Harrisburg to study street improvements

The City of Harrisburg is studying street improvements to try to make it easier for people to get around the area.

The study will examine parts of N. 6th, N. 7th and Divisions Streets. Specifically, it will explore ideas such as adding a westbound lane on Division, making parts of N. 7th a one-way street, adding crosswalks and improving traffic flow at the intersection of N. 7th and Division. The overall goal is to make the area more accessible for people who ride bicycles, take the bus, drive and walk.

“We’re looking for options,” City Engineer Wayne Smith said. “That’s why it’s a study – preliminary engineering. Maybe there’s more than one way to accomplish our goals.”

Abc27 talked to people who regularly walk on those streets.

“We’re constantly having to watch the oncoming traffic,” Diana McGlone said as she approached the intersection of N. 7th and Division. “There’s been incidents where myself has almost been sideswiped a little bit.”

“I broke my foot and I had to have a knee scooter,” Tina Rogers, who works on N. 7th Street, said. “And coming down the street you have your choice of getting on the street, which is dangerous, and getting on the sidewalk, which is impossible to get through.”

The Tri-County Regional Planning Commission awarded Harrisburg a grant to study options that would help relieve some of those problems, especially with the project to make 2nd Street two ways in the works. The organization says this is part of a bigger effort to better plan for regional improvements.

“Streets are a means of conveying people from one place to another, but they’re also a place where people meet and talk or have lunch,” Tri-County Regional Planning Commission Communications Coordinator Craig Layne said. “Especially in a city, a street is a very diverse place.”

“Planning doesn’t happen in a vacuum,” Layne added. “The most important part of planning and our job as a planning commission is listening to people affected by proposed projects.”

Harrisburg’s goal is for the study to be complete by the end of the summer.

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