Tredyffrin’s Sidewalk Project Underway — How are the homeowners on the sidewalk route effected by the project?

The sidewalk project is now in full swing on Conestoga Road and Old Lancaster Ave by Conestoga HS and T-E Middle School.  The series of pedestrian sidewalks were made possible by various grant funds, including $2.8 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (federal stimulus funds). To read further about the sidewalk plan, budget, and updates on the township website, click here.

It is true that change and progress sometimes comes with a personal price.  In the case of the sidewalks, some would suggest that there has been a very real economic and personal price tag paid for by the homeowners whose property has been effected by the sidewalk project.  As I drove down Conestoga Road last week, I stopped to take photos of examples of tree removal.  One of the beautiful historic houses that lost its front coverage was on Tredyffrin Historic Preservation Trust’s 1st Annual Historic House Tour, 6 years ago.  The house has lost trees, shrubs and plantings.  Here is a photo of the way the homeowner’s front yard currently looks:

Before anyone jumps in and suggests that I don’t care about the safety of the children who walk along Conestoga Road to school — that simply isn’t true; I care about everyone’s safety.  But it still saddens me to see the neighborhood along the north side of Conestoga Road so dramatically changed by this construction project.  I feel for the homeowners whose property has been forever altered.  Although the homeowners will not be compensated financially; it is my understanding that the sidewalk plan calls for replanting of all trees and landscaping that have been removed for the sidewalk project. 

Everyone should know that the upkeep of the sidewalks will becomes the responsibility of the individual homeowners.  I wondered what would happen if there was an elderly homeowner or an owner who wintered in Florida and was gone during one of our Pennsylvania snowstorms?   Who would be responsible for clearing their sidewalk?  I was told that the clearing and upkeep remains the responsibility of the homeowner . . . guess he/she better make those arrangements before heading south for the winter!  As wonderful as it may be to make our community more walkable . . . for some there is an additional personal price tag that goes along with progress and change.

Erica, a homeowner on Old Lancaster Ave. has provided her personal experience with the tree and landscaping removal as a result of the sidewalk project.  Erica created a power point presentation which passionately details the specifics, click here to review the ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos taken of her property on Old Lancaster Avenue.  Erica provides her personal remarks below on the sidewalk project from her vantage point as a homeowner on Old Lancaster.

No Gravatar, on March 26th, 2010 at 1:37 PM Said: Comment

Five years ago, I was going through a bad time. One day, I drove down Old Lancaster and saw that a house that I had admired for years was on the market. I was so excited that I put an offer in that day. Being English, I did the customary thing and named my house. Without hesitation, it became “HoHi” (after the “Hall of Intense Happiness – a building in I toured on a visit to China.)

My portion of Old Lancaster has old houses (most were build in the 20’s), no garages (converted years ago to extra living space), short driveways, and mature vegetation. We (had) a wide shoulder which left ample room for parking, walking & biking. My row of brick Tudors was “the” development of the time, I’m sure!

Anyway, long story short. Soon after moving in, I learned about the sidewalk project. Because the section of Old Lancaster is state owned, there is a 50’ easement — meaning , from the center of the road, the State controls 25 feet in each direction. I learned that Tredyffrin decided to go take all 25’ from the South side of the road – the side with no garages, no parking and mature vegetation. Because it’s a state road, extra ‘safety’ precautions were required i.e. EXTRA wide sidewalk plus “bump outs” to create a buffer between the pedestrians and the cars.

Residents banned together and formed a “Yard for a Yard” petition earning nearly every signature in the area. We contacted the TE historical society, the TE BoS, anyone that we thought might actually care, and we simply asked that the project be shifted 3 feet (a yard) towards the north side hence 3 feet of our yard would be saved. This would have translated into a saving of most if not all of the trees. We would still take the burden of owning the 5 foot (yes, 5 not 3) sidewalk but we would maintain our trees. Currently (pre-sidewalk) the paving encompasses 10’ in either direction (north and south – south being where the sidewalk will be built). With our proposal, the project would have gone from 10’ to 22’ instead of 25’ of the south side. The north side resident’s would be impacted by 3’(no trees and very, very few shrubs).

