Look for ‘Emergency Route’ signs

By on March 7, 2018

Blizzard of 2016 prompted ordinance that restricts travel on designated routes during an emergency to prevent stranded vehicles from blocking critical roadways

 

“We’re hoping we’ll never need to use these, but feel it’s better to be prepared.”

Those are the words from Elijah Yearick, Lititz borough’s director of planning and community development, when describing the new snow emergency route signs that have popped up across downtown Lititz.

So why exactly were they placed there?

The discussion about the routes originally came as a result of a terrible blizzard two years ago. Not only was the snowfall during that particular storm debilitating, but the long term effects made it difficult to navigate many of the main roads throughout town.

Borough council initiated discussions in 2016 and passed an ordinance designating these special routes by the end of winter in 2017.

The ordinance comes into effect once a snow emergency is declared by the mayor or the state and contains two parts. First, it restricts travel on the routes during an emergency to prevent stranded vehicles from blocking critical roadways. Second, the ordinance gives space for public works employees to clear the roads curb to curb to alleviate some of the challenges faced after a storm.

During the early stages of research, the Lititz police department counted cars parked on the proposed routes overnight. They also reached out to some of the larger parking lot owners to make sure there was enough spaces that could become available to visitors and residents in those designated lots if an emergency is declared. When tallied, it was discovered that the borough had double the amount of parking spaces available as there were cars counted on the routes.

Yearick also reminds residents that this entire effort was adopted for safety concerns.

“One of the biggest considerations was making sure that EMS access could pass through the borough safely and effectively,” said Yearick. “We also made sure to have the primary routes through the borough in each direction, as well as a selection of secondary routes that could be used in the event that one of the primary routes was blocked due to a stranded vehicle or an emergency.”

Cory Van Brookhoven is a staff writer for the Lititz Record Express. He welcomes your comments at cvanbrookhoven@lnpnews.com or 717-721-4423.

 

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