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Council opts to close Mulberry Street to turn it into walkway

June 21, 2007|by JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, PA. - The Waynesboro Borough Council, on a 4-2 vote Wednesday, permanently closed Mulberry Street south of West Main Street in hopes of converting it into a pedestrian walkway.

The alley, also known as Mulberry Avenue, is the address for businesses like RE/MAX Associates Realty and Mulberry Laundry Center. Representatives of those two establishments have repeatedly spoken against the potential closure, saying they need the thoroughfare when giving directions.

"I saw a number of vehicles come down Mulberry Street, but not one stopped at a business," Councilman Allen Porter said, talking about his recent informal survey of the situation.

Patrons of Mulberry Street businesses used Gay Street and Second Street when accessing them, he said.

Fire Chief Ron Flegel asked to keep the alley open, so his firetrucks and crews can access hydrants on Pa. 16.

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Closing the alley will allow people to park in Rotary Parking Lot and walk to Main Street businesses, proponents of the plan said.

"This is something for downtown Waynesboro. It's a growth plan for Waynesboro to bring people downtown," Councilman Craig Newcomer said.

"There's not that much to walk up there for," Councilman Charles "Chip" McCammon said.

Several people walked with laundry baskets from West Main Street to the coin-operated laundry service on Mulberry Street, Porter said.

"I'd hate to be walking up that 12-foot street and have a truck turn down there when I'm carrying a basket of clothes," Porter said.

Newcomer said he feels more businesses will become eligible for state grant money with the alley closed.

The council said it will devise a way to ensure emergency vehicles can still pass barricades and use the alley. Flegel asked that the alley be kept free of benches and planters that would be in firefighters' way.

"I would not, as long as I'm on council, approve anything that would block an emergency vehicle," Councilman Richard "Dick" George said.




How they voted



The Waynesboro Borough Council voted 4-2 Wednesday to permanently closed Mulberry Street south of West Main Street.

Voting for: Richard "Dick" George, Craig Newcomer, Allen Porter and Jason Stains.

Voting no: Charles "Chip" McCammon and Allen Berry.

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