Chambersburg Kicks Off Downtown Revitalization Effort


CHAMBERSBURG, Pa.Chambersburg is kicking off a revitalization project to improve its downtown area, the first big push to do so since the mid 90's.

Residents, not just officials, are being asked to help revitalize downtown Chambersburg by publicizing their ideas.

It is all part of the new community re-visioning process spearheaded by Downtown Chambersburg, Inc. Some say this effort is long overdue since the last plan to revamp the downtown area was nearly a decade ago.

"That plan has been kind of stagnant or dormant, and so now is the right time to go back to the community, get their input, revamp our plan,” said Noel Purdy of Downtown Chambersburg, Inc.

For local businesses in downtown Chambersburg, it's good news. Many of them say the area is not vibrant enough.

"We could get more foot traffic, more people in the downtown, especially at night or on the weekends,” said Andrea Meredith, manager of C&C Coffee in downtown Chambersburg.

And it is not just businesses. Locals also agree downtown could use some help. Chambersburg resident Cynthia Henry says "green spaces" could help attract more people to the area.

"Especially for a lot of smaller towns that have a lot of vacant property, people could come, grow vegetables,” said Henry, adding that Chambersburg seems to have a fair amount of empty storefronts.

Ideas like that are exactly what officials are looking for right now. Another idea that has already come up is the possibility of making some roads two-way streets.

"Traffic pattern is really important to the look, function and feel of a downtown,” said Purdy. “Two-way streets are something that many downtown communities are looking at and going back to."

In addition to changing traffic patterns downtown, many say parking could be made more accessible.

"I have heard some of the customers talk about a lack of parking out front,” said Meredith.

After the initial visioning process, officials will come up with a five-year implementation strategy plan and then a 10- to 15-year master plan.

Chambersburg residents can share their ideas for a better downtown at several public workshops:

6 p.m. Monday March 17 at Capitol Theatre

6 p.m. Monday April 21 at Central Presbyterian Church on the Square

6 p.m. Monday May 19 King Street Church

6:30 p.m. Monday June 16 CASHs (Auxillary Gym)

6:30 p.m. Monday July 21 Wilson College (Laird Hall)

To fill out a perception survey of downtown Chambersburg, click here.

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