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Lights, trees help brighten borough's Rotary Parking Lot

May 12, 2010|By JENNIFER FITCH
  • The renovated Rotary Parking Lot in Waynesboro, Pa., features new trees, a recent paving and a border of faux brick concrete shown at right.
Jennifer Fitch, Staff Writer

WAYNESBORO, PA. -- Trees, Victorian-style lights and an imprinted walkway installed at Rotary Parking Lot are contributing to town officials' vision for the downtown's future.

Patrick Fleagle, economic development director for Main Street Waynesboro Inc., said people can park for free in the municipal lot. They can go to West Main Street businesses through their back doors or by using a pedestrian walkway.

"Most of the changes that occurred down there are aesthetic changes that lend themselves to the idea of a plaza," Fleagle said. "I'm excited about the potential back there."

The borough maintenance department paved the lot last year, then Design Paving of Chambersburg, Pa., created an imprinted walkway around the lot, according to Borough Engineer Kevin Grubbs.

"It didn't totally hold up in some of the higher traffic areas," Grubbs said of the walkway.

The contractor recently returned to apply a higher-grade tint, Grubbs said. He also applied sand in the joints to further create the illusion of bricks, he said.

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Using part of an $80,000 state grant, new, double-head street lamps were installed to match the ones on Main Street. Twelve zelkova and hornbeam trees were planted.

The trees have short branches that attract fewer pigeons.

"The branches stay up and tight," Grubbs said.

The parking lot lost about two dozen spaces in the rehabilitation, as the borough chose to widen the spaces. Now, there are 169.

Council President Craig Newcomer said he envisions Rotary Parking Lot as a place where people can park and take advantage of some stores and cafes. Facade grants awarded to fix the front of Main Street buildings could now be used to change the portions of the buildings facing Rotary Parking Lot.

"We've opened that up to the backs of buildings as well," Newcomer said.

Some businesses, such as the Elks Club, could benefit from improved access from the back and the free parking provided there, Fleagle said.

That was a common practice in the 1940s and 1950s, he said.

Fleagle said fixing the backs of buildings could be important to remind people about what's available on Main Street, since they can't see the storefronts from the parking lot.

Working under a master plan, similar efforts could be made to beautify other parking lots in town, he said.

Main Street Waynesboro Inc. will be holding farmers markets on Rotary Parking Lot this summer.

"We're hoping people don't just stay down there, that they follow the red brick road to Main Street businesses," he said.

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