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Square ideas in Waynesboro to be sent to the state

September 22, 2005

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Waynesboro's Downtown Revitalization and Street committees will be forwarding their ideas to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation on how a revamped Center Square should look, Council President C. Harold Mumma said Wednesday.

Borough businessman Harry Morningstar Jr. addressed the council, asking what steps had been taken since August, when he presented the council with sketches of how the square might look once the transportation department finishes its $1.2 million project to replace and synchronize traffic lights along Main Street to improve traffic flow.

Morningstar said the concepts showed the square with concrete pedestrian areas and crosswalks replaced with brick pavers and another with both the pedestrian areas and the square itself done over in brick.

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"PennDOT indicated the probability of having more bricks in the street is not in the cards," Borough Manager Lloyd Hamberger said.

"Everybody likes brick pavers, so if a little is good, why not a lot?" Morningstar said after the meeting.

PennDOT originally came up with the idea of improving the aesthetics of the square with brick, he said.

"Some members of the public didn't like it," Hamberger said of PennDOT's proposal for dressing up the square's appearance.

"We're carefully watching the Center Square situation develop," said James Fisher, the board secretary of Mainstreet Waynesboro Inc. The group is concerned that whatever ideas are submitted to PennDOT do not result in a "loss of pedestrian friendliness."

In June, the council approved a plan for the configuration of the design of the square, which Hamberger said is, figuratively speaking, "set in stone."

The plan calls for replacing the existing traffic light system on the square with overhead signals. The traffic lights are now mounted on standards where East and West Main and North and South Church streets enter the square.

Hamberger said the borough's decision-making process on the square's appearance is not interfering with PennDOT's schedule for the traffic signal project. He said he expects the project to be completed in about 18 months.

The project to redo Center Square, which was laid out by John Wallace in 1797, has been controversial. Morningstar said the council "has flip-flopped a few times" on its plans for the intersection since the late 1990s.

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