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Tells Us: What's the Worst Intersection in Cranberry?

Which road, red light, or stop sign do you try to avoid?

Just before the New Year, Cranberry Patch asked readers what they would like improve in the area in 2013.

Some of the suggestions were adding more sidewalks and hiking trails to the community as well as allowing dogs in all of the Cranberry’s parks. One familiar theme that emerged was more traffic improvements, specifically widening Freedom Road and Route 228.

This week, we’re asking readers to tell us, what is the worst intersection in the Cranberry area?

In the last year, the township has erected, or plans to add, a number of traffic signals at intersections. These include signals at new businesses, like the one in front of the new Cranberry Crossroads Plaza and at the intersection of Longtree Way and Franklin Road near the new Hilton Garden Inn.

Cranberry also took several steps towards improving some of the community’s more dangerous intersections. 

As a result of an increase in traffic accidents, Cranberry in August changed the traffic pattern at the intersection of Route 19 and Glen Eden and North Boundary Roads. Motorists now have to wait for a green arrow before turning left at the intersection with North Boundary and Glen Eden roads from Route 19.

Plans also are underway to add a traffic signal at the intersection of Route 19 and Ehrman Road where the new Sheetz gas station and convenience store is being built. Township manager Jerry Andree said adding a signal to the intersection, where several accidents have occurred over the years, has been a top request by residents.

Other recently added signal are at Franklin Road with Peters Road, at Freedom Road with Haldeman Drive and at Rochester Road with Graham Park Drive.

So, we want to know, are there other intersection where you would like to see improvements? Which intersection in the Cranberry area is the worst in your opinion and how would you fix it?

Share your thoughts in the comments box below.

