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Hatboro Fatality Spurs Talk of Road Upgrades

Hatboro residents have asked the Hatboro Borough Council to make improvements to Warminster Road following last month's pedestrian death.

A month after a 75-year-old Upper Moreland pedestrian was killed while walkingin Hatboro, her family and a neighbor have forged a campaign to have Warminster Road made safer.

Hatboro resident Scott Wenger, an interventional radiation specialist for Cooper Hospital in Camden, shared with the Hatboro Borough Council how in November he tried to save the life of Upper Moreland resident Dorothy Lodge, who had been struck by a car practically outside of his Lycoming Avenue home in November.

"I never want to see out in front of my home what I saw that night," Wenger, a father of four and medical professional of 20 years, said Monday night. "I was scared."

Wenger, along with Lodge's daughters, Joan Schemmer and Dot Stanley, said they would like to see measures put in place to slow traffic speeding by on the road, which has a posted speed limit of 25 miles per hour. 

Hatboro Police Chief James Gardner said police regularly do speed enforcement on the roadway, which is jointly owned by Hatboro and Upper Moreland Township. Gardner would not comment on whether speed was a factor in Lodge's death.

The addition of sidewalks on both sides of the street would certainly step up safety, Gardner said.

"We certainly don't want pedestrians walking on the street," Gardner said. 

Lodge's daughter's said the vivacious Red Hatter, avid gardener and employee of Sunrise Assisted Living was hit by a vehicle as she crossed the street. The driver, a 60-year-old Upper Moreland man, has not been charged.

Lodge's death, coupled with a hit and run days before at the 7-Eleven in Hatboro, made for a "difficult month," according to Wenger.

Wenger, who reached out to State Rep. Tom Murt (R-152) for support before being redirected back to the municipalities that own the road, said speeding has been an issue on Warminster Road at least since he moved there from New Jersey seven years ago. 

In January 2011, a 25-year-old Horsham man was killed in a hit and run crash on South Warminster Road in Hatboro

Wenger said he'd like to see one or two more traffic lights, speed bumps, a flashing warning sign and stepped up speed enforcement measures. Ideally, Wenger said he'd like cooperation among Hatboro and Upper Moreland in finding a solution.

"This isn't a Christmas list by any stretch," Wenger said. "These things aren't $15 or $20 fixes."

Hatboro Council President John Zygmont said the issue would be discussed during the borough's next public safety committee meeting.

Gardner suggested Wenger reach out to Murt and Senator Stewart Greenleaf for help moving a state law to fruition that would permit radar for speed enforcement.

"It is purely a matter of public safety," Gardner told Patch, adding that opponents of radar often contend it's simply a revenue generator.

Ultimately, Gardner said no amount of enforcement can take the place of drivers traveling safely.

"They need to slow down," Gardner said. "People need to be responsible."

Liberty 1 December 20, 2012 at 05:41 PM
Thats funny! I knew you had humor hiding in there.
Ezra Williams December 21, 2012 at 02:52 AM
Yup, I'm an idiot. But I'm the one you (Wenger) heard about 40 minutes ago zipping down your road, blowing my horn, while holding up my middle finger up (with the interior light on for all to see). Now I'm gonna do that every time since I'm the idiot that is your neighbor and I use Warminster at least several times a day. I drive the speed limit, or slightly over when in a rush. I'm the other 50% you dummy.
scott wenger December 21, 2012 at 03:01 AM
Bring it on tough guy. You're a bad ass being able to hide behind anonimity. Something tells me you are about as significant as the word you barely write. Something tells me no one would waste much time doing chest compressions on you if you were in the same situation as the person who died on that road. You're not worth it scum ball. Be careful who you are trashing cause you may end up eating your words, or someones front fender.
Sue Wilson December 22, 2012 at 12:12 AM
Ezra, you don't deserve to drive a motor vehicle.
Ezra Williams December 27, 2012 at 06:26 AM
"as the word you barely write." You are obviously the literary genius I inspire to be. When I figure out what a "LISENCE plate number" is, perhaps I will give it out. Wait, my five year old daughter pointed out you might be trying to spell the difficult word LICENSE. And I'm the idiot?

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