We were shot down so fast we didn’t know what hit us. It wasn’t until the sidewalk project became personal to the board did it gain attention. I have so much hurt and anger that it has been making me physically ill. Of course I share concern for the safety of children. Yet (knock on wood), I researched and was not able to uncover any accidents on record.

My HoHi is not a HoHi anymore. And thanks to rotten economy and eye-sore of a yard, I’m trapped here for at least a few years. Am I bitter? Clearly! While it’s too little too late, I truly do appreciate that people have taken the time to share sympathy. It means more than you can imagine that someone finally cares.

Tonight, I’m going to add a link to “before and after” photos simply to provide people a reminder of the importance of supporting neighbors because you never know when your home will be on the radar.

The appearance of established neighborhoods and historic buildings are now altered by the removal of trees and landscaping.

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  1. I would suggest all read Pattye’s posts of 2/23, “St. David’s Club Decision Reversed but…”, 2/24, ” Board of Supervisors 2/22/10 Meeting…” and 3/22, “Help Make Paoli More Walk and Bike Friendly…” AND the comments. Much discussion of walkability, exercise, funding, etc.

    In addition to the costs, which we can’t afford, we’re seeing the downside to sidewalks and trails, and maybe we’ll not be so anxious to build a sidewalk on Upper Gulph from Old Eagle School to King of Prussia Road, or the Patriot’s Path.

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  2. Can you consider removing the reply options for each individual comment off the blog and just let comments to the primary post flow in order ? I absolutely cannot follow the threads anymore…and now with this color blocks highlighting some posts, it’s just hard to know who is responding to what. If we had just time-based order for the comments, it stays more on point? Thanks.

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  3. It is perhaps easy to forget the long term benefits when faced with the vivid short term impacts of a change on those directly affected. I hope we don’t lose sight of the broader vision of a community where it is safe to walk to school, for kids to run down the street to their neighbor’s house after school, and to leave your house to ride to the park with your toddler on the back of your bike. A vision developed under the leadership of a different generation of Supervisors, but which our current Adminstration found a way to start on without using Township tax money.

    Trees can be replaced and will last for years, outliving their predecessors. Enjoyment of simple pleasures with your children is fleeting.

    I’ve been lucky enough to live in places where sidewalks do make communities. Perhaps we can make it easier for future generations in Tredyffrin to capture a few of those moments.

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    Township reader Reply:

    But Ray — there are countless townships throughout the commonwealth that offer that option. WHen you moved here, you clearly chose a community without sidewalks. Is it really necessary to redesign a community after 60 years to fit a vision of a planned development community — do we think property values will decline because we don’t have 5′ of paving lining our routes?
    The world you describe — where kids can run down the street to a neighbor’s house after school will not be created by paving. If a parent was comfortable sending a student down the street, it would not be on the street — it would be through a yard. Right now, that’s not the world we live in. Parents might not even know the people who live 5 houses down — and a sidewalk is not likely to encourage that trip through strangers’ worlds.
    If you have lived in communities where sidewalks enhanced your appreciation and enjoyment, why did you move to a community with no sidewalks? Developments even within our own community (Chesterbrook) offered that option — and homeowners have always had the option to put in sidewalks — and maintain them.
    I completely understand the appeal of sidewalks, but I also understand the appeal of a community pool, a 4th of July parade, a town hall, and a Wawa I could reach on foot….but it’s not something I can find here — and I would hope that every community does not have to look alike. To each his own.

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    Ray Clarke Reply:

    Actually the reason we chose our present house is exactly because it’s in a cul-de-sac where the lack of traffic allows the kids pretty much free rein without the need for sidewalks. So, yes, you do get to know the family five doors down. To my mind that’s a big part of the quality of life. And of course there are many reasons to relocate – employment being a primary one, with open space, sidewalks and bike trails being rather secondary.

