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Borough residents express concerns over trucks

April 06, 2006|by JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Jim Fisher visited Kentucky for the first time recently and found one small town that reminded him of Waynesboro in a lot of ways - except tractor-trailers weren't rumbling down the main street.

Mayfield, Ky., created a two-lane parkway around town, prohibited trucks on its main street and restricted development along the parkway to reduce traffic congestion, Fisher said at Waynesboro's second town meeting Wednesday.

"The trucks move right around town and out again. ... I'm told Mayfield's solution is not that uncommon," said Fisher, a resident of East Second Street in Waynesboro.

He encouraged the Waynesboro Borough Council to consider an initiative to reroute noisy tractor-trailers that "make it impossible to carry on a normal conversation on the sidewalk."

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"We have too much truck traffic on Main Street. Through trucks don't really need to be in the borough," Caryl Stalick of West Third Street said.

The matter was sent to the council's downtown revitalization committee.

"I don't know of any issue that's been brought to my attention more than trucks going through town. Truck traffic is a problem ... and it's an irritating problem," said Councilman Allen Porter, who also pointed out the necessity of tractor-trailers to deliver food, gasoline and retail goods.

"Everything that's manufactured, the raw materials are brought in by trucks," Porter said.

Main Street was again put in the spotlight at the town meeting when local developer Ronnie Martin asked the council to install a traffic light at the intersection of East Main Street and Northeast Avenue.

"We have a dangerous intersection there. Someone's going to get hurt," Martin said.

The council is planning a May meeting with people who live near the intersection, according to Council President Dick George.

In the early 1990s, Sen. Terry Punt, R-Franklin, secured funding for the traffic light, but nearly all the residents around the intersection signed a petition opposing the project.

"The people who lived in that neighborhood raised such a ruckus that the light didn't (happen)," Councilman Allen Porter said.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation had also increased the scope of the work by proposing three lanes of traffic, concrete medians and a reconfiguration of entrances to Waynesboro Mall.

Porter said Punt is "still smarting" from the council's dismissal of the project.

Martin told the council that it's time to "eat a little crow" with state legislators to move the project forward. He offered to fund an engineering study at the intersection.

"You can't keep passing this back and forth," said Martin, who also commended the council members for their ongoing efforts.

Porter said the last proposal for the traffic light placed the total cost around $115,000.

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