Pattye Benson

Community Matters

Help Make Paoli More Walk and Bike-Friendly . . . Plan to attend the open house workshop

Tredyffrin Township is sponsoring a Paoli Pedestrian and Bike Study Workshop with support from the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission. The open house workshop will discuss walking, biking in Paoli and connecting to the Chester Valley Trail system. This is the first public workshop and public input during the process is important. Please plan on attending the workshop; let’s help make Paoli more walk and bike-friendly!

When: Wednesday, March 24

Time: Stop in any time between 4:00 and 8:00 PM to view project materials and provide input. A brief presentation will be made at 4:15 PM and repeated at 5:15 PM, 6:15 PM and 7:15 PM.

Where: Delaware Valley Friends School, 19 East Central Avenue, Paoli

Questions or Further Information: Please contact EJ Lee, Tredyffrin Township, at 610.408.3625 or

Workshop Poster: Paoliworkshop Bike-Walk flyer

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  1. I am also wondering what the ultimate sidewalk conclusions for this community will be. I admit I paid little attention to the plan for the sidewalks around the schools — because the “phrase” made sense. But now that I drive along Old Lancaster Road, I see that once again, rules substituted for judgment — I am horrified at the trees that have been taken down along the side from the train station past the cemetery. These homes were built behind trees — and the natural look of the community was a tree lined road. Was any consideration given to wood chips as a trail, rather than taking the whole government easement and clear cutting it? To get the grant, did we have to put in 3 foot sidewalks on concrete? If Paul Olson wants to get folks on board against sidewalks, he’ll only heed to drive people down this stretch of road….
    I want this community to be walkable, but maybe because I grew up walking these roads — without a concrete sidewalk, it never occurred to me that the only way to get sidewalks was to do this. I apologize to those in the area who tried to stop it that I didn’t pay more attention. Perhaps we need supervisors who articulate objections rather than just put them in place…I railed against them myself — and now find that I am truly appalled that action substituted for judgment. WHAT were these people thinking? They have forever changed the character of these homes — and without compensation to the owners.

    1. I almost don’t have the energy to respond here.

      Old Lancaster residents put their heart and soul into their efforts to arrive at a responsible win-win solution for the Township and affected homeowners, which is more than I can say for the BoS (see Erika’s note below). For what??? The Township was on a “schedule” and not interested in entertaining any new and valid proposals. They plowed ahead with their “Plan A”.

      Now, I not only do not want to walk in that neighborhood — I avoid driving as much as I can because it makes me cry!

      To the “grandmother” who said that the trees were rotten, I can personally vouch for the expenses (some) residents willingly incurred to have their beloved trees cared for by professional arborists — only to watch them get thrown into a wood chipper. Can you imagine the violation!

      Sidewalks certainly have value, but need to be thought through VERY carefully. Clearly, bad decisions can be made when rushing to spend federal funds “on schedule”.

      And, while I wonder about how this project actually improves the “value” of the community — I really would like to know if anyone cares at all about what has happened to the value of this historical neighborhood? Are the homeowners being compensated for the loss of their property? Curb appeal? Parking spots? Were they even offered their trees for firewood???

      Pay attention, Paoli!

  2. Patty – these comments on the “new” blog are showing up in reverse order — newest comments first — will that be permanent? Makes responding more complicated — as the most recent comment is not above the response box. (Will make it easier to follow though — because they will come in order — not based on the “reply” click spot.

  3. Understanding that the current side walk is funded via grant money, I would suggest that any and all future plans be placed on hold due to the fiscal position of the township. After cuts to most services in 2010, we need to focus our attention to finding more revenue sources and returning our existing services to where they need to be. Keep in mind that finding grants to make more things (parks, sports fields, trails, sidewalks) is great, but we can not forget the long term operational expense commitment associated with it.

    I realize it is only March, but instead of having workshops about more trails, perhaps it would be in the better interest of the community to have public workshops on budget planning. Waiting until October to start involving the community is far too late. Perhaps people have short memories of only a few months ago where we struggled as a community to accept cuts to our services an behalf of supervisors who refuse to raise taxes. I’m fine with not raising taxes if it is justified, but believe we need the time as a community to work on finding additional revenue sources if we aren’t raising taxes. That will not happen over night.

