A Holme Circle beautification project has been approved by the city and is ready to begin, but neighbors should not expect to see any big changes in the area until next spring.
Leaders of the Holme Circle Civic Association have decided to wait until the cold weather breaks before installing new welcome signs on the traffic circle at the intersection of Holme Avenue and Welsh Road. That way, volunteers can also install new flowers and landscaping.
HCCA President Elsie Stevens gave an update on the project during the civic group’s monthly meeting last Wednesday at St. Jerome School.
Two “Holme Circle” signs will be erected on the circle, one facing eastbound traffic and the other westbound traffic. The civic group has obtained city permission to erect the signs and bought insurance to protect itself against lawsuits should an accident occur.
The civic group’s beautification committee, headed by board member Mike Gould, has been working on the project for more than a year. The group has not announced an installation date.
• The civic association has also spent the last several months seeking relief from speeding cars and trucks on Holme Avenue. The speed limit is 30 mph, but vehicles routinely exceed that by 20 mph or more, neighbors say.
Last year, 72 traffic accidents were reported on the 2900, 3000 and 3100 blocks of Holme Ave., roughly from Winchester Avenue to Willits Road.
At last week’s meeting, Stevens proposed that the group investigate a new automated traffic control system recently installed along Kelly Drive in the Northwest section of the city. There, sensors have been installed into the road surface that detect traffic speeds. If a vehicle is speeding, the sensors will trigger a traffic signal to turn red. The traffic signals are positioned far enough beyond the sensors to allow for safe braking.
“We’re interested in this because maybe the technology can be installed along Holme Avenue,” Stevens said.
The program is in a trial period on Kelly Drive, which could last for a year or more, said Stevens, citing a recent newspaper report about the program.
• Stevens further announced that the civic group has been selected as the facilitator for a new Pennypack Creek safety program that will be presented at area schools next spring.
In light of last summer’s two youth drowning deaths in the creek, the civic group contacted city officials to propose the school-based safety program. Representatives from the city’s police department and water department will join the parent of a youth drowning victim to visit schools and inform students about the dangers of the creek.
Swimming is prohibited in the creek, but youths do it anyway during warm-weather months. Storm waters swept two teens to their deaths last summer. The creek also presents a health hazard to swimmers because the water is untreated and contains bacteria, among other dangers. The presentations will occur in April and May, but dates have not been selected, Stevens said.
• The Holme Circle Civic Association will not conduct a business meeting in December, but members are invited to attend the group’s holiday social on Wednesday, Dec. 18, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Dunkin’ Donuts, 2998 Welsh Road. ••