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John January 11, 2013 at 11:03 AM
1. Traffic Signal at the intersection of Progress Ave and US19. 2. Newly constructed interchange between Interstate 79 and Rowan Road (this could also, if designed properly be tied into a traffic signal with Marshall Rd and Rowan Rd.). This would also give local motorists another option to get on and off I-79, you know, easing traffic at the Rt 228 interchange. Those are the two that pop into my head without even really thinking abou the question for more than 30 seconds.
michele lawver January 11, 2013 at 12:02 PM
I live in Freedom Woods and the light coming out of Valley Forge onto Freedom can take forever! And you cant make a Right on red!!
Jen January 11, 2013 at 12:40 PM
Agree with John above that we need another access to I-79 to alleviate the traffic at 228 and 19. Also, N. Boundary and Glen Eden is still a dangerous intersection. The changes in the fall helped, but more restrictions are needed at that intersection.
Deb January 11, 2013 at 01:02 PM
The light at Haldeman and Freedom Road was much needed, but if you are coming out of Clearbrook onto Freedom Road you can sit and wait up to 8 minutes for a light change. When the light does finally change, the traffic on Freedom Road usually is so backed up that you can't turn anyway. The lights on Freedom Road are not synchronized at all. You may get a green light, but the next light will either still be red or change to red and you can't move anyway. Someone needs to really take a look at the lack of synchronization and the timing on some of the lights.
George Wade January 11, 2013 at 01:21 PM
Due to the overpopulation and developement concentrated in only southern butler county,cranberry,the worst tied up routes are freedom/crider rd. and rt 228 and if most of the cranberrians would obey traffic signals instead of blocking the intersections even when the light is red,half the people out there do this,the light may be red but wont yeild to it ,they go thru it.So much for the expense of installing cameras at the lights and the weak expansion widening of freedom,crider and rt 228.Also the wasted stimilus on the center medians installed only to be ripped out ,how much wasted money was put into these projects with minimal traffic flow improvements. Shame on zoning,planning and spending in southern butler county.
Giacomo January 11, 2013 at 01:35 PM
#2 is a great idea. The northern neighborhoods (Preserve, Pinehurst, etc.) have several poor choices to get to and from I-79. Almost all of them involve adding to the PA-228 congestion.
Giacomo January 11, 2013 at 01:37 PM
Two solutions to this, not mutually exclusive: (1) Widening this intersection to allow left and right turn lanes; (2) Synchronized or sensor activated traffic lights -- it's a good bet that drivers wait a long time when there is no cross-traffic.
Giacomo January 11, 2013 at 01:39 PM
Concur that synchronization is virtually non-existent. Also, inactivity sensors could allow short-cycle traffic light changes when there is no traffic on Freedom Road, and could improve intersection utilization factor.
Chris F January 11, 2013 at 01:47 PM
This isn't one of the worst intersections, but it's one of the newest that people don't seem to understand. It's the one where Mackenzie Way connects to Cranberry Commons Dr in front of Target. I've seen a lot of people heading west on Cranberry Commons Dr just go straight through to Mackenzie Way without looking for traffic coming the other way around the turn. I think the way it lines up makes people think that the road continues straight through to Mackenzie, whereas they should be treating it like a left turn. I've seen a lot of close calls there, including my dad who completely cut someone off without realizing it.
Patty Gee January 11, 2013 at 02:07 PM
I agree with all the above. I've noticed the lack of synchronization even though this problem was supposed to be fixed last year. Another scary intersection is when traveling on Freedom and needing to turn left into the plaza with Joann Fabrics. There should be a green arrow for turning, it's almost impossible and very dangerous, to turn left there, so I avoid it. I've seen many "almost accidents" there.
Patty Gee January 11, 2013 at 02:12 PM
Sorry, meant the intersection to turn in at Michaels!
Steve January 11, 2013 at 02:45 PM
1. Franklin & 228. While the new turning lanes on Franklin have helped, I think signs that state "Use both lanes to merge point -- take your turn" like I have seen in Ohio would help alleviate some of the further backup as people have a propensity to block others from getting over. If one wasn't to use both lanes, then there wouldn't be two lanes. 2. Freeport & 19 North. Two points on this: Freeport is certainly wide enough to have a turning lane. Traffic gets backed up past the entry to Sheraton & Dutilh, and it seems people forget not to block intersections. The exit ramp from 79 should extend as a turn lane to Freeport rather than forcing people to enter 19 and then immediately turn off. The congestion it causes during the evening commute is ridiculous, and it's further compounded by Northern Regional police which like to ticket anyone who crosses the white line. Again, there is plenty of room for a lane to continue. However, I will try and give the benefit of the doubt to planners in that may have been done on purpose to slow people down (or as a great ticket revenue generator :) ). 3. Speaking of the I79 exit ramp to 19, why couldn't a branch been sent down to meet with Thorn Hill at the light? so that one could go directly to Thorn Hill or 19 South. 4. Mackenzie & Cranberry Commons. Intersection should have a stop sign coming down from Target with Cranberry Commons extending straight without that little turn like the rest of the plaza is set up.
Steve January 11, 2013 at 02:50 PM
Agree. This intersection is illogical. The only thing I can surmise is that it's two different developers and one was unwilling to "connect" to the other.
Steve January 11, 2013 at 02:53 PM
It's definitely a mess there, and it's certainly not any better now that Sheetz is there. Time to widen the bridge over 76.
Maria Puszakowski Wroblewski January 11, 2013 at 02:54 PM
That whole stretch is ridiculous. I hate when you go right past that intersection that people zoom in the right hand lane before Primantis and then cut you off. They need to put up a divider between the turning lane and the straight lane. It's bad enough when you have to wait for all the lights but then to have someone cut you off, it makes it even worse!
Larry January 11, 2013 at 02:55 PM
Route 19 in general. We need an northern off ramp and southern on ramp at North Boundry to relieve alot of traffic on Franklin road and Route 19.
