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Mars, PennDOT seek traffic control at major intersection

The Mars Spaceship. Harold Aughton/Butler Eagle

MARS — Mayor Gregg Hartung told Mars council members Monday, Sept. 18, that the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation plans to improve traffic control at one of the borough’s major intersections.

“What can be done immediately is just improving signage to make people slow down and know exactly what they’re entering in terms of traffic flow,” he said. “They agreed the traffic has tripled in terms of all the development — especially out Mars Evans City Road.”

Hartung said he met Thursday, Sept. 14, with PennDOT to discuss the intersection of Pittsburgh Street, Mars Valencia Road, Crowe Avenue and South Crowe Avenue in the borough.

“There were some complaints from residents lately,” he said. “And we’ve had a couple of incidents.”

Within the last month, a resident in a wheelchair was nearly struck by a vehicle at the intersection, according to Hartung, with a woman actually being hit not long after.

“The big thing is trying to have signage to slow people down at that intersection,” he said. “The second thing is more safety people crossing those streets.”

Hartung said PennDOT is seeking to take action at the intersection “sooner than later” but did not have a set date for the improvements.

“Then long-term we’re going to just keep reevaluating it to see what can be done in the next five to 10 years in terms of the increased traffic that’s coming from the developments around Mars,” he said.

Other business

The Rich-Mar Rotary is also seeking to replace the borough’s defunct clock located alongside its landmark UFO, according to Hartung.

“Over the years, the clock that was first purchased by the Rich-Mar Rotary and put in on Grand Avenue has had its base worn out from years of wear and tear,” he said.

This wear and tear, primarily from road salt in the winter, has caused the clock to “eventually collapse,” according to Hartung.

“Now the Rotary is asking to replace it,” he said, “and we’re going to work with them to try to have a new clock installed.”

As of Monday, there was no set timeline for the replacement, Hartung said, but the club would be working with the borough’s public works department for the installation.

“It sounds like they found something they like,” he said, “but whether they got that delivered and purchased, I’m not sure.”

Council also approved its annual trick-or-treat hours for Halloween this year, setting the time from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31.

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