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    Township Reader Reply:

    Thanks Ray. I know my tone was that of an exasperated soul — but that’s because I moved to this area from a cul-de-sac with sidewalks in my old neighborhood. It was fine — but when I moved to this area, I looked for a cul-de-sac for privacy sake, and I don’t want the hassle of a sidewalk (snow and maintenance) and we walk where we need to. Crossing guards are a tax expense — the township and school district share I think — but street improvements are totally negotiable (the lights on Conestoga and Cassatt were paid for primarily by the school district as part of their land development plan when they expanded Conestoga). I ride bikes in the area, but prefer to put my bike on the back and my car and park near a trail. If there were sidewalks, I really would hate to see them substitute as bike trails.
    Employment is one reason people locate to this area, but I still believe that if you want to move here, and you want sidewalks, there are many options besides building sidewalks in a predominantly non-urban community. Thanks for your candor.

  4. Here is a power point presentation that was given to the Board of Supervisors in 2007 by homeowner on Old Lancaster Ave, titled ‘Yard for a Yard’. This examination of the sidewalk issue provides interesting history for the sidewalk project.
    http://docs.google.com/present/edit?id=0AWa3h4YXRHxQZGQyMjVkM3dfNDhjeGZjZHpmYw&hl=en

    I do understand the school sidewalk project is moving ahead. I am certain that many school children will enjoy the sidewalk experience for generations to come. I grew up in a Washington, DC suburb with sidewalks, and that is a wonderful memory. My sidewalk memory is of the regular 3-feet suburban sidewalk and I think that these new sidewalks will be 5-feet wide to meed the federal regulations (handicapped, wheelchair accessible).

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    Township reader Reply:

    Pattye
    I think you are mixing memories — you grew up in the 50s AND you had sidewalks. Your memories are not great because there were sidewalks. I grew up here — and walked anywhere I needed to grow. In the 50s. Missed the bus — no problem — walked. Would never have thought about trekking home for a ride to elementary school. That’s simply not the world we live in. The kids who will be allowed to walk to TEMS and CHS already do — the paving will not change that. And walking home from those schools is not something parents will monitor == they don’t now. Kids walk if they feel like it or have to. I have said before — my kids walked (bus was available but they chose to walk with a group from the neighborhood). They by-passed busy roads when possible — but I had friends who would see them walking and would call me to tell me….and thought I was careless and nuts.

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    Mike in Berwyn Reply:

    I agree with your perspective, Township Reader – I grew up here in the 60s and 70s – walked,biked or hitchhiked(!) around the community.. And to your point about great memories and sidewalks, one of my favorite sayings, which my kids are sick of hearing, applies, “Just because two things happen at the same time, doesn’t mean one caused the other”.

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    Pattye Reply:

    Actually it was more like the 60’s/70’s. Although I had sidewalks in my immediate ‘development’, once I walked or biked outside of the area, I left the sidewalks behind. We either walked along the road or on the lawn, but of course I recall the cars drove a bit slower, and the drivers were not distracted by cell phones, text messaging or whatever some do today. Drivers being more focused on the driving probably meant it was also a bit safer for the kids. But once we got our drivers licenses we wouldn’t be caught dead walking, even if it was only 3 blocks away. Ahh, memories . . . the good old days.

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    Township Reader Reply:

    Pattye — didn’t mean to age you :) I assumed you were born in the 50s — but clearly did your growing up in the 60s and 70s. I was born in the 50s and think about the times when I was in elementary school and still had freedom. Kids nowadays — nada. Just not safe out there….?

  5. pictures and the homeowners discription make me very uncomfortable.. That the government can come in and bulldoze its way through someones property has always bothered me. Looks hideous.

    Yes Pattye, homeowners will have to make arrangements to have their walkways shovelled.

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  6. Well, Chet, whether it bothers you or not, that’s the way our nation is set up. The easements are there, the government wields the power of eminent domain, and can make that call. I’m all for property rights but I’m not sure that creating a walkable community isn’t more beneficial for the health, safety and welfare of the township. I’ll defer to the sidewalk experts though.

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    chet Reply:

    Roger, “that is the way our nation is set up?” Ok so I am going to do everything our grand high exalted government says i should, even if they say its for my own good.

