Pat Parks has lived in Wilkes-Barre for almost seven years and has almost been hit by cars on River Street more times than she can count. Now she has crossing River at the intersection of Market down to a science, "It is dangerous! I've got a dog. I have to make sure the dog is right with me and I look both ways and try to get the light and make sure my eyes are on their eyes before I cross," explains Parks.
But with new plans in store for River Street, Pat and her dog should be able to cross the road with no problems. In certain locations River Street will be reduced down from a 4 lane highway to a two lane street.
They've also eliminated the idea of landscaped medians after people complained about emergency personnel having to navigate around them. They will be replaced with stamped concrete. And what about that scary intersection at River and Market?
Stephen Sartori, Transportation Division Manager says, "We've changed Market Street. Existing today, there are channelized rights onto the bridge and off the bridge in the southbound direction. We eliminated those to make Market Street a more traditional four way intersection."
Officials say by making adjustments to the plan, River Street will now be able to accommodate a higher capacity of vehicles. They say it will be calmer and safer without the congestion.
Officials hope to start construction in the spring of 2015. In the meantime, they continue to collect input from people who live in Wilkes-Barre to see if any more changes should be made.