It is, borough officials say, one of the most dangerous intersections in Quarryville.
There are several problems with the intersection of Lime St. and E. State St., borough manager and former police chief Ken Work said last week. One is the shear volume of traffic using the intersection.
Nearly 9,000 cars and trucks used the intersection every day when PennDOT did a traffic count in July of 1985.
More recent counts of traffic on E. State St. and S. Lime St. show 8,700 vehicles using State St. and 4,300 on S. Lime St.
That traffic count is for 2017, the last year for which figures were available.
Another problem is limited visibility on S. Lime St. and N. Lime St., both of which have stop signs.
"I don't know if speed is a factor," Work said last week. "But there are problems with line of sight [for vehicles that stop on both N. Lime and S. Lime streets] and then there's inattentive driving. It's one of the worst intersections in the borough."
Drivers on S. Lime St. cannot easily see traffic coming from their left due to utility poles and a building whose porch extends out to the sidewalk.
"They have to stop, pull up, and stop again before they can see if traffic is coming," Work said.
Drivers on N. Lime St. also have a problem, Police Chief Clark Bearinger said.
"From the driver's seat, looking left, there are three utility poles that can completely obscure an approaching vehicle," he said.
Borough police respond to numerous collisions at the intersection every year, Chief Bearinger said.
One of the most recent, on Wednesday, March 6, injured two people, including the driver of a compact car who was trapped in the wreckage until she could be freed by volunteers from the Quarryville Fire Company.
In the past 40 years, two people have been killed in collisions at the crossroad. In one instance, an elderly man died after he pulled out from N. Lime St. and his car collided with a milk truck. The other involved two cars.
Officials have been aware of the problem for decades.
In 1984, the late Bill Wiley began encouraging fellow borough council members to have a traffic light erected at the intersection. Wiley, who chaired council's street committee, was aware of congestion at the intersection and pushed the issue. That led council to ask PennDOT for permission to have a light installed.
Following a traffic count, PennDOT approved the installation. After borough council voted to obtain the permit, the state issued it in April, 1986. The permit was renewed in 1988, 1990, and 1992 and then let it expire without putting in the light. Engineering estimates in 1985 put the cost at $40,000; the borough would have had to pay for the light.
The issue came up again in 2002 when Powell Steel wanted to build a plant on N. Lime St. One of the conditions of zoning approval was to have Powell install a light at the company's expense. That permit was renewed once and then, when the company abandoned plans to build, was allowed to expire in April, 2007.
There has not been any interest in installing a light since then, Work said.
A traffic light is the most obvious way to reduce the number of collisions at the intersection.
"I can't think of anything else other than a traffic light," Work said
But a traffic light could create new problems, said Quarryville Fire Company president Jim Herr.
"We can get the apparatus through because we have lights and sirens," he said. A preemptor on the light would also allow apparatus drivers to turn the light green for fire engines.
Neither helps get volunteers to the fire station, he said. The fire station is on State St. east of the intersection and most volunteers live or work west of the intersection. A traffic light could make it more difficult for responding volunteers to reach the fire house.
Technology could solve that problem, Police Chief Bearinger said.
"I believe the light could be controlled to go green on State St. for a certain number of minutes when the [fire house] siren blows," he said. "That would make it possible for volunteers to reach the station."