    You have got to be kidding.
    Must be a recent product of our educational system,

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    Roger Reply:

    Good try but no on all counts. First of all, I would appreciate you confining your comments to the substance. Taking a run at my education, and the proximity to the present does nothing to further the discussion. I made a comment based on the substance of what you had said.

    Second, I never made the point that you have to do everything the government says. You can certainly disagree and take appropriate action but eminent domain has been used in various ways for the betterment of the community. As you should understand, when you become part of a community, you do cede some of your rights to the government in a limited capacity. I’m not trying to get into a philosophical debate here but actually enjoy addressing the underlying policy, etc. as opposed to making personal attacks at people.

    Third, to defend myself – my education is not “recent” and is extensive. Enjoy the sidewalks!

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    Township Reader Reply:

    When the TESD was planning to renovate the high school, their lawyer tendered an offer to purchase the acreage adjoining the high school (some nursery) and came under attack like nothing you have ever seen. And it was mostly due to manipulation by the owner of the property (co-owner, the other owner was encouraging the sale) who wanted to be a martyr with a truck load of money. The district had no interest in acquiring the property for any reason other than the “greater good” (and state requirments for acreage for a high school)….but now you say that sidewalks on these roads is for the safety and welfare of the community. ??? Really.

  7. “Just because two things happened at the same time doesn’t mean one caused the other.”

    Mike of Berwyn reminds us of the obvious. Clearly it’s unlikely that good memories and sidewalks have a causal relationship. But a forward-thinking community envisions and plans for the direction they would like to see in their community.

    And no matter what the issue, people’s opinions seem to be colored by their expectations of government. The low-taxes and limited government crowd oppose sidewalks and anything else that costs them a dime or a square foot of private property – while those who are most impressed with the Comprehensive Plan’s vision of a more connected, walkable community see things differently.

    And then there is a sizable group of residents who know nothing about the Comp Plan, nor are they personally affected by sidewalks one way or the other.

    I just hope the direction Tredyffrin takes will be based on a full and complete airing of the costs and benefits of providing safe access to schools, recreational areas and town centers.

    What are the chances that this will be the most important focus of the newly formed sidewalk subcommittee?

    Personally, I see it as a matter of clinging to the status quo or moving forward. And while sidewalks won’t determine Tredyffrin’s fate (causation), they will play a role (association).

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  8. Fan of Tredyffrin — I really do not understand your expectations regarding forward thinking. WHAT TOWN CENTERS? Your pitting “clinging” to the status-quo against “moving forward” belies a bias regarding what you want in your community. BUT I ask again — though I asked Ray earlier and he answered it very nicely — why did you move to a suburban community that was more rural with no walkable “town centers” when you could have moved to Wayne, or some developments with sidewalks (how’s the working for Chesterbrook? Walk to the grocery store, but it’s going to close???) If you want a semi-urban setting, move to a place where they have those things. Do not expect to retrofit a community that is not “clinging” to a status quo — my choice to move here was an affirmative one. I bought a house that was listed as “walk to train” and we do so — without the benefit of sidewalks. People who want those amenities should seek them when they make a purchase. Leave it to Beaver was about growing up in the 60s and was filled with sidewalks — because that was the character of the town.
    Suggest you read Bill Bryson’s Thunderbolt Kid — about the difference in growing up in a place where everything was unique vs. today where no matter where you go, it’s the same restaurants, the same stores etc. I’m NOT clinging to the status quo — I don’t want to live in a community that has paving on the curb line….I’d like to forego the curbs in many cases…and that’s why I bought a house in this community versus countless alternatives.

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    chet Reply:

    Township reader:

    BRAVO!!!… I think there’s that “change” crapola again….and if you don’t buy into it, you are a heathen.. Sounds too familiar.
    I agree with you.. retro fitting is not a good idea. We can’t be all things to all people. And the raping of the properties is sinful Someone said these folks weren’t even compensated for this?? (except for replanting at the end) I find that Stalinist.
    Anyone for oil drilling?

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    Roger Reply:

    Chet – I agree that we can’t be all things to all people. However, your use of the term “raping” is extremely offensive and should not be used in this sense. Thanks.

