Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Columbia Borough streetscape project plan to cost over $1.2 million

When: Columbia Borough Council meeting, Feb. 14.

What happened: A streetscape project, which would improve safety on Walnut Street by eliminating some two-way traffic patterns, moved a step closer to completion after council members voted to submit a detailed plan to a state Department of Transportation subcontractor.

Background: Columbia received about $900,000 in 2020 in federal money distributed by the Lancaster County Metro Planning Organization. The borough will supply the rest of the $1.2 million cost estimated in 2019, although that construction amount probably has gone up, Borough Manager Mark Stivers said after the meeting.

More info: The borough plans to eliminate two-way traffic from Third Street to Front Street, with vehicles heading toward the river. Workers also will install bike lanes that will travel in each direction, plus a median to protect those lanes.

Why only one way: Allowing vehicle traffic to continue in both directions would eliminate too many on-street parking spaces, Rinaldi told council members. "This was just not acceptable based on all the feedback we received from residents," he said.

Specifics: Parking spaces on Walnut will decrease by either five or six spots under the current proposal. However, the borough plans to add more spaces on other streets, which would increase total parking available, Rinaldi said.

Details: Work should take about three months to complete, and the improvements should start in late 2024 or early 2025.


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