A packed Elizabethtown Borough Council meeting heard from many residents of streets to be repaved in the coming years about the “complete streets” plan designed to make streets safe not only for drivers, but also bicyclists and pedestrians.
One of the ideas brought up by Ben Craddock of the Lancaster Civil Engineering Co. was to remove parking from one side of a street in order to have room for bike lanes on both sides. Residents who attended the standing-room-only meeting on Thursday, May 17, told Craddock that they want to maintain parking; Craddock and Borough Council members said they had gotten the message.
“When things come up and you don’t want them, it’s our job not to do them,” Councilor Tom Shaud said at the end of the meeting.
A number of residents thanked council members for listening to their concerns.
Craddock said reaction from an open house held two weeks earlier convinced him that removing parking is not wanted by area residents, so he said he would pursue other ideas. One was to make the driving lanes narrower and to have a bike lane on only one side of a street. Craddock said bike lanes are more important to cyclists when they are riding uphill, so it makes sense to have a bike lane on the side of the street going uphill only. He said narrower travel lanes also slow down traffic, which would address another concern residents have about speeding.
The new markings on streets are to be added when they are repaved. Borough Manager Roni Ryan said South Mount Joy Street is to be repaved in 2019 and Groff Avenue is to be repaved in 2020; other streets are to be repaved after 2020. Council President Marc Hershey emphasized that local government moves slowly and said there will be plenty of time before decisions are made and that the public will be invited to participate in the process.
In other business, all members present voted to approve the final land development plan for Peach Alley Commons, a residential development near the intersection of South Market Street and Orange Street marketed at Elizabethtown College students. (Council member Bill Troutman was absent; he is still recovering from injuries sustained in a traffic collision in February.) Also, all members present voted to approve a 90-day extension for review of the land development plan for Conoy Crossing Phase 3 because of a delay caused by a county review; the new deadline is Sept. 10.
Councilors also voted unanimously to impose temporary parking restrictions on East Willow Street between Market Street and Cherry Alley. Ryan said the bridge carrying Market Street over the Conoy Creek will be closed for two weeks this summer when it is replaced and she expects a lot of truck drivers will not turn off Market until they get to Willow Street, meaning they will need to have room to turn. Also, they voted unanimously for a resolution to authorize the purchase of the building at 56 N. Market St. and to authorize Ryan to sign the documents related to the transaction. Ryan said the closing was scheduled for May 31.
Also, Council heard from Deb Drury, director of the Elizabethtown Public Library, about the library’s funding request. No action was taken on that.