Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

Harrisburg will mount barricades, limit neighborhood access for Friday’s “ReOpen PA” rally

A map of Friday’s street barricades and the suggested protest route

Harrisburg plans to limit vehicular traffic tomorrow in and around the city’s Capitol district to prevent a planned protest from spilling into the residential neighborhoods.

The city will set up barricades at numerous intersections (see map with blue “x’s”) so that only local traffic will be able to enter the Capitol neighborhood and to limit the flow of traffic between the Capitol and Midtown neighborhoods.

“We respect the right of the protesters to make their voices heard,” said Mayor Eric Papenfuse. “We ask them in turn to respect the rights of our residents to be safe in their homes and not have to put up with excessive disruptions to their daily routines.”

ReOpen PA, a group that opposes the business restrictions and stay-at-home orders put in place by the Wolf administration because of the COVID-19 pandemic, plans to rally at the Capitol steps on Friday starting at noon.

Barricades allowing “local traffic only” will be placed at the following intersections, as well as other locations as needed, for the duration of the scheduled protests, according to the city:

  • 2nd and North
  • 2nd and Briggs
  • Forster and Susquehanna
  • Forster and Green
  • 3rd and North
  • Forster and Penn

Harrisburg will also temporarily close the intersections at 2nd and Forster streets and 3rd and Forster streets, and encourage protesters to follow the demarcated route of 2nd-to-Forster-to-3rd and the Capitol steps.

During the first ReOpen PA protest, on April 20, many downtown and Midtown residents were upset and complained to the city after protesters drove through their neighborhoods for hours, blaring horns, shouting from vehicles and gridlocking traffic.

According to the city, the barricades are intended to prevent a recurrence, “in an effort to protect the city’s residential neighborhoods from the impact of excessive traffic and noise.”

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