zally January 11, 2013 at 02:59 PM
228, both east and west of Rt 19, is a bear. Dutilh Rd, that cuts off from 228 and goes behind the Burger King becomes like a raceway because of the volume of traffic heading north and trying to avoid the Rt 19 congestion. The prior comment about adding a 79 entrance/exit further north is a good one!
Bill January 11, 2013 at 05:50 PM
I think one of the worst and most frustrating intersections in the area is the Rt. 228/Freedom Rd./Rt.19 intersection. The light sequence will allow as few as six or eight cars through from Rt. 228 and Freedom Road, while allowing twenty cars or more through going north or south on Rt. 19. Freedom Road gets a lot of semi truck traffic and when these trucks are in the intersection even fewer cars make it through. There is always a wild rush when these lights change, almost invariably two or three cars will push through on red. No other intersection is so restricted. The intersections with Rt. 19 from Rochester Rd. and Thorn Hill allow 20 or more cars through with each sequence, yet Rt. 228 and Freedom Rd. are much more heavily traveled and are getting busier all the time. In this age of computers, it seems like there should be an easy and inexpensive fix.
Jessica Sinichak January 11, 2013 at 06:58 PM
Lots of good discussion in the comments today. Keep in mind Route 228, I-79, Route 19 and Freedom Road all are state-owned roads, which means PennDOT controls them and not the township.
Ralph Bischak January 11, 2013 at 07:36 PM
THe intersection of Graham School Road and Rochester Road could certainly benefit from (at least) three way stop signs!
Lisa Stroup January 12, 2013 at 04:13 AM
Whoever "synchronizes" the lights on Freedom Road, and comes up with the logistics for the traffic flow, needs to find a new job. They have too many lights on that road and need to reconfigure them to eliminate a few at the mall. As this person said, when you get a green light, you can't go anywhere. Why are the lights not set up to be modeled after the ones on 228 where Olive Garden, Smokey Bones, etc. are? ONE road runs behind the businesses and access is via ONE light. There are businesses along Freedom Road that employees can't get out of when they try to get off work. The lights at Cranberry Mall are ridiculous. There should be no parking beside the Michael's and JoAnn stores and this space should be used for throughway traffic to enter and exit via the light at Primanti's. How many entrances does a shopping center need? When there is an entire parking lot in front of these stores, why is it necessary to have parking on the side of the stores when that space could be better utilized? Try parking in one of these spaces and then backing out with throughway traffic going behind you. The light at JoAnn's needs to be eliminated because it's useless. You try to get out of the lower-level of the mall and can't go anywhere when the light turns green. Now I see the township is going to use the same tactics to ruin Rochester Road. Rochester Road was the only way to try and get anywhere. Awful traffic logistics!
Lisa Stroup January 12, 2013 at 04:21 AM
I rest my case on the JoAnn Fabrics light...read my comment. Eliminate it. To access the lower-level of the mall, the only way to go is to enter with the left arrow at Michael's and then use the through-way (beside Michael's) down to the lower level.
Bill January 12, 2013 at 06:21 PM
I corresponded with PENDOT regarding this intersection and they told me the they were unable to alter the sequencing of the lights at the intersection because that was the responsibility of Cranberry Twp.
James W. Wood January 12, 2013 at 07:52 PM
Jessica " Keep in mind Route 228, I-79, Route 19 and Freedom Road all are state-owned roads, which means Penn DOT controls them and not the township". Yes that is correct .....but the Township controls the growth in the community that over load the roads like Freedom Road that is headed to being 300 plus percent over capacity. So how do you blame the state for the traffic that the Township has placed on the state roads? I would say it is from poor planing on the part of the township and Freedom Road is the Poster Child of this poor Planing.
Jessica Sinichak January 12, 2013 at 08:01 PM
Hey Jim, that was just a general statement in case readers didn't realize which roads are state and which are township. There has been a lot of discussion about both. I'm didn't mention "blame" for either entity!
James W. Wood January 12, 2013 at 09:24 PM
Jessica Mine was a general statement also.
Barbara Socash February 21, 2013 at 04:36 PM
At 228 and Franklin Rd. Cars are trying to get thru the light faster by going 50 mls to get to that point to merge so they don't have to wait three lights as the rest of us do. They are pushing the rest of the left lane out from getting thru. I almost was in accident at that point didn't see the car coming up almost got pushed into middle strip and the young man gave me a finger sign and then turned at the next light. He almost got us killed. Something should be done there.
marasmom February 25, 2013 at 06:44 PM
I agree with previous comment. Vehicles traveling east on 228 (at Franklin) drive too fast in the right lane. I have sat thru that light for several cycles, and then someone comes flying up on the right side forcing me to let them in ? Maybe turn it into a right turn only.. haha. then people will just cut you off sooner on the little hill. I also think the bridge over turnpike is ridiculous and scary. Why has that not been replaced? Yes, it will be a nightmare, but next time you are sitting in traffic on it, take a look around. AND people actually try to walk over that or ride a bike. They are very brave souls. Lastly, although it is not Cranberry I would love to see a no right turn at 528 and 68. If you happen to be on 68 toward Butler at rush hour, forget it. You will sit ..and sit.. the cars coming down 528 keep filling in any space so when 68 traffic does get the light, they can't move. Just a no right on red from 4 to 6 would be great!! Sorry for going on..You can call PDOT about anything (butler county) and he has a reason why it can't be done. He is rude.
Patty Gee February 25, 2013 at 06:54 PM
The section right beyond Franklin Rd. on 228 going east is a merge area. People do go too fast there in the right lane. And it is frustrating to wait through 3 lights. But if everyone would use both lanes to the merge point, then take a turn and let the ones on the right merge in, everyone would get through a little faster. That is one intersection where more driver courtesy is needed from drivers in both lanes. I hope they are going to widen the area soon - it's bad now, what's it going to be like when the new school opens?

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