    This workshop shows me poor taste of priorities by the township,

  4. I’m rather dishearten by these comments regarding making Tredyffrin a more walk able community.

    Certainly I was saddened by the number of trees that needed to be removed to make room for the sidewalks around Conestoga & TEMS… I still need to ask myself – Do I value a tree more than a child’s life? Do I value how the aesthetic landscaping of my property more than I value a safe way for students to walk to school? It is also my understanding that the township has worked closely with each of the homeowners regarding the impact to their property & adequate resort oration measure to compensate for lost trees/plantings.

    When it come to the walk-ability of Paoli, I have to wonder if anyone who has made a comment so far actually lives within the Paoli community? I do believe John Peterson does, but I don’t know about the others. To be blunt, I’m more interested in how homeowners in Paoli feel about the walk-ability of their community than how the rest of Tredyffrin Township feels about it.

    Also the Paoli community is in a unique place because of the establishment of a Redevelopment Master Plan surrounding the train station. Additionally, I believe Paoli falls into 3 townships (Tredyffrein/Easttown/Willstown) and 2 school districts (TESD & GV). It would be foolish not to examine the walk-ability of this community!

    Getting people walking helps keep people healthy, that saves us all in healthcare costs, it also means the car stays home, helping to reduce our carbon footprint. If a community is more walk-able, then it means it’s usually more shopable, which is good for local businesses.

    Whenever I travel abroad, I’m amazed by how much more walk-able & pedestrian friendly other countries are. And also how much better/accessible public transportation is. Why wouldn’t we want the same thing for our communities?

    Let’s have some forward thinking here & not be so pennywise & pound foolish.

    Oh & BTW… This is the first public workshop and public input during the process is important. Please plan on attending the workshop… so ya’ll come, this is your opportunity for your voice to be heard!

  5. Disillusioned —
    The life of a child is a rather steep alternative to taking down 50+ year old trees — and I’m certainly not even attempting to compare them. What I am say, however, is why has our world changed so much that the only way people consider walking is on sidewalks. I grew up in this community and walked EVERYWHERE. We cut through yards, walked across yards, and we knew all our neighbors. I agree that all new communities should be planned with sidewalks, but in viewing the major clear cutting going on, I just think people need to examine the alternatives — like CIVILITY and welcoming kids walking on their property — and kids respecting property so that people don’t have to worry what they are doing on their lawn? In true neighborhoods, kids know which yards they can go sledding on — which yards they can cut through. Are you truly suggesting that it was necessary to clear cut 20 inch trees to save a life? I’m betting the property owners would have happily put down wood chips to identify the intended lane…Avalon and Stone Harbor put down bike lanes with white lines….because biking on sidewalks is not safe….so what will we do next?
    I want a walkable community — and the reality is, if we were working more on the community part, it would be walkable. How many yards have fences? The easement is 3 feet or more….can’t we all agree to enjoy the grass where it’s available — and walk on that?

    1. Lifetime Resident —
      I need to agree with you. The walkability of the community needs to start with an attitude adjustment. I grew up in a suburb of Washington, DC — we did not have sidewalks but we all walked. We walked on the lawns and if it was a quiet side street, we walked in the road. Of course, there were less cars and people probably did drive slower. Having said that, I do support sidewalks, especially around the schools. BUT . . . I have to say that I was shocked as I drove down Conestoga Road by the middle school. This is a beautiful neighborhood of many historic homes with ancient trees and established landscaping. What an absolute shock as I drove down what had been a lovely tree-lined road. Many of these homes had been shielded from Conestoga by their front yard trees . . . no more. A few years ago, we had a large tree overhanging our historic house and its roots were going under the house. The tree had to come down for the safety of the house. But I can tell you that to see a 3 story tree there in the morning and then gone by the end of the day was devastating to the soul. It changed the entire appearance of the house and property. I am embarrassed to say that I actually grieved the loss of that tree so, I feel so very sorry for these people that own these beautiful homes along Conestoga. I am challenging myself to accept the sidewalks as ‘progress’. I agree that a meandering path with wood chips would have been lovely but certainly that would not be ‘up to code’!

