The Newville Borough Council adopted Resolution 2019-05 July 2, which is intended to minimize school buses turning onto West Street from Main Street on the way to Newville Elementary School.
“Due to increased traffic on SR 0641/Main Street, the Newville Borough Council has recommended that bus traffic be routed to the Newville Elementary School from Steelstown Road. The council further recommends that West Street be restricted to automobile and pedestrian traffic,” Borough Manager Fred Potzer wrote in a July 5 letter to the school district.
The resolution states this proposal is intended to minimize the issues during the “most congested periods of time.”
“There's no question about it that when traffic is busiest in the morning, and when people are trying to get through town or escape town, or whatever, buses turning onto West Street are problematic,” said Solicitor Marcus McKnight at last month’s council meeting. “The point is that our basic recommendations is that we don’t need buses on West Street if we can get them to the school in another way.”
The letter has been acknowledged by the district and an official response will be forthcoming from the school district, Potzer said.
The borough has also responded to a proposed no parking restriction on the east side of West Street from the district.
West Street serves as a primary bus access route to Newville Elementary School, and according to the letter regarding the proposed changes sent to the borough, parking on West Street “impacts the ability of school buses to turn safely and for opposing vehicles to pass each other.”
Council discussed these restrictions during a February meeting, and the institution of these parking restrictions only during school hours -- rather than every hour of every day -- was one of the possible variations brought up by members.
The borough has decided to post “No Parking” signs during school hours, from 8:45 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
The letter from Potzer asked that the district’s engineer contact the borough council prior to July 30, if there is disagreement.
The letter states council will discuss the enactment of an ordinance at the July 30 meeting in order to enforce the parking restrictions.
The borough and school district, along with North Newton Township, engaged in a safety study with Michael Baker International in October of 2015.
The district received a grant in 2014 to address safety of its students traveling to school, and the parking restrictions were proposed in 2016.