A Freedom Transit trolley cruises the square in Gettysburg.
(Gettysburg) -- Take one small borough, add hundreds of thousands of visitors, and one ends up with a recipe for gridlock. But, navigating Gettysburg this week isn’t as difficult as one might expect.
Visitors to the Battle of Gettysburg 150th commemoration are being encouraged to park in satellite lots, and take advantage of free transit to get where they need to go – on the battlefield or the borough.
The system seems to be working.
Freedom Transit driver Rich Bernard says traffic hasn’t posed any major problems for him. “It’s worse now than it has been in the past, but it’s nothing that we’re unaccustomed to,” he explains. Bernard says he enjoys meeting people from all over the country and directing them around his hometown of Gettysburg.
Lisa Weaver of Hanover is also a Freedom Transit driver. She adds most passengers are boarding the bus with positive attitudes. “They’re on vacation, and when they come on a bus and see a smile, we just share smiles… they tell me their stories of what they’ve experienced so far and it’s really a good time.”
The emphasis on transit is helping to reduce congestion on Gettysburg's Lincoln Square.
Advance crew leader Nathan Kershner of Lancaster is managing a dozen flag-wielding, florescent-clad workers who are helping to keep pedestrians safe. He says things are running smoothly so far, but acknowledges the square can be a tricky place. “There’s a lot of people from out of the state that you can tell are confused and not sure which way to go,” he says. “Our people also help give them directions to where they need to go.”
Before the commemoration events kicked off, Adams County’s emergency management director was concerned about congestion for both motorists and pedestrians. But so far, traffic has been heavy, but manageable and the sidewalks are bustling, but easy to navigate.
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