  6. Disillusioned in Tredyffrin –

    Timing is everything and now is not the time. It’s obvious you are involved in running this meeting, so I will never change your mind. Before you get too vested in anything, remember that money doesn’t grow on trees. We have a long way to go before anything like this should be a reality. Unfortunately, many of the supervisors spend way to much thought and drive on sidewalks while ignoring other issues.

    The life of a child is very important, thus why any child too young to safely walk along the road, should not have been walking alone. Sidewalks do not replace parenting.

  7. Disillusioned in Tredyffrin wrote:
    “Getting people walking helps keep people healthy, that saves us all in healthcare costs, it also means the car stays home, helping to reduce our carbon footprint. If a community is more walk-able, then it means it’s usually more shopable, which is good for local businesses.”

    Wow, if this is the logic that people are using to come to the conclusion that we need to install sidewalks everywhere, then we have a much bigger problem than I originally thought.

  8. Hmmm… It’s interesting that it’s been assumed that I’m part of this afternoon/evening workshop @ DVFS, I am not. I just a resident of Tredyffrin who believes that this community could be more pedestrian & biker friendly.

    I couldn’t agree more, allowing people to cut across our property would/could be an alternative to sidewalks, but that’s not always a viable option. Certainly fences make that difficult as does other landscaping, road width, amount of traffic on a road, speed limits & road patterns are factors to consider. I believe that a lot of cutting through yards does happen within many neighborhoods & that is terrific. I know it does happen in my neighborhood.

    Unfortunately I don’t believe that was a viable option around the HS & MS. The width of the road makes it difficult for bikers & walkers. Yes, the road could be widened & a bike lane added… but wouldn’t that also have a similar impact to the homeowner’s property as the road would need to be widened? The speed limit is 25 around the schools (15 during certain times of day), if people actually drove that speed pedestrian & biker safety would not be as much of an issue… but in reality people don’t & b/c only state police can use radar, or local PD has to leave a wider margin for calculating speed before they can ticket a driver.

    I guess I was a bit ambiguous when referring to HS & MS students as children; I probably should have referred to them as young adults. Regardless, a 50yr old tree or young adult life? Did it sadden me to see 50+yr old trees cut down, absolutely YES! If I were one of the homeowners would I be feeling a sadness @ the loss of those trees, YES! But pedestrian safely around schools needs to have the higher priority. Perhaps with more students walking to school, TESD transportation costs may go down (at least we can hope).

    I have to wonder where is the out-cry when developers clear cut plots of land with 50+ year old trees on them? Where was the out-cry when DVFS cut down numerous 50+ year old trees to put in a turf field? Which BTW you can check out when/if you go to the workshop tonight (if you want to know what the grass field & foliage was like prior to the turf field you can look on Google maps).

    I hope there is a fantastic turn out today for the workshop, and that people with opinions from both sides of the aisle come, because then somewhere in the middle we’ll hopefully get it right.

  9. Hopeless…

    I don’t think I said we should build sidewalks everywhere, I said we should look at making our communities more walkable… b/c there are benefits to doing that… such as to our health, reducing our carbon footprint & supporting local businesses.

    Would love to hear about your criteria for sidewalks? Also the benefits of a less walkable community?

  10. I’ll chime in here — no expertise to offer but my own experience is that m;y kids walked to the middle and high school with the existing sidewalks/yards in place…from 5th grade through 12th….never took a bus but one was availble…so while I understand the notion of safety, I also believe anyone who wanted to walk to school was able to — and if they were not, sidewalks are not going to make a difference. Fact is — it’s a scary world and parents are not likely to let kids walk just because we added sidewalks — it’s the world they are walking in — not the roads. I walked — everywhere — and learned independence and judgment. The community can become walkable as we recognize the value of the character of our landscape — not just the walkability of the roads.. Commercial properties should be built with sidewalks — and NEW neighborhoods likewise. But the old houses on Old Lancaster and Conestoga roads deserved to maintain their full character — not have windows opened onto their lives. The house on the corner of Cassatt and Conestoga has a fenced full yard — are we prepared to allow that? Makes dodging an errant car awfully hard.

