Anyone who has driven the Lincoln Highway near Lancaster, Pa. — especially east of the city on US 30 — knows that traffic congestion makes it near impossible to enjoy the road’s heritage. Now the Lancaster County Planning Commission has released an enhancement plan to address traffic, signage, and accessibility. You can view the PDF HERE.
The report states:
This project is the first step in implementing the Lancaster County Strategic Tourism Development Plan, adopted by the County Commissioners in 2005….
The Lincoln Highway is a high priority because:
• It’s a highly visible gateway into the city and surrounding countryside
• It’s an important part of the county’s economy
• It plays a key role in the county’s tourism “mix”
The publication lists the many problems and potential solutions. One challenge is that the area is known for rural and Amish attractions, but the crush of tourists and modern businesses has pushed out many farms and even the mid-century fabricated attractions.
In the 1990s, local officials cited tourist complaints that there was nothing to do after dark, when Amish-themed attractions closed. The response led to outlet malls, which have spawed more chain stores and wide highways, resulting in the disappearance of almost all vintage businesses and buildings. Accessing any of it is frustrating for tourists and commuters, not to mention horse-drawn buggies. It will be interesting to see if such growth can now be reined in.