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    Fan of Tredyffrin Reply:

    Township Reader,

    I live in the most rural section of the township and have no expectations that sidewalks (or public sewers) will ever be added. When I moved here from suburban Los Angeles, I was attracted to the open space and privacy that large properties offered. I understood then that I was sacrificing easy access to shopping, the library, the train..

    However, I think a fairly large percentage of Tredyffrin residents do have that access – or would if given safe routes to get there.

    TOWN CENTERS? What do you consider Paoli, Berwyn, Strafford and Wayne? I don’t accept your premise that people should expect nothing to change once they move into a community. Are you saying, “If your neighborhood doesn’t have sidewalks now, then don’t ever expect to have them?”

    I do understand homeowners’ anger right now and sympathize with them. They’ve just had (or will have) more than 5 feet of frontage taken from them , are still required to pay taxes on that property, and maintain the sidewalks year-round.

    Clearly, this is too much of a sacrifice unless the benefits will far outweigh the costs – to homeowners and the community. But I believe the interests of the community have been well served by encouraging everyone to have a say. I also think an investment in connecting neighborhoods via sidewalks, paths and trails will make our community safer and more attractive to families and businesses when they are choosing whether to move to Tredyffrin.

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    Township Reader Reply:

    Fan
    I do think that if you didn’t buy a house with a sidewalk on the property that you should be able to rely on that being the condition and the future of the property. So that’s where we differ. I believe people moving to this area have choices about the nature of their property — you chose a more rural option. If you live in some areas of Berwyn, there are sidewalks in place — and have been since the roads were built. Chesterbrook is a planned community with new houses, condos and sidewalks. If that model was the most attractive, in all likelihood new developments will incorporate it. Do the Bentley developments — or Toll House developments include sidewalks? They were certainly free to include them. I don’t know. But if they do, then there are even more choices.

    I do understand the economic model you are proposing — but if and when that becomes true, the market will do it — developers will build the housing you propose and will add the amenities you think will make it a more attractive community. Paths and trails are not part of my discussion here — this is about paving over property in the public easement of a home owned by a private citizen for the purpose of encouraging walking….5 foot sidewalks in a 15′ easement — and apparently people do not have a say because I cannot imagine anyone on Conestoga or Old Lancaster who was happy to see their land scalped.
    We can agree to disagree. But for now, I am saying that if a neighborhood does not have sidewalks, you should not expect them. At least not at the public trough — which means if it becomes attractive in the marketplace for a neighborhood to have sidewalks (kind of like the ‘walk to train” that already exists — absent sidewalks), then a community, and not a township, will decide to install them. HOW likely is that? Who can know? We have five elementary schools that are not air conditioned, At some point, will people not move here because of that?

    I’m all over the place in this non-debate — but I feel very strongly that a homeowner choosing a property has rights to determine whether or not they want part of it paved over and then maintained at their expense (it would never be built if the township was paying to maintain it)

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    Mike in Berwyn Reply:

    Fan:

    While my statement may be obvious to you, there are many who do need a reminder, beyond this particular situation.

    You mention that you moved here from Los Angeles – like Township Reader, I’ve lived in this community since i was a kid in the 60s. As much as it may frustrate you and others, “The low-taxes and limited government crowd” are the majority. In fact, that and the great schools are major reasons why many of us choose to live here, where we can “cling to the status quo”;).

    Mike

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    Township Reader Reply:

    YEA Mike. And it’s the reason that we stayed here and raised our children here. And given that Lower Merion and Radnor taxes are considerably higher, and we rank above both districts in the state, that’s the formula the works. Forward thinking communities like ours are evolutionary — not revolutionary — we pay for what we buy and we buy what we want. If people want access to what you call town centers (Chesterbrook is the only thing that meets that description imho), they already have it. It’s called walking on the side of the road or in the yard….or on the existing sidewalks that have been scattered throughout the township on a land development plan — not in front of 100 year old homes.

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    Mike in Berwyn Reply:

    Two further observations about/from the “low-taxes and limited government crowd”:

    – Lest you think we’re feeling smug because of our local strength, we are absolutely getting steamrolled in Washington, at least for now.

