Murrysville Council Approves Dollar General, Hears Car Wash Proposal

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Murrysville Council on Wednesday approved a new location for Dollar General, but not without concerns about it adding to traffic at the intersection of Route 66 and Ringertown Road.

“Ringertown is kind of a cutoff between the Old William Penn Freeway and the 66,” Councilman Mac McKenna said. “And nobody uses it to shop now because there’s no store there. But when a Dollar General is there, maybe they will.

Councilman Jason Lemak said the steep incline of Ringertown Road where it meets Route 66 is a tricky intersection to navigate. Other council members echoed his concerns about potential buyers leaving Ringertown and crossing all of Route 66 to get to Dollar General.

Bob Gage of GBT Realty, a Tennessee company that has contracts with Dollar General, said that historically Dollar General stores were not “destination” locations.

“People don’t leave their house specifically to go there, like you would a Super Walmart,” Gage said. “People tend to stop when driving along the road where the store is.”

A traffic study in support of the project estimated that the store would not generate additional trips on Ringertown, based on existing traffic counts and patterns.

“I asked several residents on this road, and most said they don’t usually go this way because there’s too much traffic (on Route 66),” Lemak said.

Gage said these types of traffic situations tend to sort themselves out.

“If there are already problems getting out of Ringertown, people will probably avoid it,” he said. “We don’t expect the level of traffic there to change.”

Lemak and Councilman Carl Stepanovich voted against approving the store.

Car wash offered

The Board also held a public hearing for a proposed Tommy’s Express car wash at 4765 William Penn Highway, the former Choice Auto Sales.

The company is seeking conditional use to construct and operate an automated car wash facing Route 22, with entrances from the freeway as well as from the Old William Penn Freeway at the rear.

Engineer Justin DePaolis said traffic is estimated to be around 100 cars per hour during typical business peak hours, between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.

“In my 18 years on the board, I’ve seen Old William Penn grow from residential to mixed to what it is today, and it’s gone relatively well,” the former board member said. Counsel, Joan Kearns. “Until I see this plan.”

Kearns said the combination of existing and potential traffic near the proposed location is a big concern, especially when the nearby Franklin Regional School District is sending students away.

“There is an influx of traffic in the short trunk between Old William Penn and 22 in the late afternoon,” Kearns said. “I have seen cars waiting from School Road to Tarr Hollow Road waiting to pass this stop sign. And it will be made worse by people going in and out of the car wash.

Tommy’s is a national chain centered in the Midwest. The closest location is Chambersburg, but the company is offering new locations in Murrysville, Jeannette and Robinson.

The conditional use application will go before the Murrysville Planning Commission at its meeting Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Municipal Building, 4100 Sardis Road.

Patrick Varine is an editor at Tribune-Review. You can contact Patrick by email at pvarine@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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