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East Gay Street Improvement Project now complete

September 14, 2018

The East Gay Street Improvement project is now substantially completed with only repaving to be scheduled. The street is open.

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This is an informational page provided by the West Chester BID to keep downtown informed of the East Gay Street Improvement Project.

Contact Malcolm Johnstone with questions or to be placed on the e-mail list.

Project Update     
July 6, 2018

Today, construction activities for East Gay Improvement Project have moved to East Gay between High and Walnut. While noisy at times, every effort is being made to keep the dust down. East Gay between Walnut and Matlack is open to local traffic only.

Starting early in the week of July 9, the intersection at Gay and Walnut will be closed during construction. Pedestrians will continue to have access.

If there are any questions concerning deliveries of other needs, please contact the on-site construction foreman or

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Improvement project starts
June 25, 2018

Construction has begun on East Gay Street to replace gas lines and repave East Gay Street between Matlack and High. Construction takes place between 7am and 4pm weekdays only. The street will be fully open to traffic evenings and all weekend. The project is expected to be finished in August.

While cars will be detoured during active construction, pedestrians have full access to sidewalks and businesses.

Originally, construction was to begin on East Gay at High, but today we were informed it begins at Matlack and works towards High Street. This will cut off some construction time. There were some issues with signage which have been addressed.

BID staff will be meeting with East Gay businesses throughout construction to help ensure that everything possible is being done to mitigate disruption.
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New start date for East Gay Improvement Project is June 25, 2018
May 7, 2018

The East Gay Street Improvement Project will begin work June 25, 2018, and is expected to be completed at the end of August, 2018. It begins on East Gay Street at High Street and will work its way eastward to Matlack.

The project is being managed by PECO which will replace the aging gas line with a new high-pressure line. The final phase will have the street repaved.  

East Gay Street will be closed to vehicular traffic Monday through Friday from 7am to 4pm. Pedestrians will have full access to businesses at all times. The streets will be fully open to auto traffic after 4pm and on weekends.

At a meeting held Wednesday, April 18, Scott Neumann, PECO's External Affairs Manager, talked about what was involved with the project. The project was originally scheduled to start in May, but he was asked at the meeting to consider alternative start dates that would include July and August, which are slower months for most businesses. The original date of June 12 date was determined. This allows for the 13 weeks needed to complete the project; hopefully completed sooner since the season begins late in August.

Neither the BID nor the Borough can actively negotiate with PECO in situations like this, which are governed by state statute. However, the participants at Wednesday's meeting did an outstanding job of voicing their concerns and asking for reasonable compromises. Mr. Nuemann went to bat for the businesses based on what he heard and what PECO could do.

The BID is committed to assist each business to the highest extent possible during this difficult period.

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BID East Gay Street Improvement Project Marketing Report | May 22, 2018
Malcolm Johnstone, Elizabeth McGuire, Elle Steinman

See LIVE Facebook Video with StreamGeeks
See Facebook Event

Beyond the many excellent activities of the downtown volunteers, the BID and its partners are providing support for marketing efforts that includes at least 28 marketing platforms promoting downtown during the East Gay Street Improvement Project, as approved by the Customer Attraction Committee.

Conventional media

  • BID LogoWC Press, May style issue: Half-page East Gay ad, support for fashion feature.
  • County Lines Magazine, June: Downtown feature article, full-page East Gay ad.
  • West Chester Fig, launching June 14: 4-page spread with featuring East Gay retail and restaurants.
  • Borough of West Chester newsletter, summer (direct mail to residents): East Gay article.
  • Parks and Recreation Department Activity Guide, summer: “support downtown businesses” advertorial.
  • Daily Local News, May 17: article “Businesses to stay open during construction”.

BID on the web

  • Facebook @DowntownWestChesterPA (24,116)
  • Instagram @DowntownWestChesterPA (3,336)
  • Twitter @DowntownWCPA (1,904)
  • E-mail lists: Downtown list (625); General list (2,619)

Partners with website presence

  • StreamGeeks: Live Facebook Video
  • Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce
  • Chester County Conference & Visitors Bureau
  • (DVRPC)
  • (Pennsylvania Downtown Center)
  • (Borough)
  • Vista.Today
  • West Chester Views (Facebook & Instagram)
  • Uptown! Knauer Performing Arts Center
  • NextDoor


  • Informational counter cards (thank you, Brit!)
  • Elmark Signs for banners and signs.
  • Localized App.
  • Chester County Historical Society for e-blast.
  • CTM for Philly map ads.
  • Philadelphia Convention Center Visitors Guide.
  • Mayor’s newsletter

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BID supports enhanced marketing campaign for East Gay Street
April 22, 2018

The West Chester BID Customer Attraction Committee, which met on Friday, April 20, agreed that the BID should support marketing efforts for the downtown during the East Gay Street Improvement Project.

Currently, the following media has agreed to support this BID campaign:

  • West Chester Fig
  • County Lines
  • WC Press
  • Borough of West Chester newsletter
  • Parks and Recreation Department Activity Guide
  • Vista.Today

Further, West Chester BID's social media, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, e-mail list, and website, will be used.

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Borough Council President weighs in

April 23, 2018

Diane LeBold, West Chester Borough Council President and BID Board Member, has often stated that she is sensitive to the needs of the East Gay block during the improvement project. In a recent e-mail, she expands on certain parts that bear repeating:

"Council does not have the authority to approve or disapprove of these kinds of improvement projects. We can only negotiate with the utility to try to reduce the impact on our community.

"Gay Street will be closed to traffic from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, but sidewalks will be open and traffic will be diverted to Chestnut Street during these hours, where visitors can park in the Chestnut Street garage or Lot 10 at Chestnut and Church. I'm told that the lot behind Wells Fargo will allow access from Walnut Street during the construction.

"PECO will be working in 100-foot increments. Each 100 feet will take 3 to 5 days to complete. So only a relatively small segment of the street will be torn up at any given time.

Of course, the BID and the Borough are working together to support East Gay Street. Stay tuned.


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