Dec. 07–A worthwhile meeting is scheduled to convene at noon today in Lewisburg.
A group of downtown business owners are planning to meet with representatives of Weis Markets, Watsontown Trucking and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to talk about the increase in truck traffic through downtown Lewisburg, an unintended spinoff from other area road projects that require the diversion of traffic.
The road construction diversions have led to large, heavy trucks making an unusual — yet legal — route to state Route 45, which is Market Street right through the heart of Lewisburg. It is legal for normal-sized trucks, including tractor trailers, to travel on this state route, but the bustling downtown business district can become quite congested as a result.
Susan Kauffman, whose family operates Black Dog Jewelers on Market Street, said the meeting will be the first where a group of merchants will have an opportunity to directly address their concerns with officials from PennDOT and local companies that operate trucks.
This is an issue that requires communication, understanding and problem solving.
Small business owners are concerned about the loss in business resulting from customers who are dissuaded from visiting the downtown because of the traffic and congestion.
We hope those at the meeting talk about pedestrian safety. Because of on-street parking, including angled, front-pull-in slots in the heart of the downtown, space is tight as full-sized tractor trailers roll by. With literally just a few feet of clearance, just a couple missteps in the wrong direction at the wrong time could be tragic.
Officials at Watsontown Trucking and Weis Markets have been responsive. Both companies, which have large trucking fleets traveling to and from nearby operations centers, have rerouted some of their rigs and worked to avoid the downtown during special events or especially busy times.
The state Department of Transportation placed signs along Route 15, encouraging truck drivers to take the suggested detour to Interstate 80 and 180 in order to bypass downtown Lewisburg.
Meetings, like the one set for today, are essential and the dialogue should continue until area construction projects are completed and downtown traffic returns to normal. The stakes are just too high to do anything less.
(c)2017 The Daily Item (Sunbury, Pa.)
Visit The Daily Item (Sunbury, Pa.) at www.dailyitem.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.