Beautification project approved in Holme Circle

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. ••

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