    1. I just returned from taking photos along Conestoga Road by the middle school. Two of the historic homes that have lost trees were on the Tredyffrin Historic Preservation Trust’s 1st Annual Historic House Tour (I’m in the planning stages for the 6th Annual this September but that’s another topic!). Anyways, I had to stop and take photos of the trees and landscaping lost in front of these beautiful old homes. As an old house owner, I know I am challenged with change in the name of progress but the character and protection of these houses from the road, the cars, the noise is forever altered. I am sure that there will be landscaping replaced in the sidewalk plan but there’s no replanting of 200-yr. old oak trees. It was a different drive down Conestoga Road today.

  11. For reference, the sidewalks that are currently being installed will cost about $314 per linear foot or $1.65 million per mile.

  12. Like I said before, if you think that reducing your carbon footprint is a legitimate cause for installing sidewalks ANYWHERE, then I think you need to change your name to ‘delusional in tredyffrin’.

    Here’s a thought – if a person wants a sidewalk in front of their house, they can call a contractor and have one installed. Maybe neighbors will see the benefits and have one installed too.
    If someone wants to walk for exercise, they can buy a treadmill. But please don’t ask me to pay for it with my hard earned income.

    Besides the contractors that get paid to install them, what specific businesses do you think would benefit from sidewalks?

  13. Hi Mike… would be interested int the reference for your financial statistics: “For reference, the sidewalks that are currently being installed will cost about $314 per linear foot or $1.65 million per mile.”

    Hope-less in Way… “But please don’t ask me to pay for it with my hard earned income.”… I pay taxes too. Last time I checked jobs were good for the economy. Also wondering, have you benefited from sidewalks paid 4 by others?

    Pattye… I hear where you are coming from… but the character & protection for these “historic” homes have forever been altered the day paved roads were put in… or the day CHS & TEMS were built.

    In this whole discussion… I’ve yet to see any care, concern or regard for the changes that the Paoli/Tredyffrin residents will expericence as the township moves forward w/ the Paoli Redevelopment District…. This part of the township seems to get the same attention that the panhandle gets…. hmmmmm…. there wouldn’t be any economic basis, would there be?

    So it’s good to see such stong opinions out there… I’m sure lots of you will be at the workshop today! I’m sure lots of you will take the time to look at all the trees that were cut down around the DVFS… perhaps you’ll even find time to talk with the people who live in the condos that abutt the new turf field (wow think of all the worms who have been displaced by rubber pellets… all in the name of what seems to be “acceptable” progress – a turf soccer field). Anyway, see if any of them miss the trees that served as a buffer.

    It’s interesting that while this workshop address the walkabliltiy of Paoli, none of the discussion has been about the impact sidewalks & redevelopment will have on this community.

    1. Disillusioned in Tredyffrin:
      Yes, I will be at today’s workshop. As a member of the board of Paoli Business & Professional Association, the walkability of Paoli is a key element to the success of the future Paoli Transpotation Center. I hope that there is a good turnout today for the first public workshop to review the walking and biking plan. Reminder the open house is 4-8 PM with brief presentations at 4:15 PM, 5:15 PM, 6:15 PM, & 7:15 PM — I encourage everyone to stop by and see the plans and offer your opinion.

  14. Disillusioned…:

    From the Township website, the total spend is $2,824,235.25 – 1.7 miles of sidewalk.

    You say “To be blunt, I’m more interested in how homeowners in Paoli feel about the walk-ability of their community than how the rest of Tredyffrin Township feels about it.” I assume all of the Township’s taxpayers, not just those in Paoli, will be expected to pay for the sidewalks?

  15. Delusional in Tredyffrin-

    Let me get this straight, you want sidewalks so you can reduce your carbon footprint? What about the carbon output from installing the sidewalks?

    Yes, you pay taxes. And if all these sidewalk projects get approved, you will be paying MORE taxes.

