Fountain Ave.'s troublesome trucks
Lancaster Watchdog Condemned status Greenway trash nResidents are complaining of blocked driveways, diesel fumes. BY CHIP SMEDLEY, Staff Writer
Residents of the 700 and 800 blocks of Fountain Avenue in Manheim Township are being driven to distraction by 18-wheelers.
The homeowners on the northeast side of Fountain say that in the past five years truck traffic has increased to the point where, on some days, upward of 90 rigs travel in and out of factories on the northwest side of the street.
But that, they say, isn't the worst part. Many times trucks waiting to enter the loading docks must idle in front of the homes, since no parking is allowed across the street in front of any of the manufacturing facilities.
The idling truck engines create a constant rumbling inside the homes, and the residents say they can't open their windows in warm weather because of diesel fumes.
On days when many trucks converge on the factories at the same time, the 18-wheelers line up, bumper to bumper, in front of the homes, making it impossible for the residents to exit or enter their own driveways.
The trucks are permitted, Manheim Township Manager Mike Rimer said, because they are making local deliveries.
When parked trucks block driveways, Rimer said, residents should contact the police department at its nonemergency number (664-1180) and ask police to investigate the situation. It may be possible to post no-parking signs or devise other ways to deal with the problem.
Property owners on South Prince Street in the city wonder why nothing has been done to renovate an abandoned structure at 823 S. Prince St.
The property has been condemned since October 2010.
According to Randy Patterson, the city's director of economic development and neighborhood revitalization, the building was placed in the city's property reinvestment program following its condemnation and was sold to a potential developer in May 2012.
As part of the sale, the developer entered into a one-year rehabilitation agreement. However, no work was ever done to either the building or the surrounding property.
The building's owner attended the authority's April 2013 meeting and requested an extension to the agreement, Patterson said, because the developer said he is trying to purchase the adjacent property at 825 S. Prince St. and include that in the development project.
The authority, frustrated by the fact that the owner had not been in contact with any city representatives for a year, granted the owner only a 30-day extension.
"We told the owner, 'You had 12 months.Why didn't you keep us informed?' " Patterson said.
"There are some serious internal structural problems with the building," Patterson said, noting that the owner finally realized the expense involved in attempting to rehabilitate the structure, which stymied his progress.
The authority plans to address the issue at its May 21 meeting, Patterson said.
A hiker on the Conestoga Greenway trail expressed concern about increasing trash on the trail and a chain-link fence behind properties on South Broad Street and Almanac Avenue.
"The fence is in bad shape in places with missing reinforcing bars on top, missing sections and parts where the fence is falling down," the hiker reported. He then asked, "Who is responsible for the fence and can anything be done to fix it?"
In an email, Lancaster County Parks and Recreation Administrator Paul Weiss explained, "The trail rests on a 15-foot wide easement; the land is owned by numerous property owners along the corridor. The easement also contains each of the parking areas so that they can be maintained. Lancaster City maintains the area in and around the Broad Street Parking Lot; the Parks Department maintains the rest of the trail."
Weiss added that the Lancaster Lions Club has volunteered to clean up trash along the trail. Volunteers try to get out on the trail once per month in spring, summer and fall. Weiss said his department tries to supplement the Lions' efforts but "because we only hold a 15-foot-wide easement, we can only clean up along the trail itself and within about 3.5 feet on either side."
The fences, Weiss said, are owned and maintained by the owners of the housing units and are not, he said, "affiliated with the trail in any way."
Randy Patterson, the city's director of economic revitalization and neighborhood development, said he would contact the city housing authority, which is responsible for maintaining the fences on its property.