EDITORIAL: Too much construction in York City

York Dispatch Editorial Board
Traffic moves southbound through construction areas on North George Street Friday, Feb. 14, 2020. Bill Kalina photo

Getting through downtown York City isn't easy in the best of times.

These days ... you might as well pull the parking brake.

York Water Co. is replacing the city's entire main water line, work that has been going on since last July.

It's work that hasn't been done since before 1900, the company said, and it's work that shouldn't need to be done again until 2120. 

Which is great. Because none of us wants to live through this traffic nightmare again.

The water main work has taken George Street down to one usable lane from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays, and that work will continue this week.

That by itself has produced headaches as cars sit at intersections, guarded by four flaggers taking turns allowing vehicles through the narrow canyon.

But then just try to use another street to get around it.

North Beaver Street was partially blocked at one spot and fully closed at another earlier this week. West Market Street was blocked — that work is done, they claim.

And there's the continued blockage by the Yorktowne Hotel during the yearslong construction there that has South Duke Street down to one lane.

Headache. Nightmare. Not to mention business killer.

Usually traffic at least moves throughout the day and people aren't sitting through three cycles at traffic signals waiting to get through an intersection.

It seems like surely some of this work could have been done at another time. If George Street is blocked, why is Beaver Street blocked too? 

Surely someone in the York City administration signed off on this. Do they not know the traffic patterns in the city? Did they not look at a map? 

This goes beyond poor planning and into incompetence. God forbid there's an emergency that requires first-responders to get through downtown quickly —  the main north-south corridors are partially or completely blocked, and there are vehicles sitting still with nowhere to go to get out of the way. 

The York City government needs to step in and admit that it has made a mistake by allowing all this work to be going on simultaneously.

And it needs to do it soon, before there is a preventable tragedy and before the downtown restaurants, shops and entertainment spots lose any more money.

People don't need yet another excuse not to go to downtown York.