    And now you say the sidewalks are a form of stimulus for the economy? The truth is that you can not name a single business that will benefit from the community becoming the walking utopia that you are calling for.

  16. Carbon footprint? You have to be kidding dissillusioned.. Wait…. Algore is flying overhead… this time in a plane!

    We should just have left everything alone.. And bikers, stay to the right by the curb. You don’t own the road!

  17. It was glad to see you @ the meeting and several members of the sidewalks & trails committee. There was a wonderful hand out FAQ’s & Benefits of Trails which address many of the common concerns of sidewalks & trails.

    As a data-point the study being done/presented was paid for by a grant. It’s also the 1st of 2 planned public hearings. The study is also suppose to include estimated costs of maintaining the sidewalks & trails.

    The Workshop runs until 8pm… so there is stil plenty of time to get there & see & comment on the plans.

  18. To clarify the “you” = Pattye… it was good to see her @ the meeting. At least while I was there during the 1st presentation it seemed to me that the Paoli Business & Professional Association appeared interested in making Paoli more walkable & connecting it to other trails as a way of stimulating business. Also I’ve often noticed when people are selling a home they list walkablity to places as an asset.

    Health, Safety, The Environment, Good for Businesses in the community are a few of the reasons I listed for supporting sidewalks & trails. I’m really surprised by the self-centered comments I’ve read… like bikes don’t belong on the road? Seriously? Not everyone has the resources to own a car & some are just plain not old enough to drive. The fact remains they have every right to the road as you do… Don’t like it, change the law, but until then you have to share the road.

    Apparently the concept of something being done b/c it’s for the common good is dead.

  19. Mike…

    Which cost is it? & Where on the Tredyffrin Township website did you find it?

    For reference, the sidewalks that are currently being installed will cost about $314 per linear foot or $1.65 million per mile.

    From the Township website, the total spend is $2,824,235.25 – 1.7 miles of sidewalk.

    True Mike all the property owners in the township are taxed to cover the costs of those things the township such as sidewalks. I believe almost all of us benefit from them at one time or another. My bluntness was in relation to the topic, which is the walkablity of Paoli & how that will also relate to the Paoli Redevelopment District… Which if planned properly will contibute resouces such as tax dollars to Tredyffrin… Thus, none of may have to pay more for the benefits sidewalks & trails, they’ll pay for themselves by bringing income into the township as people frequent local merchants & restaurants.

    Since students will now have a “safe” path to school the SD will not be obligated to pay for busing students who could otherwise walk to school… now they’ll be able to do so safely. As will commuters going to Daylesford Station.

  20. Disillusioned…:

    The sidewalk costs –

    Of course, PBPA is interested in making Paoli more walkable and accessible as a way to stimulate business!

    I attended the 6:15 presentation. My take on it – if the Paoli sidewalk improvements can be done at reasonable cost, they might make sense. Riding around town a bit after the meeting, alot of whats needed are sidewalk cutins, a couple of ramps, etc. Not sure if there’s a way to get the businesses to “kick in” for the costs, but I sure would investigate every avenue to do so – Wawa, Starbucks, Walgreen, Malvern Federal, etc. BTW, Disallusioned, the Township does not get a penny more whether Paoli Starbucks sells 10 lattes or 10,000 lattes a day – there is no local sales or business revenue tax.

    As for the walking/biking trail, it might be a “nice to have” but it’s certainly not a “need to have” – this Township absolutely cannot justify spending what would likely be many hundreds of thousands of dollars or more, so folks can walk or bike up the hill from the Chester Valley Trail into Paoli. My questions were not met with much enthusiasm – as you might expect, most there were walkers and bikers and thought it was a great idea and didn’t seem to be too interested in a cost/benefit, or usage analysis.

    1. A couple of further observations:

      – The biking /walking trail connecting the Chester Valley Trail to Paoli being sold for its benefits to Paoli businesses. In fact, the Trail will pass within 100 yards of the Wawa and Wegman’s near Route 29 and the restaurants and stores on Swedesford Road further east. Why would anyone bike or walk a mile+ straight uphill to get a cup of coffee or a bite to eat in Paoli?

