Greencastle council mulls square configuation

PAT FRIDGEN, Echo Pilot
The basic plan for putting lines on the Center Square pavement includes yellow to direct traffic, and white for stopping points, plus stop signs at both ends of Carlisle Street.

Greencastle Borough Council reviewed an engineering report from Century Engineering, New Cumberland, on Monday night, but decided it was more than they needed. Borough manager Ken Womack had expected a simple solution for traffic configurations on Center Square, to help motorists drive properly around the stone planter.

Council members have periodically addressed the confusion some people have on where to stop on Carlisle Street, and where to make turns in the circle. They thought the most obvious thing to do was paint lines a bit into the square, angled to the right to indicate that travel in all directions, from both Carlisle and Baltimore streets, must veer first to the right, but can then complete as a right turn, go straight, or take a left around the planter.

Womack had spoken to Rep. Todd Rock, since the streets belong to PennDOT. Rock passed along the concerns, and the results were three options on redesigning Center Square for traffic.

The basic plan from PennDOT's engineer was to paint yellow lines extending from Carlisle Street, with a white stop bar at the end. The yellow lines would also direct vehicles on Baltimore. PennDOT would put stop signs next to the stop bars in the street at both ends of Carlisle. Council president Charles Eckstine commented, "They would be a traffic hazard."

The Greencastle officials saw problems with snow removal, tractor trailer clearance on turns, and the great possibility the signs would get hit as often as the one on U.S. 11 at Williamson Avenue did.

The second choice was the full yield configuration, which had yield signs at each corner, and would replace the two current stop signs. Council members thought a true roundabout would slow traffic significantly.

The third option was a step beyond the second, with more paint on the streets. Decorative marks between the yellow lines and white arrows would catch drivers' attention.

"They are aesthetic and provide more visual aids," said borough assistant manager Susan Armstrong. "But they are costly and we fear the borough would have to absorb the cost."

The council liked the basic plan but without the stop signs in the square. Womack was directed to run that by PennDOT.