By Alex Bridges -- email@example.com
Navigating large vehicles around "bump-outs" at key intersections on King Street in Strasburg Thursday proved tough but not impossible, according to town officials.
The first test of the Downtown Streetscape Project gave officials some idea of how best to design the "bump-outs." The design element for the revamped downtown street is viewed as a way to improve pedestrian safety by shortening the distance of crosswalks at intersections.
Officers with the Strasburg Police Department assisted town workers in setting up the proposed design elements using traffic cones. Those employees on hand observed the large vehicles attempt to make the turns without striking cones.
Early Thursday morning town workers set up the first test at East King and North Holliday streets.
"We tested a bus, fire truck and a tractor-trailer and around pretty much all four turns around the Holliday Street-King Street intersection," said Town Manager Judson Rex. "It looks like we're gonna make a few adjustments. The tractor-trailer had a little tighter turn than we thought so we'll probably move some lines around and make a couple changes based off that.
"It went very well, good to see a real-life example of how it might work," Rex added.
Shortly after noon Rex and other town staff along with police set up a second test around Valley Milk Products and East King Street.
A driver for H. Eugene Koontz Inc., of Bedford, Pa., helped the town with the test by attempting to turn a tractor-trailer right on Acton Place. The driver brushed a cone on his first try but a police officer at the scene noted the operator likely could have avoided the collision by making a wider turn.
Another vehicle traveling on King Street made a successful turn though the driver had to pull the vehicle out into the other lane of oncoming traffic before making the right. Tractor-trailers also made left turns on South Funk Street with no difficulty.
Town officials expect to advertise the Streetscape project for bids later this summer, according to Rex.
Construction on Phase I would begin in the fall after the town awards the contract, Rex said.