      – There was discussion of how great it would be to be able to connect bikers to Great Valley/Paoli businesses using the train. I asked the question about bike restrictions on the R5 – in fact, bicycles are not allowed on trains during peak hours! During hours when they are permitted, no more than 2 bikes per train-car and bikers will be asked to leave the train to accommodate handicapped or senior passengers, when necessary.

      My thought is to review the existing Paoli sidewalks for structural improvements – don’t waste money on some grand plan for the bike/walking trail.

  21. Busing is NOT mandated by the state — and the district is likely to bus kids on routes that PARENTS decide is dangerous. My kids walked to school with friends — and I regularly heard other parents question our judgment. The line up of cars outside the schools is NOT because kids missed the bus…


    State guidelines suggest busing elementary students living one and one-half miles from school and secondary students living two miles from school, unless students living closer must walk on roads declared hazardous by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

  23. Bikers have to obey the rules of the road and for their own survival, should not challenge autos. Bikes on roads can be a dangerous proposition. I would like to know why it is ok for a bike going 10 mph on a busy road, holding up traffic, living in his own world, is not breaking the law. What are the rules for bikes vis a vis cars?

  24. Sarah
    For me your comments make the most sense and come from a parent who allowed her children to walk to school. I agree that having sidewalks “between” the high school, the playing fields and the middle school make sense – and they are already in place. I question however whether having sidewalks from the train station or on the other side of Howellville Road will increase foot traffic. I have also asked recent graduates of the high school for their opinions and they chuckled and suggested that I “get real” The tree loss is a shame.
    I say all of this as one that feels that the reason many areas of the township do not have the feel of a neighborhood is due to the lack of sidewalks. I believe that sidewalks help build the community – particularly in areas of higher occupancy – like Paoli. I also support the building of the “trail” as it will create a safe area for walking and biking for all residents without the need for unnecessary sidewalks that only affect a limited number of residences. I meet any number of township residences using the Radnor trail system to validate my thoughts.

  25. Chet

    What a silly question… for the same reason we chose to live in Tredyffrin and not Radnor…. we like the look, the beauty and the neighbors. And as the old old saying goes — “GO WEST YOUNG MAN” ..

  26. What an awful thing for the township to do to it’s charming neighborhood! For anyone referencing the safety of children, I think you may be speaking in theory and not with experience specific to the Daylesford section of Old Lancaster.

    We have lived in TE for 50+ years and have always admired the quaint homes on Old Lancaster especially the very ones that are in the middle of the tear down zone. My kids walked to school in that neighborhood and I was never worried about them.

    Sidewalks always sound nice in theory but in reality, they are not always necessary. In my opinion, a great neighborhood was sacrificed unnecessarily. That road is wide and the speed limit is appropriate at 25MPH. The safety issues are a result of the drivers who fail to observe the speed limit.

    I really feel badly for not paying attention and showing support for those home owners. They didn’t deserve this. I hope the Board of Supervisors pays close attention to this.

  27. 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 shurbs).

    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.

    1. Erika —
      Thank you for your comments. Please send me your before and after photos and I will post tomorrow. Send to . I have photos that I have taken along Conestoga Rd. from the sidewalk project that I am planning on adding to a post tomorrow and would like to include your Old Lancaster Rd. photos.

      1. Hi Pattye, sorry for the delay! I am happy for forward pictures. I’m going to run out and get a few updated “afters” and will email them in the next hour or so.


    2. I feel for you. The developer behind me clear cut the lots where he intends to build 9 new houses. He was supposed to leave specimen trees and all the vegetation on the steep slopes. It really changed the character of our neighborhood. I used to have such a beautiful view. It was one of the reasons I bought my house. I used to look out over a beautiful green canopy, in the distance was Mt. Misery and Mt. Joy of Valley Forge.

      Who is paying for the new trees with the 2″ diameters?
      Will the shrubs and perrienials be replaced?

