Harrisburg recently made significant changes to a portion of the 6th Street corridor, road modifications that the city plans to address during a community meeting on Saturday.
City representatives will be on hand at the Broad Street Market courtyard to discuss the changes and why they were made.
“Basically, we want to improve the safety along that corridor,” said city Engineer Wayne Martin, adding that the changes align with the city’s Vision Zero plan, which aims to eliminate pedestrian fatalities within the city.
Recently, the city eliminated two car travel lanes on N. 6th Street between Boas and Reily streets, turning the longstanding four-lane road into a two-lane road. It then added bicycle/bus lanes on both sides of the street, as well as new parking spaces.
Martin said the changes were primarily meant to improve safety for students and parents at Benjamin Franklin School at the corner of N. 6th and Verbeke streets. The changes, he said, will make it safer to cross the street and for parents to drop off children for school.
“It’s mostly for traffic-calming,” he said. “It’s meant for speed reduction in front of the school.”
In addition, the new bicycle lanes align with the city’s effort to create a network of interconnecting bike lanes, he said.
The city also had to add the parking spaces because it will lose metered spaces along with planned improvements to N. 7th Street, Martin said. The city must maintain a certain number of revenue-generating, metered spaces under its agreement with parking system operator, Trimont, and manager, SP+/Park Harrisburg.
He said that he expected the meters to be installed within the next month along the corridor.
In another city road update, Martin said that he expected some limited work to begin on N. 2nd Street in the fall.
The city plans to redesign N. 2nd Street between Forster and Division streets, converting it back to two-way traffic, among other changes. Some intersection improvements are slated to begin before year-end, though the major work will start in early 2021, he said.
Harrisburg will hold its public meeting to discuss the “Vision Zero” changes to the N. 6th Street corridor on Saturday, 3 to 5 p.m., in the courtyard of the Broad Street Market.