    – The low taxes focus is borne of thinking that we shouldn’t impose our wants on others AND expect them to pay for them. While sometimes perceived as a bunch of penny-pinching, stingy Scrooges, they are willing to pay and work for things that are of value to them. For example, among our strong local charities (Surrey Services, the libraries, T&E Care, etc.) it’s the “low-taxes and limited government” that predominate among the leadership and the financial supporters.
    They’re not going to wait around for some government program to fill a community need.

  9. First, I want to thank Pattye for sharing my slides and for hosting this site because, …community _does_ matter and an essential component to building or maintaining a healthy community is letting members feel they have a voice.

    On that note, I’d like to ask that you put aside what you feel about sidewalks for a moment. I want to share my perspective on why this project is so frustrating to me, an impacted home owner and specifically, a homeowner on Old Lancaster.

    Our portion of Old Lancaster is State owned. For this reason, Phase I of the sidewalk project had unique, over-kill, requirements with out which, the State would not have approved the plan. My reference to 5’ sidewalks and to 10’ bump-outs are specifically referencing the Old Lancaster portion of the plan. It may have been shock-enough for you if you have observed the loss of some of our trees — but don’t think that you saw the worst of it. At this time, only a very few of the bushes have been cut down and none of the fences have been moved yet. I happened to measure out the plan and it’s impact on my property. For anyone that hasn’t had reason to measure, just wait until you see how big a deal it is.

    Basically, here’s what we were told:
    You will give up land whether you like it or not. In fact, you will give-up 15’ of land (approximately 2,500 square feet per home owner)
    We will continue to tax your property as if it were the original plot. It doesn’t matter that 2,500 s/f of it has been converted to public property.
    We will take your trees and landscaping. We will not comment on the fact that our replacement plantings won’t even be worth 1/10th of the cost we can get for selling your trees as firewood.
    We will take away coveted parking that you counted on when you bought your house. It is of no concern to us that contractors, public safety or simply friends and family will have no where to park.
    You will maintain the sidewalk whether you like it or not. In fact, if you don’t maintain it, you will be fined $600/day.
    You will be responsible for daily watering and care of the new grass and trees plantings. Not our problem if you don’t have time and the new plantings die.
    If a driver hits the curb and doesn’t own-up to it, you — the homeowner, will be financially responsible. It doesn’t matter if the damage was the result of a DOT plow or a drunk driver. It’s your problem not ours.
    You will be responsible for the safety of pedestrians. If someone trips or slips in front of your house, regardless of whose fault it is, you have legal responsibility — not us.
    You will figure out how to shovel 750 s/f +/-. It doesn’t matter that NONE of you have a garage (room for a snow blower) and therefore, will need to shovel by hand or pay someone.

    We will not help you get rid of snow. We will not reduce your property tax to accommodate the loss of land. We won’t even consider a split in the share of maintenance and repair. While we “could” have budgetted a couple hundred extra dollars for tree replacement along the State owned sections where home owners were hit hardest (land-loss and tree age), we won’t. We’ll give you 1.5”-2” tree trunks because really, 4” tree trunks is asking too much.

    With so many people discussing the economy and all the great use of tax dollars, all I’m suggesting is that this ‘sidewalk’ discussion means much more to those impacted than whether or not we feel sidewalks were needed. It’s a big deal that something was forcibly taken from us. And, it’s an even bigger deal that we must continue to pay taxes on the lost property, risk law suits, and invest in maintenance and repair.

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  10. Erika offers a unique perspective to sidewalks that only a homeowner personally impacted by the sidewalks can provide. Just yesterday I had an argument with someone about the width of the sidewalks – he said they would be 3 feet wide and I said that the Federal requirement was for 5 feet wide sidewalks. I certainly didn’t want to be right on this one! Thank you for sharing Erika.

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  11. I think the most regretable part of the sidewalk project is that, while they were tearing everything up and securing outside funding, they didn’t combine it with a “pole-away” project to put all utility cables underground. Sidewalks improve the value and attractiveness of a neighborhood, but getting rid of utility poles makes them even more attractive.