      1. Christine, ugh, I can picture just what you are describing so I know you can relate to me.

        The township is taking care of replacing trees and hedge but it’s a joke to have 20-40″ trunks replaced with 1.5-2″. Just so be sure that TE can’t say I’m exaggerating, here’s the direct link to the replacement plan: It’s just as well that they’re saplings and that most of us will have moved on by the time the trees mature. Many of the trees are fruit-bearing or flowering. Sure, it will ‘look pretty’ but that’s not the kind of tree you want when you don’t have a garage to protect your car. Okay, I’m nit-picking but I can’t help it. I’m upset.

        In the meantime, fellow tree-huggers and environment-conscious people may enjoy the following link which provides a calculator for determining an estimated value for benefits produced by your tree(s).

        I found that the average tree benefit value produced by each tree on my street was in $200-300 range (annually). This does not include the actual ‘cost’ of the tree, just the value of the benefits (home value & environment.) For frame of reference, the replacement trees have an estimated annual value of ….$6.

        1. I know this is after the fact, but whose decision was it to deny the residents suggestion that the sidewalk be shifted 3 feet? Was it the Twp, the contractor, PennDot? Was there a reason given for the denial?

          Considering recent events, it will be interesting to see what the Twp’s new Sidewalk Committee suggests regarding this issue?

  28. I couldn’t help myself – I’m down the road in Paoli and decided to go for a drive. I had tears in my eyes… REAL TEARS!

    Have the neighbors taken any legal action with the township? This seems grossly unfair AND unnecessary! If I’m reading the TE website correctly, this seems like it was done for just one reason – federal funds were available. With all the struggling towns in this country, I am saddened that over $1.5 million in federal funds were used to tear down trees in an affluent neighborhood.

    Shame on Tredyffrin and shame on the federal government.

    1. I couldn’t have said any better Lilly.
      I also want to thank Erika for all her efforts in trying to express to fellow residents along Old Lancaster Rd and others in the community, what we tried to stop from happening.
      It was like I might as well have talked to my silver maple tree to get a better response then addressing the engineers, board members, etc.
      My points were ignored and my tree and landscaping destroyed.
      If the economy wasn’t so bad , I’d have my home on the market.

  29. Lilly – Now imagine this sort of thing happening all over Tredyffrin Twp, paid for by our local taxes, instead of our federal taxes.

  30. I think its a crime that 62 students from The Timothy School have to walk in the road to get into Berwyn. Also I push a baby stroller in the street because Old Lancaster RD hasn’t been paved for over 20 years and most of it is falling apart . I walked mine to Conestoga at 7:15 AM for a year ..a true experience… get there faster walking but you are 6 inches away from the vehicles. Has anyone really looked at some of the trees…..many were rotten.

    1. I agree that Old Lancaster needs to be repaved. I also agree that it is a shame that 62 students have to walk on that road to get into Berwyn. Should the taxpayers have to pay for a sidewalk for those 62 students that are in a facility that was not designed to be a school?

  31. Why walk in the road when there is huge easement in yards. And repaving that section would have cost far less than the federal (?) grant of $1.7M….
    Rules substituted for judgment. Shame on us all.

  32. Shame on the federal government for funding a shovel-ready project leading to schools? Come on now. The current Administration has become a convenient scapegoat for those who didn’t support them in the last election and don’t like their priorities now . But there’s no question those stimulus funds kept many people from losing their jobs at a very difficult time.

    Plus, the burden of properly vetting this plan fell on local officials and PennDOT. It’s my understanding that in order to get grant funding, the project had to meet federal safety standards. Even if our local tax dollars had funded these sidewalks, the Township would have been required to meet safety standards or risk greater liability if someone were injured or worse.

    Yes, I know TBO. You don’t want to pay taxes to keep kids from the Timothy School safe bc “the facility was not designed to be a school”. Something tells me there are a whole lot of other reasons you wouldn’t feel obligated to pay taxes to benefit others as well. And of course, you would probably like to do away with most of the regulations that keep citizens safe – at a cost you don’t want to pay either.

    It’s easy tobe critical of sidewalks right now. The loss of people’s beautiful century-old tress and privacy shrubs is terrible. And maybe alternatives that spared as many trees and shrubs as possible should have been given more weight. But I’m guessing the cost of doing so – e.g realigning the roadway – would have made the project even less affordable.

