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Waynesboro shelves proposal to divert traffic

New plan would appeal for money for traffic light at problem intersection

New plan would appeal for money for traffic light at problem intersection

February 06, 2008|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, PA. -- It was a year ago when Grant Olson saw an elderly man start to cross between parking lots at Waynesboro Hospital.

Olson, of Oyer Court, was driving south on Roadside Avenue toward CVS Pharmacy at the time.

"As he got to the curb, he stumbled and fell on the street in front of my car," Olson told the Waynesboro Borough Council on Wednesday.

A proposal to funnel more traffic onto Roadside Avenue would further make the road unsafe, especially considering the tractor-trailers that would use it, Olson argued, saying his small vehicle was able to stop when he hit the brakes.

"Can you imagine an 18-wheeler coming to a dead stop in that situation?" he asked.

The borough council shelved what turned out to be an overwhelmingly unpopular plan to convert Northeast Avenue into a one-way northbound street. That plan, first proposed by Councilman Ronnie Martin, would have diverted southbound vehicles onto Roadside Avenue.

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Instead, the council pledged to work with nearby Washington Township, Pa., in appealing to legislators for funding for a traffic light at the intersection of Northeast Avenue and East Main Street.

Martin recommended that the council agree to spend up to $75,000 on the endeavor if necessary, while asking the township to make a matching contribution.

"I feel it serves both the borough and the township," he said. "Together, we can do things."

Martin said repeatedly that he felt the intersection of Northeast Avenue and East Main Street is highly dangerous. The concerns heightened, he said, when he was southbound on Northeast Avenue and saw a school bus trying to turn left off East Main Street.

"That school bus almost got T-boned," he said.

Thirteen people and two township supervisors spoke against the original proposal at Wednesday's council meeting.

"I don't think this is the cure. We have a problem," said Jim Winebrenner, of Gehr Road. "Moving the problem is not the answer."

Councilman Charles "Chip" McCammon voted against the motion for the traffic light initiative, saying he would prefer to first experiment with prohibiting left turns from Northeast Avenue onto East Main Street.

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