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  12. “In some cases, sidewalks improve the value and attractiveness” — drive through the places we are talking about and tell me the look is better. It’s DIFFERENT — I find 100 year old trees more appealing. Just drove through a planned community in Glen Mills — it’s all lovely, but there are NO trees because the sidewalks are part of a land-development plan to build homes — not part of a full developed community with homes and trees. We can all beat this to death — but the reality is that when the school district considered purchasing a property next to Conestoga (offer was tendered to the owner), there was an anti-communist attack — the phrase Nazi Germany was associated with it because the property owner wanted to up his price AND his moral indignation. And that was for uninhabited rarely used land which was not manicured before and hasn’t been since — yet it was referred to as “a little bit of heaven in Berwyn.” The district didn’t buy it and never intended to condemn it unless the state forced it to allow the expansion of the building — but now we are destroying the streets surrounding the high school for some hypothetical walkers who have been walking the route for 50 years….but now will walk it on sidewalks that must be maintained and shoveled by owners….. Yikes. These are consequences. WHAT exactly are we getting for our $1.7 M (call it grants, but they came from taxpayers somewhere)

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  13. I have posted a presentation on slideshare (no password required):

    http://bit.ly/fuTE — Tredyffrin Township – Sidewalk Project

    It’s a ‘work in progress’ given that the project just kicked-off in March. Just today, on my way to work the construction team was hard at work taking down my neighbor’s hedge. I hope you can take a moment to review the presentation as it documents ‘before & after’ and I included a copy of the letter residents submitted to the Board of Supervisors.

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    Pattye Reply:

    Thank you Erika.

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  14. I’m wondering how the progress on this sidewalk is going? Any updates from residents? Concerns?

    I just read a post on the SAC website regarding a sidewalk Eastern Univerity agreed to put on Chamounix Road in St. Davids as part of a development deal a few years ago.
    “The proposed sidewalk would stretch from the St. Davids R5 train station to a pedestrian walkway that leads to the campus, touching eight residential properties in between.” http://www.mainlinemedianews.com/articles/2009/02/04/main_line_suburban_life/archives/20090204-archivejrc-10.txt

    The sidewalk has been on hold for over three years. Radnor Twp put together a “special committee” to make a recommendation to the Commissioners. Rumor has it that it will be on the agenda of their next meeting. I’m interested in finding out what their recommedation will be.

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    Pattye Benson Reply:

    There’s a BOS meeting this Monday night — Christine, I too am wondering how the special sidewalk committee is progressing. I’d like to hear an update.

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  15. I’m still disappointed in the Twp regarding this matter.

    More and more people are walking along Upper Gulph Road, past the Golf Club, past Mt. Pleasant… I don’t know where they’re coming from or where there going… maybe I’ll start asking….If nobody else brings the sidewalk committee up on Monday, I guess I can do it. I do have some literature from the
    Federal Highway Administration that I might offer to them:

    -Pedestrian Road Safety Audit Guidelines and Prompt Lists
    -A Resident’s Guide for Creating Safe and Walkable Communities
    -Pedestrian Safety Guide and Countermeasure Selection System: Pedsafe
    -How to Develop a Pedestrian Safety Action Plan

    Over 10,000 cars pass by Mt. Pleasant every day. The majority are going way faster than the 35MPH speed limit. From what I understand, the speed limit can’t be lowered — Although, it is 25MPH over by the Library…
    I wonder if the speeding cars bother anybody further down on Upper Gulph and Conestoga? What ever happened to the traffic signal that was supposed to be place at the intersection of E. Conestoga & Upper Gulph? The purpose of which was to “accommodate PEDESTRIAN and vehicular traffic”.

    As for Mt. Pleasant, I’m looking at alternative ways to slow drivers down. There has been plenty of research that shows that making a streetscape more interesting will cause drivers to slow down. Some of the suggestions are decorative street lights, shade trees, planters filled with flowers, outdoor sculpture… I have no idea how to fund a project like thi,s but it can’t hurt to dream… Any practitioners of public art out there?

    From what I hear, the student housing ordinance will be discussed at this meeting as well. I checked for the agenda this morning, but it hasn’t appeared yet.

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