ABC27 Investigates: Is West York intersection sending mixed signals?

WEST YORK, Pa. (WHTM) – Bill Hillmeyer believes an intersection on West Poplar Street is sending mixed signals.

Hillmeyer was driving at night when he came to the stop sign at Overlook Avenue. He says he didn’t see the One-Way signs, but he did see the working traffic light on his right.

“The light drew my attention to go that direction, so I went down and waited at the light,” he said.

Shortly after, a West York police officer pulled up with flashing lights.

“She came up and asked me, do you know why you are being pulled over? I said I have no idea, and she said, you know you are going the wrong direction,” Hillmeyer said. “I looked up and said no, there is a light right here.”

The officer told Hillmeyer he would receive a citation, but he wanted answers.

“Why would you have a light facing in the wrong direction to begin with?” he said. “I tried to call PennDOT and I went through several agencies and couldn’t get ahold of anybody that would that could take care of it.”

ABC27 News asked PennDOT about the traffic light.

“We pulled the signal permit and it looks like when the permit was approved, the road was two ways, and now it’s one-way direction,” PennDOT spokesman Greg Penny said.

So, the traffic pattern on the road has changed since the signal was installed. Does that mean the signal should change, too?

“The signal heads might give you the impression that you can go that direction, that it’s really two-way, not one-way,” Penny said. “Our concern is when we deal with traffic safety, you want to have a clear message out there. You don’t want to have conflicting messages or competing messages like that.”

Penny said PennDOT would contact the borough about updating the traffic light permit for the intersection.

“That would be good because it’s not going to allow anyone else to fall into the same type of situation I did,” Hillmeyer said.

West York Mayor Shawn Mauck says he hasn’t heard from PennDOT.

“I did reach out to them when you talked to me the other day and they are looking into the background and why we haven’t gotten any correspondence from them officially, so I don’t really want to comment on that until we see some correspondence from PennDOT,” he said.

Mauck said the borough council is aware of the issues and has already approved a traffic study.

“We’re looking into the whole traffic pattern in the whole area on King and Poplar and the side streets,” he said. “We want to make sure the safety of the public is held up high and we already put those plans in place.”

Mauck said for now, the light will stay.

Why not get rid of any doubt or confusion?

“I don’t see it that way. I guess I tend to disagree with you. When the traffic sign is right at eye level, I’m going to pay attention to the sign,” he said. “It’s clearly marked that it’s a one-way street.”

Hillmeyer hasn’t received his ticket, and he’s hoping it doesn’t show up.

“Aside from the ticket itself which, I think, is $150 plus costs, three points on the record is going to cost me a lot of money in insurance,” he said.

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