that the truck will actually be 62 feet long, a length that poses more possible difficulties. Access and egress to the store will require the truck to cross the double yellow lines on Route 6 in order to make a left turn. While Raleigh has stated that the line of sight and the speed limit of 25 mph of that tract make such a turn safe, the council and the public both scoffed at the idea that this speed limit is routinely respected by most drivers. It was pointed out that when the Silk Mill was converted to commercial space, they were required to add a lane to Route 6 in order to address similar issues. While the council has also been assured that a letter will shortly be forthcoming in which Dollar General ensures that deliveries will only be made during off-peak traffic times, there is some debate as to what these times might best be.

The council feels that changes will be necessary in order to accommodate the trucks. They believe that Dollar General may be required to pay for a minor traffic study on how this will impact traffic going both on and off Route 6. If Electric Street, which runs parallel to Route 6 and next to the site off Route 6, is to be used as an exit, a High Occupancy Permit (HOP) will be necessary. A concern raised by resident Jerry Arnold was that side roads other than Electric Street might be used by shoppers frustrated by the difficulty of making turns onto Route 6 by the designated entrances and exits, lowering the quality of life by increasing traffic for the residents living on those roads.