HONESDALE – It’s a debate that started more than a decade ago in the Borough of Honesdale – Should traffic going through the heart of downtown be restricted to one or two ways? A new study ordered by the Honesdale Council suggests that one-way traffic has increased crashes on Church and Main Streets, stirring the pot yet again in Wayne County.
It’s one way only down Main Street here in Honesdale – a change made in 2009 that many downtown business owners were against from the start.
"It has taken away a lot of business from Honesdale. People don`t want to come to Honesdale. That`s what we get. They can`t park, they can`t get out of their cars,” said Tubby’s Heros owner June Badgley.
More than a decade ago, PennDOT proposed a few solutions to ease traffic congestion – one which included two-way traffic. But council at that time voted to send traffic one way down Main Street, one-way down Church Street and constructed a new bridge here.
Jim Tenbus of Honesdale now walks around downtown less saying the one-way traffic is too dangerous.
"Well I've been almost hit a couple of times. Two lane traffic, first lane will stop, the second lane didn't see you or didn't want to stop,” said Tenbus.
Council members say they’ve received a flood of complaints, not pleased with one-way traffic.
"No, It stinks, excuse my language,” said Denton Bennett of Honesdale.
Now Honesdale Council Members are asking PennDOT to yet again study the traffic patterns here on Church Street and on Main Street, to see just how safe it is to drive around town with this one way traffic, or cross the street.
An independent study paid for by the borough shows crashes increased 30% since traffic flow changed. Now council members plan to use the confidential study to get PennDOT to revisit the problem.
“Since they`re PennDOT roads then we`re hoping that they would then also pick up that million dollar plus tab to change it back,” said council member Scott Smith.
Residents just hope they don’t have to pick up the tab.
"The taxpayers in this town don`t have x amount of dollars to pay and we think that PennDOT should put it back,” said Badgley.
PennDOT Officials say they are aware of the traffic issue in Honesdale, but have not received formal notice from the borough. We have not yet heard from officials at PennDOT on whether or not they would consider putting more money into traffic studies in this part of Wayne County.