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City of Harrisburg halts State Street project after hearing concerns from residents

Construction on State Street temporarily ended in April after city leaders heard too many concerns about parking from area residents.

HARRISBURG, Pa. — "It's always been hectic on State Street since I've been here," said Aigner Hall. 

Hall has lived on State Street in Harrisburg since 2019, and she vividly remembers when the street's Construction project began a month ago.

"They woke us up, [and] the cops were out here with a blowhorn like 'Hey wake up, wake up,'" recalled Hall. "Now, the cops did give us time to get up and move our cars because they didn't want to tow any cars, but there was no parking and we couldn't park until five."

With the duty of regularly parking a bus and two cars, she says the lack of parking is a huge issue on State Street.

Much like Hall, many other residents who live near the construction say this stretch of road has concerned them. 

"Car crashes happen here more often than anything," said Tyzae Scott, another Harrisburg resident. "...Just a month ago, we had a car turn out and automatically turn into someone else's car."

City leaders say a plan was in place to make this street safer, but that quickly came to a halt.

"On April 20, we issued a cease and desist letter to the construction company basically saying 'Let's pump the brakes on this, and let's see what more and more people have to say," said Matt Maisel, Harrisburg's Director of Communications.

Maisel noted the primary concern with this project was that it eliminated parking for residents.

Moving forward, the city will host three town halls in June for people to weigh in on this million dollar project. Maisel said the top priorities for the new design are parking, pedestrian safety and biker access. 

"People deserve to have their voices heard in that neighborhood, and we need to give them a platform in order to do that," he explained.

After the first two town halls, the city's engineering partner, Dawood Engineering, and PennDOT will condense the public's ideas into a single project design to present during the last town hall on June 22.

Hall is hoping these meetings will lead to an easier transition when construction starts again on State Street.

"If they can hear what we have to say and work with us or give us either an option because there's nowhere," she said. "There's not a garage. There's a parking lot, but we can't park there."

The town halls will take place on:

  • Wednesday, June 1, 6-8 p.m., Harrisburg School District (pending school board approval) – Lincoln School, 1601 State Street
  • Monday, June 6, 6-8 p.m., Kappa Omega Fraternity House, 2020 State Street
  • Wednesday, June 22, 6-8 p.m., Harrisburg School District (pending school board approval)  – Lincoln School, 1601 State Street

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