presbsenior

Celeste Van Kirk/Observer-Reporter

A crossing sign and flashing light at Presbyterian SeniorCare on South Main Street in Washington

Presbyterian SeniorCare Network has asked the state Department of Transportation to conduct a traffic study on South Main Street in the area of its campus.

“It’s for everyone’s safety,” said Mary McHugh Murray, senior director at the network’s Washington campus. “Our goal is to have as safe an environment as possible for our residents, visitors and team members.”

The campus is growing with Woodside Place set to open in late fall. It’s going to be a living facility specifically for dementia or Alzheimer’s patients, and will feature 36 residential rooms in the two-story building on South Main Street.

Murray said the new building sits at the top of a hill. The driveway will meet South Main Street just after a curve in the road.

“We think the nature of the campus warrants a second look at safety,” Murray said.

Presbyterian SeniorCare officials reached out to PennDOT earlier in the summer, requesting the traffic study. They want to know if there’s any way to slow down drivers in that stretch of South Main Street, whether it’s with additional signs, crosswalks or reduced speed limits, Murray said.

The current speed limit through the campus is 30 mph, but because it is a senior citizens residential campus with parking on both sides of the street and pedestrian traffic, Murray wants to see that speed reduced.

There are about 600 seniors living on campus, with visitors coming and going every day. Murray said there are about 1,000 people on campus daily.

“Almost half of the residents are independent living, and they’re walking and driving around campus,” Murray said. “I’m not sure everyone is aware of how large our campus is.”

The campus sits where North Franklin and South Strabane townships meet with the City of Washington. During a township meeting last month, Presbyterian SeniorCare Network Executive Director Glenn Delich asked South Strabane supervisors to send a letter to PennDOT in support of the traffic study, which the supervisors agreed to do.

“We really appreciate South Strabane Township’s support in taking a look at the road here,” Murray said, noting that the new Woodside Place is in South Strabane.

She hopes PennDOT will have completed the study and have recommendations by the time Woodside Place opens.

“We see ourselves as advocates for our residents,” Murray said. “We’re all about trying to enhance the quality of life for our residents, visitors and team members.”

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