MOOSIC — Traffic and parking problems on Montage Mountain when baseball games and concerts are held simultaneously were the topic of conversation at a meeting Thursday morning.
State Rep. Sid Michaels Kavulich (D-Lackawanna), along with officials from the Lackawanna County Commissioners Office, Moosic Borough, Lackawanna County Sheriff’s Department, the Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, Live Nation and Montage Mountain Pavilion and Resorts met at PNC Field.
“(Montage Mountain) really has become the entertainment center of Northeastern Pennsylvania with PNC Field, the Shoppes at Montage, the theater, the water park and ski resort,” Kavulich said. “I’m looking at this mountain as a one-stop entertainment value for people of Northeastern Pennsylvania, and I want to see it grow because it equates to jobs and money into the coffers of the borough and Lackawanna County.”
Moosic Police Chief Charles Maurer believes most of the traffic issues are isolated to a specific area.
“The major problem we find is from the ramp coming off Interstate 81 down to the Lackawanna County Convention & Visitors Bureau,” Maurer said. “That’s where the bottleneck occurs and trying to get all the traffic into two lanes is almost impossible to do.”
Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders General Manager Jeremy Ruby believes the traffic design getting vehicles into PNC Field needs to be re-examined.
“We don’t have an issue exiting the ballpark at the end of the night,” Ruby said. “The major issues we have are coming into the ballpark between 6 and 7:30 p.m. The bottom line is there is a design flaw off Interstate 81. There is a lack of lighting and stop lights at the intersection, and that seems to be the epicenter of all the issues.”
Curt Camoni, RailRiders Vice President of Baseball Operation, added he believes there is also a communication issue on Montage Mountain Road and thinks signage would be a big asset.
“Pretty much anywhere else you go where there are a lot of different attractions, there is overhead signage that separates the lanes and makes it very clear,” he said. “It gets people moving ahead of time. Now, the police need to have a conversation with almost every car because people don’t know where they’re supposed to be going.
“The less inconvenienced the fans are, the more likely they are to come back the next time there is an overlap of a concert and a game.”
Moosic Council member Joseph Mercatili stressed that borough residents also need to be considered when deciding how to move forward with new traffic and parking plans.
“People are parking all over the borough of Moosic,” he said. “They’re parking in lots and yards and the people of Moosic are getting trampled. I think a traffic consultant should be hired to design what is needed for the area. If we’re going to do it, it better be done right.”
According to Kavulich, the group hopes to meet again in December.
“This was just a beginning to scratch the surface,” he said. “I hope to get things moving in a direction where by next year, when the baseball and concert seasons open, we’re going to have a framework in place where we can avoid traffic problems, help the parking situation and make the mountain safer.”
Reach Robert Tomkavage at 570-704-3941 or on Twitter @rtomkavage.