Square plan in Waynesboro would cut out tree tradition

June 16, 2005|by RICHARD BELISLE

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Goodbye, Christmas tree.

A plan unveiled Wednesday night being proposed by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation for a new traffic control system through the borough doesn't leave room for the annual Christmas tree in Public Square.

In fact, if all goes through as PennDOT proposes, the square won't look much like it does now.

According to a preliminary sketch that Borough Manager Lloyd Hamberger showed the council Wednesday, the traffic control lights no longer will sit on poles on the four corners of the square - near two banks on the west side and the Candy Kitchen and a law office on both corners of the square's eastern side.

Instead, the lights will hang over the center of the square attached to two long arms extending out from the sides. They will direct traffic east and west.


PennDOT's plan also establishes left-turn lanes in each direction for access to North and South Church streets.

The most visible change will be two separated brick walkways running north and south off Church Street.

The sketch calls for three parking spaces, including one handicapped, on each corner of the square for a total of 12. The plan could be modified to add one more space to each corner.

"Moving the lights in is the only way to make it work," Hamberger said. "They can't get the timing right in an open square."

PennDOT officials have been working on the plan since 2002.

Discussion on how and if Waynesboro's Public Square should be changed has been going on since the mid-1990s. The photo illustrating the plan was taken in 1998. The new traffic light setup, brick crosswalks and left-turn lanes were drawn onto the old photograph for presentation to the borough.

The state could open bids as soon as this fall, with work to begin next year on the $1.2 million traffic control upgrade project, PennDOT spokesman Greg Penny said Wednesday from his office in Harrisburg.

The overall plan calls for a synchronized system of traffic control lights through Main Street from Clayton Avenue west to Grant Street.

The traffic lights at the intersection of West Third and South Potomac streets will be synchronized with the Main Street system.

The proposal and sketches will be on public display in the downstairs meeting room of Borough Hall through June 29, the date of a special borough council meeting. At that time, comments will be taken from the public.

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