Loyalsock Township, Pa. – Several new businesses slated to come to East Third Street, also known as the “Golden Strip” in Loyalsock Township, are causing traffic concerns.
Hobby Lobby is set to open at the former Kmart in the Loyal Plaza on June 4. A Texas Roadhouse restaurant is slated to open in spring of 2022 at the site of the former Ruby Tuesday. Also slated to open sometime later this year or next year is a Popeyes restaurant, which will be built on a lot next to the former Crazy Tomato restaurant.
All of these businesses are close to already existing restaurants with drive-thru traffic, which certainly will bring more drivers into an already crowded corridor.
Loyalsock Township Manager Bill Burdett said East Third Street is a state-owned road and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is the agency responsible for working with these businesses to ensure proper access.
“It’s really up to PennDOT,” Burdett said. “Especially if something is going to increase traffic, they will request a traffic study at the expense of the developer.”
New businesses that plan to open on East Third Street are required to follow Pennsylvania’s Highway Occupancy Permit process, according to Maggie Baker, media contact at PennDOT.
The township supervisors work with developers on other issues, such as storm water control, etc. but the traffic issue is something that PennDOT handles, Burdett said.
Traffic issues have been a concern on East Third Street for quite some time, and drive-thru traffic has increased since the COVID-19 pandemic started. Several fast food restaurants on the Golden Strip have closed their dining rooms and are drive-thru only, including Kentucky Fried Chicken and McDonald’s.
The restaurant that seems to have the longest lines though is Dunkin Donuts. The drive-thru was an issue prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, but now that they are doing business as drive-thru only the lines often extend out into East Third Street.
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“Traffic backs up onto the street and there have been fender benders there,” Burdett said.
Burdett said the township office has received “lots of calls” regarding the Dunkin Donuts drive-thru, including from other businesses in that area.
“We’ve expressed our concern to PennDOT on that location numerous times,” Burdett said.
Burdett said PennDOT has sent letters to Dunkin Donuts asking them to come up with a design plan for the drive-thru to make traffic flow easier.
Baker said PennDOT is aware of the traffic situation on East Third Street and they are working with the property owner to ensure the driveway is compliant with regulations.
“It is the property owner’s responsibility to propose solutions of which the department will review,” Baker said.
NorthcentralPa.com reached out to the franchise owner of the East Third Street Dunkin Donuts, but she was not immediately available for comment.