Harrisburg clears way to reconfigure part of Second Street as a two-way street

HARRISBURG, Pa. - City leaders are working toward a reconfiguration of one of the city's busiest streets.

A two-mile section of Second Street between Forster and Division streets, which currently carries one-way traffic northbound out of downtown Harrisburg, would be altered to accommodate two-way traffic.

A 25 mile-per-hour speed limit on that section of Second Street reportedly does little to slow down drivers.

City leaders said the one-way traffic pattern lends itself to speeding and concerns that the people who live along Second Street do not live in a cohesive residential neighborhood.

"It really does sort of privilege commuters over residents in the sense that it's not very safe, and it disconnects the neighborhood from the river," said Mayor Eric Papenfuse. "Turning it two ways would give it more of a residential feel."

City drivers who talked to FOX43 Tuesday were not on board with the city's plans.

"You know a road where people don't speed? Tell me about it," said Lew Wolkoff of Harrisburg. "I don't see [how] narrowing 2nd Street to one lane each way is going to help with decongestion."

"I don't think it's going to help them by going ahead and making it two ways," said Terrance Mackey, Sr. of Harrisburg. "If anything, it's going to cause more problems, because now you have to put a traffic light and you have to turn the light now. So now it's going to cause more congestion."

PennDOT studied the issue in 2015, saying the road could handle two-way traffic, but other alterations would need to be made in order to handle the changing traffic patterns. That would include eliminating an eastbound left turn onto Second from Forster Street, and changing a portion of 7th Street to a one-way street.

Engineering work should last between six and nine months, with road work being completed sometime in 2019, Papenfuse said.