Councilman Concerned about New Trees’ Impact on Parking

CLEARFIELD – Clearfield Borough is looking to continue improving the downtown area in a way that is prudent for parking.

At Thursday’s work session, Councilman Dave Gallaher passed along concerns residents had shared about the location of trees within the area of the borough’s proposed streetscape project.

Gallaher said he had heard concerns about the location of trees, light poles and parking meters. Gallaher said there was concern about the residents hitting the trees and poles when opening their car doors.

Engineer Todd Banks said the placement of the trees, meters and lights is prioritized, with the lights being number one. Banks said the placement of the lights is based on a PennDOT formula which is designed to optimize the amount of illumination.

He said the location of the lights must remain where they are. He said the parking meters are also being placed in a manner, which would maximize the number of parking places in the downtown area.

However, Banks said there is some leeway when it comes to placing the trees. Banks said the plans for the project involved placing the trees between the lights and meters.

Banks said the borough could opt to reduce the number of trees or adjust the location of the trees, but they would need to be mindful of the potential for the trees to block the front of the downtown businesses.

“Where the trees are placed is a matter of opinion of preference,” Banks said.

Gallaher said the trees surrounding CNB Bank were basically a “done deal,” but he said he had heard concerns about the location of the trees on Second and Market streets. He said there were six or eight spots that may be a problem.

Banks said he could take a look at the plans, then go out and mark where the trees would be located to see if it may be a problem, before the work begins. Banks said he would also like to speak to the property owners and business owners to get their opinions before the work begins.

Also at the meeting, Banks gave an update on the Third Street project. He said the project is substantially completed and the remainder of the punch list items is nearly finished. He remarked that the trees, which have been planted “appear to be small,” and he will be speaking with the contractor about them.

Banks said he is hoping to have the certificate of substantial completion soon, as the deadline for the project is nearing. He said the borough operations manager is applying for an extension, just to be on the safe side.

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