    Retro-fitting a community as old as Tredyffrin where many homes sit close to the roadways and have established landscaping features always comes at a cost and requires many compromises.

    Some people will always find the status quo to be just fine .

    But in my opinion, safer routes to schools – and hopefully in the future to our Township’s libraries – are priceless!

    I’m not advocating for sidewalks everywhere. And individual homeowners deserve a great deal of consideration in this process – certainly more than lip service and 2″ replacement treelings.

    But finding a middle ground seems the right approach – especially given that Tredyffrin will face tight budgets for the foreseeable future and probably need to slow down the pace of capital projects it has planned.

    But please beware of people like four of our supervisors who would love to see an anti-sidewalk fervor created. They want to put the kabosh on sidewalks….so that when the sidewalk subcommittee comes back with its recommendations at the end of the year there will be no community support for the vision of a walkable township as articulated in the Comprehensive plan. And that would be a major loss for this township.

  33. Dear Fan
    Retrofitting a township like Tredyffrin — where people are satisfied with the status quo — is an interesting perspective. Here’s where it gets very murky — because putting in sidewalks is not retrofitting….as if current communities are the first time sidewalks are introduced. In fact, non-rural areas had sidewalks well before the 50s when Tredyffrin was established. The decision to build T&E the way it was built was based on those trees, and those shrubs. We are a bedroom community — a non-urban residential area. There is and always has been plenty of opportunity to walk, but the nature of the world has changed such that few folks walk anywhere — too much hurry or too concerned about safety –and not from errant cars, but from the boogeyman who stalks kids and threatens us all. Except for roads where there will need to be a major commitment taken to walk to libraries etc (Upper Gulph for example), Tredyffrin has always been walkable. I grew up here and walked everywhere — but then many people walked, so there were not cars for every other 16 year old. Living in Paoli, I actually rode my bike to the Music Fair. Now — sidewalks would not make that any more likely today. Tredyffrin was not built for walking distance. The changes here have added traffic lights, not bike lanes. Parents drive their kids to school in the morning to save the 15 minutes that the kid would have to leave to catch the bus — in a spot where Mom cannot see the stop. It’s less stressful to just pop in the car and drive — cell phone in hand so you can multi-task as you wait in the line to drop off or pick up.
    So the world has changed — and to suggest that putting in sidewalks will retrofit is interesting, but I believe is not thinking clearly. PUtting in sidewalks is to attempt to re-define what kind of community this is. There are not grocery stores or convenience stores around the corner (there was one across from the Sunoco on Old Eagle and Upper Gulph in the 50s). The libraries are already adjacent to parks — but have ample parking. Anyone who wants to walk to the library now will not be encouraged by a sidewalk — except Tredyffrin Library and the traffic on that road — which means the numbers of people, not the danger of the cars, would in all likelihood preclude the average non-driver being allowed to walk there.

    I agree that anti-sidewalk fervor is dangerous, but I also believe the notion of tryiing to create a walkable community that is not built with any infrastructure to walk TO is kind of ass-backwards. We don’t need millions of dollars of sidewalks to reach the libraries. And truly — where else would you walk?

  34. Township Reader — We agree… Our culture has changed and parents are responsible for the changes – maybe if the cost of gas went to $8. a gallon kids may then be forced to walk a friends house or wait for the school bus. There are sidewalks on West Valley Road from Upper Gulph down past the area know as the Shand tract. Interestingly I only see adults walking their dogs on the sidewalks — never see children…
    I am afraid that we are now living in an age where the elected officials – locally, in Harrisburg and in DC feel that they “know better” than those that elected them – and public opinions be damned. So sidewalks will built when residents are not in favor of them – and areas like Mt. Pleasant will be allowed to fester in filth and debris.
    Thank you Pattye for providing this forum…

    PS. Speaking of “safety of the public” and the protections of big brother — why is it our folks in Harrisburg can not come up with a ban on using hand held devices while driving a motor vehicle. MMMMMMMMMMMM

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