Whoever gave the green light to remove the traffic signal at Chambers Road and Route 124 in York Township should have proceeded with a little more caution.

It seems there wasn't a plan in place to accommodate nearby residents who used the road to make left turns onto westbound Route 124 (known locally as either Mount Rose Avenue or East Prospect Road).

Some of them attended a meeting this week with public officials and raised concerns about not being able to easily leave their developments, decreasing property values and safety after the signal was removed last month.

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation officials said safety actually was behind the decision to remove the signal, which was dangerously close — less than half a mile — to another signalized intersection at Route 24.

But what about the residents' other concerns?

Did no one at PennDOT recognize the difficulty these residents would face while leaving their neighborhood?

Someone should have, since they're surely familiar with the horrendous traffic in the area of the Route 124/Route 24 intersection. The two roads ranked Nos. 10 and 11 on a Washington, D.C.-based think tank's list of the 14 worst commuter routes in the Harrisburg-York-Lancaster area last year.

And, in fact, the Chambers Road signal was removed as part of the ongoing widening of Route 124 to the Route 24 intersection. Eventually, the improvements could ease the congestion, making the residents' concerns moot.


But what about in the meantime?

There are three other ways of leaving the affected development, but all are at stop signs while facing heavy streams of traffic.

During Tuesday's meeting with state representatives and township commissioners, residents presented a petition with more than 780 signatures pleading for a new traffic signal in the area.

"We don't want a light, we don't desire a light. We need a light," said Jay Cohen, who has lived on Starlight Drive since 1980.

That could happen — eventually — but not at Chambers Road, according to PennDOT.

A new signal could be installed farther west on Route 124, at Plymouth Road and Route 124 — and in fact, PennDOT is installing conduits to feed that signal.

Unfortunately, there's no plan to fund the new device, which would need to be covered by the state or Springettsbury Township, where the intersection is located.

Also, a Plymouth Road light wouldn't do anything to help the residents affected by the Chambers Road light removal unless a new connector road is built.

The elected state and local officials at the meeting were sympathetic and pledged to fix the situation — but they warned it wasn't going to be easy.

"We just need to keep talking to see if we can find a resolution to this," said state Rep. Ron Miller, the Jacobus Republican whose district covers he area where the residents live.

We understand the difficulty; there are a lot of moving parts that have to come together for a long-term solution.

But can't officials agree on an immediate, temporary fix that would bring relief to these residents?