Written by Dan Miller
If you live or run a business in downtown Middletown and want to have a say about parking, you should attend borough council's next meeting on Tuesday, July 19.
Chances are good that council will take some action on recommendations included in a study of parking in the downtown that was completed in May by the Middletown Police Department.
The study agreed with business owners who have been saying that a shortage of parking in the core downtown is caused by Amtrak commuters taking up key spots for hours and days at a time because the lot at the train station on Mill Street is full.
For example, the study found that 72 percent of vehicles parked during peak times in the core downtown area were registered to owners outside of the 17057 zip code.
Among recommendations in the study are higher parking fines, placing time limits on how long a vehicle can be parked in certain spots, and allowing downtown residents to apply for parking permits.
The core downtown zone includes the north and south sides of Brown Street between South Union and Pine Street; the north and south sides of Mill Street between South Union and Poplar streets; and the west and east sides of Poplar Street between Brown and Mill streets.
The study also looked at a broader area of the downtown, but found that the concentration of non-17057 vehicles was only evident in the core zone.
Council has had the study since June 7 when it was briefly presented by Mayor James H. Curry III. However, no action has been taken. Toward the end of council's July 5 meeting, a call for action came from Councilor Robert Reid, who has been the most vocal about doing something to address the downtown parking issue.
“I don't want to see that study put on the shelf and forgotten about,” Reid said.
But before council acts it needs to hear from downtown residents and business owners - who likely have their own opinion about how long a time limit is best, and other aspects of the recommendations, said Borough Solicitor Adam Santucci.
On a related note, Councilor Diana McGlone for several months has been trying to get the borough to put up signs that would direct people to the free parking that is available in the lot behind the Municipal Building off West Emaus Street.
Now is the time to act, while the downtown parking issue is still manageable, Reid told the Press And Journal afterward. "A community should always control downtown parking because you don't know what will happen from one day to the next," Reid said.
"Today it could be the train station, tomorrow it could be something else. Tattered Flag is going to bring a lot of people to town," Reid said, referring to the combined brewery/distillery brew pub that is to be fully open in the Elks Building by sometime this fall.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 12 July 2016 15:22
Written by Dan Miller
The tasting room on the first floor of the Tattered Flag Brewery & Still Works in the Elks Building in Middletown will be open to the public from 12 noon to 8 p.m. on Saturday, July 9.
Beer brewed by Tattered Flag will be available for sale, and wine and ciders will be provided courtesy of the Vineyards of Hershey, said Pat Devlin, one of the Tattered Flag partners. The distillery part of Tattered Flag is not ready yet, Devlin said.
This is the beginning of the "soft opening" of the first floor that Tattered Flag referred to earlier this week, pending the outcome of a building codes inspection that was done by the borough on Thursday.
The first floor tap room is just inside the main entrance of the first floor to the left. The partners and contractors working for Tattered Flag could be seen putting in finishing touches to get the space ready for Saturday's big event.
After Saturday Tattered Flag will be closed again for about a week - in part to brew more beer, Devlin said. Tattered Flag will probably be open for about a day each week for the next several weeks, until it is ready to be open on a regular basis, Devlin said. Days and hours will be posted on Tattered Flag's Facebook page.
Meanwhile, work continues on the rest of the first floor and throughout Tattered Flag's space on the second floor. The partners have said they hope all of Tattered Flag can be ready and open to the public by sometime this fall.
Last Updated on Friday, 08 July 2016 15:43
Written by Eric Wise
A blue or purple Toyota Camry with a sun roof was seen driving southbound in the northbound lanes of I-83 near Harrisburg at 12:11 p.m. July 7, state police said. The vehicle collided with a tractor trailer, causing minor damage to the Toyota's bumper and headlight on the driver's side.
The driver of the Camry then turned around and promptly left the interstate using Exit 44A for 13th Street/Route 230.
Anyone with information about the crash or the Toyota is asked to call Trooper Martin at Pennsylvania State Police in Harrisburg at 717-671-7500.
Last Updated on Thursday, 07 July 2016 16:45
Written by Eric Wise
Drivers will encounter some minor inconveniences in the coming months as Londonderry Twp. recently began the first of three bridge culvert replacements.
Braeburn Road, from Deodate Road to Highland Road, closed June 27 and will remain closed through mid-August.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 July 2016 16:15
Written by Dan Miller
The downtown Middletown streetscape took a big step forward with the re-opening of the intersection at South Union and Emaus streets on Friday, July 1.
Newly installed traffic signals at the four-way intersection were to be in service by sometime Wednesday, July 6, borough Public Works Director Greg Wilsbach told the Press And Journal.
Work has moved south to Brown and Emaus streets. The intersection was closed as of Tuesday, July 5, so work can proceed on sidewalk and storm sewer improvements. The streetscape includes improvements such as new sidewalk and curbing, trees, and street lights from Spring and Union streets south to Union and Ann streets. A $2.8 million construction contract for the streetscape was awarded in September 2015 to Flyway Excavating of Lititz, but the project tops $3 million when engineering costs and change orders are factored in.
Funding for the streetscape comes from a $1.5 million loan from Dauphin County, a $250,000 county gaming grant, and about $745,000 in accumulated liquid fuels dollars.Remaining funds are coming from the Middletown Industrial and Commercial Development Authority, which awarded the streetscape contract and oversees the project.
The project should be done in the fall.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 July 2016 16:01