Human Environment

First settled in the early 1700s, eastern Lancaster County is a community of family farms, thriving industry and rich history. The area’s main east-west thoroughfare is Route 30, a bustling three-lane highway that passes through villages, farms and commercial developments from the village of Gap to just east of Lancaster City. Once the area’s smooth-flowing, primary route between Philadelphia and Lancaster County, this historic highway has become congested due to dramatic increases in the volume of residential, commercial and tourist traffic.

This study is the resumption of an Environmental Impact Study (EIS) that was begun in 1993 to improve the Route 30 corridor. Work on the EIS was suspended in 1996. With the resumption of the EIS, traffic data will be gathered, alternative alignments developed, and recommendations made with the goal of improving the highway’s safety conditions and increasing its traffic capacity.

Eastern Lancaster County enjoys the benefits of a growing population and the economic base that goes along with it. But it is also suffering the problems every community faces when presented with the demands that rapid growth places on its infrastructure. Family farms once isolated for generations are now surrounded by residential developments. And those new residents bring congestion, stress to a fragile environment, and elevated safety concerns on the region’s roadways.

The area along Route 30 from the Chester County line to Lancaster City— generally encompassing East Lampeter, Leacock, Paradise and Salisbury townships—has been most affected by that steady sprawl. And the traffic congestion and safety hazards of the roadway are testament to it.