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Regional Hospital Traffic Impact
Whitpain roads cannot handle the expected increase in traffic that would have been generated by the proposed hospital and medical office complex. Traffic already overwhelms Township Line, Jolly Road, Union Meeting Road, Skippack Pike, Penllyn Blue Bell Pike, DeKalb Pike and other major arteries.
10,000 more car trips?
With so much traffic already clogging our roads, a 2 million total square feet office and hospital complex would send Whitpain into gridlock. The proposed hospital and medical office buildings alone (half of the total development) would attract an estimated 17,000 people per day. It is hard to imagine how an ambulance or other emergency vehicles could get through, how school buses will make their rounds or how residents will be able to get out and about.
No rush hour for hospitals?
Hospital supporters claim that a hospital will spread the traffic out across the day and week and will therefore cause fewer problems during the morning and evening rush. The facts do not support this.
The bulk of hospital and medical office employees work in the 6 am to 7 pm window. In addition to the rush hour influx, traffic would dramatically increase during the evening and weekend slow times due to night shift employees and patient traffic.
What's the difference between general office buildings and medical buildings?
Experience shows that traffic generated by medical facilities is four times greater than that of general office buildings of the same size. Occupancy rates of medical buildings are also significantly higher. Hospital and medical office space is 4-5 times more intense in utilization than general office space (article here). The initial traffic study by the developer did not take into account the higher traffic associated with medical buildings. As a result, the traffic impact of the proposal was significantly understated.
Are there any other traffic issues?
A hospital is a major development engine in the country's fastest growing industry. It would attract ancillary businesses and other health care facilities such as diagnostic centers and off site medical offices. In an effort to accommodate the busy lifestyle of today's health care consumer, many health care facilities are offering evening and weekend hours. This around-the-clock schedule would mean more traffic - not just from patients and employees, but from health care students, delivery trucks, and emergency vehicles.