The next Chambersburg Borough Council meeting will be June 17 – but let’s talk traffic

June 3 – While the Chambersburg Borough Council may only have one meeting for this month, budget talks are looming. 

It’ll be about two months before the budget discussion begins and that’s when departmental reports will begin. 

The Parking, Traffic and Streetlight Committee will meet tonight. 

Allen Coffman, borough council president, said, “They have a meeting on Monday night. It’s starting at seven o’clock. It’s held in council chambers. They’ve got a lot of things on their agenda to talk about, which is interesting for people that have never gone to one of those meetings. I mean, there’s three different requests for handicap parking, which is kind of unusual to get three of them in one meeting. You might get one. You might not get any for months at a time. But there are three requests for those and there is a methodology to go through to get those requests granted, and they do become put on an ordinance if they’re approved. The thing to remember about those, the requester isn’t entitled 100% to the use of it. It’s a handicap parking space. So if anybody has a handicap hanger, they’re allowed to use it. So it’s not like somebody gets a handicap parking space in front of their house with their name on it. It doesn’t work that way.” 

The locations of the requests are on Glen Street, King Street and Wolf Avenue in Chambersburg. 

Coffman continued, “A couple other things (the Parking, Traffic and Streetlight Committee) have that’s of interest, talk about the traffic that’s at the corner of Norland and Fifth Avenue. We’ve gotten some feedback from people at Keystone for pedestrians and this is about pedestrians and traffic. So that’s a tough place. It really is.”

Pedestrian traffic is heavy there because of the professional offices – particularly doctor’s offices. 

Coffman said, “The thing I don’t think a lot of people realize is the width of these intersections that we’re seeing now that are more than two lane highways. They are really wide and if you go to a city, if you go to Washington DC, you might have an area like that. It might take 35 or 40 seconds to cross the street that is not near that wide. They’re going to struggle with this one I think. I think they’ll come up with the best possible solution but I think they’ll struggle with this a little bit. It’s not an easy thing. A lot of traffic is moving through that intersection.”

What about the automation of the light switches? 

Coffman said, “That probably goes back about six or seven years ago. The borough got a grant for CMAQ. It was congestion mitigation of some sort and it was to cut pollution was the real reason for it, to keep people flowing once they’re moving. So the first step was to get a $4 million grant with no matching funds. As I look back at the time I’ve been on council, that’s one of the great wins that we’ve had, $4 million and what that was used for was to update the traffic signals so they were all the same series so to speak. We had various iterations of traffic signals that didn’t talk to each other, and wouldn’t match up. So the first part of it was to get that fixed up then the second part of it is the part of synchronizing it now. So if there’s nobody there, the light probably isn’t going to change. It will go with the traffic flow. Now it’s all in, we’ll call it a radar type detection. It’s all up on the poles now. That’s one of the things that some of this $4 million went into. The update was to make them all alike. So if you look up when you go onto those intersections, you’ll see all kinds of little sensors and stuff up there and that’s why it’s there.” 

Stop signs at Grant Street and Fifth Avenue will also be discussed. 

Coffman said, “That corner intersection, that T intersection it looks like it’s going to go to a four way stop because the fourth leg of it actually goes into their receiving area. What really brought this to a head was the fact that there’s a school that’s on the southwest corner of that intersection there. They came to us and asked us about a crosswalk. Well, the crosswalk led to the stop signs and so forth. So there’ll be a big change coming there when it’s all worked out. It’ll take a little while. But that’ll end up being literally a four way stop in there.”

The Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs in Hershey will start Sunday. 

Coffman said, “The borough manager, Jeffrey and I are going okay, we’re the voting delegates. He’s the backup guy if I can’t make it for some reason, but we’re the voting delegates for the meeting.”