This allow requirement threatens long-standing occasions on state roadways | Leisure

A long-overlooked government permit requirement is now being enforced by the State Department of Transportation and endangers long-term local events.

The state’s compensation obligation could be used to cancel the annual fireworks celebration of this year’s Backyard Broadcasting on Market Street Bridge. However, Mayor Derek Slaughter hopes a waiver submitted by the city will allow the event to continue.

It’s the first year the city has to file a waiver for the event, Slaughter said.

The state requirement was the reason for the cancellation of the 9/11 Memorial Motorcycle Ride in 2020.

According to Kim Smith, PennDOT’s security spokesman, this is not a new requirement from PennDOT.

“We understand that this requirement has not been consistently enforced on previous approvals, but during the COVID pandemic, those special event permits were subject to additional legal review,” said Smith. ‚ÄúSince we were made aware of this error, the department must comply with all applicable laws and regulations. The regulation does not give PennDOT the power to waive its obligation to pay compensation. “

The requirement stipulates that the communities directly affected by the event have to commit to responsibility for any accidents at the event and release PennDOT from responsibility. Williamsport, South Williamsport and Loyalsock Township (which owns the sections of the river under the bridge) must approve the compensation document.

Neither South Williamsport nor Loyalsock Township are willing to agree to PennDOT’s terms, nor should they add, according to Slaughter, that Williamsport is the only community responsible for the event.

Slaughter said the city filed a waiver offering full liability insurance for the fireworks. The city is still waiting for a response from PennDOT, he said.

Canceling the 9/11 Memorial Motorcycle Ride was not an easy solution.

The The ride in 2020 was stopped by a request from PennDOT In order to receive letters from each of the 15 parishes, the state must be exempted from all lawsuits filed by someone who can contract COVID-19 during the event, which attracts large crowds along the streets and during the ceremony.

Some municipalities declined to submit the compensation letter and PennDOT again declined, …

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