The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

January 17, 2014

Windber council backpedals on one-way road restriction

WINDBER — Borough officials hoped a September move making 12th Street one-way for traffic would clear up years of parking and safety concerns on the busy, narrow road.

Now, council itself is changing direction.

Just months after making the well-traveled entryway into the borough a one-way road, Windber officials directed their solicitor Tuesday to draft an ordinance amendment allowing two-way traffic again, saying their previous move only created more headaches.

Now, motorists are driving faster up 12th Street, albeit in one direction.

Those heading in the opposite direction – among them, heavy trucks – are shredding up adjacent alleys that weren’t built for such traffic, Councilman Barry Jerley said, pointing to photographs depicting crumbling roadsides and driveways as well as piles of potholes.

“It’s a mess,” he said.

This time, council is hoping to alleviate 12th Street concerns by allowing parking on only one side of the street, a solution council members arrived at after going back and forth Tuesday night on how to solve the street’s issues.

The board has been debating potential 12th Street traffic and safety solutions for months. At times, council members shook their heads in dismay and sighed during the back-and-forth discussion before Councilman Jim Furmanchik motioned to restore two-way traffic and limit parking.

Borough resident Isabell D’Arcangelo worried the latest move will only cause more trouble on the street, saying it will be a daily scramble between neighbors for parking spots.

“I don’t think that’s the right move. Where are people going to park?” D’Arcangelo asked moments before the board unanimously approved the plan.

Borough Manager Fred Oliveros, now tasked with drawing up the new guidelines, could only shrug his shoulders, saying it’s possible the changes could create parking issues on other streets.

“I’m sure this will create problems, too,” he said.

David Hurst covers Windber for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at hurst.

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