After much back and forth, and months of delays by Borough Council, things got a little too close for comfort this week as leaders awaited the ok to close Gay Street as planned. They called in help from both Pennsylvania State Senator Carolyn Comitta and Pennsylvania State Representative Dianne Herrin to move the process through the state bureaucracy, but in the end, it was not enough. The Gay Street Open-Air Market will return. It just won’t be this week.

A statement from West Chester’s Business Improvement District

Gay Street will close. It just won’t be this week.

Here is a statement from Business Improvement District Executive Director John O’Brien on the closure:

“The Gay Street Open-Air Market is being delayed until the Borough receives the necessary permits from PennDOT.

The Borough has been pursuing two different paths in the hopes of closing Gay Street in 2022. The first was getting the state to give the Borough local control in a process called abandonment. This process began in late summer of 2021. PennDOT has been dragging their feet and have not issued the final approvals. The Borough has been told that it could still take months until the state approves the final paperwork.

With that in mind, the Borough has been pursuing a second process of getting a special events application approved from PennDOT. PennDOT has approved that and sent it to the Federal Highway Administration who needs to approve it as well. Once the FHWA gives approval we will be able to close the road. Because the closure will still be under the auspices of the state, the closure will look very similar to last year in terms of barriers and road closed signs.

I do want to thank State Senator Comitta and State Representative Herrin for helping to advocate on our behalf with PennDOT.”

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