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West York introduces 'Blue Zone' initiative

So far, one "Blue Zone" has been designated in the borough, but officials hope to soon expand the program.

WEST YORK, Pa. — It’s an all-hands-on-deck initiative in West York.

“Whether it's our fire department, code and nuisance abatement teams, and office staff, we’ll all be out engaging residents, listening to them and finding out what we can do to build a better neighborhood," said Shawn Mauck, West York's borough manager.

All of that, coupled with an increased police presence, is coming to the borough's newly-designated “blue zones.”

“We will be looking at increased traffic safety, both from a deterrent and enforcement perspective, [and] we’ll be looking at increased patrols," said West York Police Chief Matthew Millsaps.

The borough used crime and traffic data, along with resident input, to determine where to start.

The first “Blue Zone” encompasses Dewey Street, along with part of West King Street, West Poplar and West Princess.

“We understand a lot of parents in this neighborhood are working two or three jobs," said Mauck. "We want to make sure their kids are safe if they’re playing in the neighborhood.”

“I come by in the morning to check on my folks, and I see the kids getting on and off the bus so I think it’s a good initiative they’re doing," said resident James Ross.

Officials will work to educate residents who live in "Blue Zones" on borough codes.

"Blue Zones" will also see road improvements, such as the recent work on Dewey Street.

“There hadn’t been lines painted and any service done to this street for over a decade,” said Mauck.

“We can park nicely now, before everyone was kind of parking everywhere," said resident, Syed Alam. "Now that make it where there’s lines and it’s nice to look at.”

The plan is to expand the program into other areas of West York.

“The next one we’ll be rolling out will be centered around Orange Street and the north end of the borough around the middle and high schools.”

The borough manager says, above all, it’s about creating a welcoming environment.

“Our goal is to get to know who lives here [and] make them feel comfortable," said Mauck. "Yes, there’s an accountability to this. If you’re not doing the things you’re supposed to be doing, you’re not being a good neighbor, expect we’re going to have a conversation with you.”

"These are things the residents have asked for," added Chief Millsaps. "These are things people have come to us and said we would like to see.”

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