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Hereford Township Deli Owner Gains Support for a Four-Way Stop Sign
Written by Sergei Blair

            Several weeks after starting a petition to install stop signs at critical intersection outside his family business in Hereford Township, Nate Amato Sr., said more people have jumped on board to support his cause.

            Amato, owner of Tamato's Deli and Market, located at the corner where St. Peters, Hunter Forge and Seisholtzville roads meet, said Rep. Ryan Mackenzie, (R-134) has written an official letter requesting PennDOT to conduct a traffic and engineering study in the intersection where a recent string of accidents have occurred. He also met with state Sen. Bob Mensch, (R-24) who promised to work with him and township officials to come up with a solution. The township supervisors would also have to submit a similar request for a traffic study.

            "Our request is for a four-way stop sign with solar blinking red light. And we would like to have some kind of yellow light and some type of sign like 'stop ahead,' just so people are aware," Amato said.

            Since the petition began to circulate around Christmas, the number of signatures has grown to over 800.  So too have the number of car accidents grown. Amato said just in the beginning of this month he had witnessed two separate serious accidents, involving four cars and a woman who went into shock after her car was struck by a speeding vehicle that failed to stop at the intersection.

            Witnessing several close calls a day has become a part of his routine since he started to operate his business six years ago. "Every day, literally, if you sit outside you'll hear and see something," Amato said. His concern heightened after he witnessed three accidents at the intersection that occurred in a 36-hour period from December 21 to December 22.

            "I call it a Nascar corner," Amato said. "They're ramming through the corner, and by the time you look twice, in the split second, you might miss them."  Amato listed several factors that he said might be playing out behind the recent spike in accidents: High speed limit of 40 mile-per-hour, drivers unfamiliar with the roads, or drivers just refusing to pay any attention when approaching the intersection. The speed limit on Seisholtzville Road is 40 mph, and it drops to 30 mph at the intersection.

            Mail carrier Nova Dibartolo has been delivering mail in the area for 11 years and drives daily through the intersection. "Every day I hold my breath each time I go through that intersection," she said. "I think that the four-way sign will definitely help."

            Two years ago, a woman failed to stop at the sign, hit three vehicles before crashing her car into Amato's porch. "It scared the hell out of me because my wife had just got into the building and another young girl had just closed the door behind her. Another five seconds and somebody would have been dead. After that, I had enough. We need to follow the protocol," Amato said.

            He estimated that his business had sustained approximately $20,000 in property damage over the years.

            "We're not going to stop," Amato declared. "I told everybody not to be complacent even though we got the letter and we're getting some legs on this. I can't let it go anymore. I just can't. Too many people have been hurt."





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