HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Efforts to make State Street in Harrisburg safer will proceed, but not before there’s input from residents.

Construction stopped when people objected to changes that reduced street parking.

State Street is one of the most dangerous stretches of road in Harrisburg.

“At 19th and State there’s an accident there on the daily,” said Jemir Isom.

The city’s been trying to make it safer but those who live here didn’t like the plan.

“We heard what people had to say. We stopped. And now it’s back to the drawing board,” said Matt Maisel, City of Harrisburg director of communications.

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Thursday night was the first public meeting for neighbors to talk directly with engineers.

“Do you like curb bump-outs? Do you like passive speed detection?” Maisel said.

One plan shown takes two feet out of the center turning lane and an inch from all four lanes.

“Now we’re going to take that six feet that we just made and we’re going to distribute it right next to the parking lanes and we’re going to paint it off,” said one of the engineers.

It’s a three foot visual buffer zone.

Engineers say narrowing the lanes will make people naturally slow down, but not everyone’s convinced. Jemir Isom thinks it will “Cause confusion, cause accidents because people are used to a wider lane.”

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The old plan had bike lanes. The new one doesn’t, other than a painted bicycle emblem painted in the far right lanes.

Dick Norford represented bicyclists in the area.

“What we’re seeing tonight is a plan to save as many of those parking spaces as possible and maintain safe transportation for pedestrians and bicyclists,” Norford said.

Some neighbors want change that may not happen, like putting in more traffic lights.

“Some of the streets need to be made one way especially if there’s not a traffic light in that area,” said Evelyn Hunt.

But city leaders say they’re doing their best to make it as safe as possible.

“A single death is one death too many. A single accident on the street is one accident too many,” Maisel said.

A second meeting will be held Monday June 6 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Kappa Omega Frat House at 2020 State Street.

A final draft will be presented for comment on June 22 at the Harrisburg School District Administration Building.

To view the plans and submit public comment online, click here.

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