We commend Ebensburg Borough officials.

They surveyed residents this past summer on a variety of issues, and they’re wasting no time showing respondents that their opinions and suggestions do matter.

“About a dozen items – smaller things – have already been taken care of,” said Borough Manager Dan Penatzer, “and we’ll be addressing other issues in the next budget.

“One person asked for welcome signs and we’re going to budget for them.

“That’s a case where one voice made a difference.”

But fixing ongoing traffic problems covered in the survey won’t be as easy.

For at least the past three decades, Ebensburg officials, other residents and business owners have been frustrated by truck problems in their downtown.

The problems: Noise, fumes and, sometimes, congestion.

They’ve discussed solutions in-house. They’ve talked to officials in other communities with similar problems. They’ve even met with state Department of Transportation engineers.

Nothing has worked.

Now, council hopes to appoint a commission of community volunteers to brainstorm.

We like the idea, and you can’t beat the cost: Free.

“It’s all kinds of trucks,” Penatzer said. “And it has increased with construction on Route 22. Now we have double-wides coming through.”

The Route 22 bypass of downtown is exactly where officials have been urging truckers to travel on their ways to routes 219 North and 422 West.

They haven’t been as successful as they would like, even though truckers save only minutes – and no time depending on traffic congestion – by traveling through the downtown.

“We’ve tried signage (urging Route 22 use) and regulations including turning restrictions on Center and High streets, but the rules are stacked in favor of trucks and their rights to the road,” Penatzer said.

“We even tried to get PennDOT to place weight restrictions, but the (strong road) base is there.”

Penatzer noted that “we don’t want to lose all traffic. Restaurants want people stopping and eating at sidewalk tables, but you can’t even carry on a conversation because of the noise.”

With a completed four-lane Route 22 from Pittsburgh to Altoona on the horizon, traffic will be an even greater problem for Ebensburg.

“There is no doubt that traffic is already increasing (on Route 22),” the borough manager said, to go along with an increasing presence of business and industry.

“We have requests for more (traffic) lights, but that probably will cause even more traffic problems,” he noted.

But for now, the commission will focus on the problems downtown.

The council hasn’t set a number, although Penatzer figures “probably a half-dozen; we want to get people with different interests involved.”

We think it’s very important that the commission has representation from the trucking industry, whether a trucker or a trucking company official.

The deadline for applicants is Oct. 20, with the commission being appointed at council’s next meeting, on Oct. 23.

We’re glad Ebensburg Borough asked its residents for feedback. We’re even happier to see some of the ideas and concepts being adopted.

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