Here’s to closing ‘Main Streets’ to bring more people into downtowns

More outside or open air dining.

Robust musical entertainment, street vendors and sidewalk sales.

These are among the ingredients to a successful — and appealing — summer season in Lock Haven and Bellefonte as these communities and others work to bring people into their downtowns.

Will PennDOT agree?

You see, in many communities, “Main Street” is typically a state route, giving PennDOT final say over any road closures.

And don’t forget about all of the activities planned on the water this year!

As COVID-19 reared its ugly head last year, Lock Haven sought and was granted Main Street closure on weekends.

Other communities asked for and — in most cases it seems — were granted the same.

We didn’t observe any real problems with the road closures.

And so far as we know, most businesses were in favor of it and still are.

Sure, it may have created some inconvenience for people, and there were times the street was bare due to weather or simply nothing going on.

This year, however, we’re told PennDOT may be less open to such robust road-closure schedules to accommodate more pedestrians and less traffic.

We’re here to go on record in support of the temporary, calculated “Main Street” closures in downtowns when safety is not compromised.

Please don’t forget about businesses, restaurants and brew pubs not on “Main Street.”

They’re just a stroll away.

We think most would agree that a better appreciation for the outdoors is among the most beneficial — and important — result of and lessons learned from this pandemic.


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