Pattye Benson

Community Matters

‘422 Corridor Master Plan’ Overview is Coming to Tredyffrin on Monday Night

In checking the agenda for Monday night’s Board of Supervisors Meeting, I noted Chester County Planning Commission presentation of the 422 Corridor Master Plan. Not being quite sure exactly what this ‘master plan’ entailed, I did some background research. Here’s a link for the 422 Corridor master plan if you’re interested.

On a schedule since the first of June, representatives from the Chester County Planning Commission, Montgomery County Planning Commission and the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission are presenting their 422 Corridor Master Plan outreach program to the various municipalities. They are bringing their draft master plan to Tredyffrin this Monday’s Board of Supervisors meeting. A new transit line, as well as tolls on Route 422 may be in the area’s future (albeit probably not in the immediate future). A possible train line is seen as an option to provide an alternative to travel by automobile — extending transit service beyond Norristown along an already-existing rail line.

The creation of the 422 Corridor Master Plan is to provide a comprehensive approach to planning development in the 24 corridor municipalities in Chester, Montgomery and Berks counties. The 422 Master Plan is a comprehensive land use and transportation infrastructure plan that looks at the entire corridor. An important element of the master plan is how to handle growth, development and the ever- increasing traffic on 422. The plan suggests the widening of 422 in addition to ramp and interchange improvements.

Since the tolling of Interstate 80 has fallen through, the financing required for the 422 Corridor Master Plan would appear to be a bit in limbo. Why does the fate of all local state improvement projects seem to lead back to I-80’s loss of tolling? It is my understanding that the tolling of 422 is still considered a possibility to help offset the major land developments costs contained in the 422 Corridor Master Plan.

The county planning commissions are taking the 422 plan ‘on the road’ to each of the municipalities hoping that elected officials and residents will provide comments. The township supervisors will be asked to consider adopting a resolution endorsing the master plan’s principles and strategies. Looking to have the municipalities work together in partnership with the county planning commissions is probably the premise behind Monday’s presentation at the Board of Supervisors meeting.

State Rep Paul Drucker is on record as supporting 422 tolling and, as I recall, was later criticized by his state representative opponent Warren Kampf for supporting the project. With the county planning commissioners seeking a partnership agreement with Tredyffrin’s supervisors for their 422 Corridor Master Plan, it will be interesting to hear Kampf publically voice his opinion.

On another note — the Board of Supervisors meeting agenda is the scheduling of the public hearing for student housing registration ordinance. This is a first step in the process to manage student housing issues in the township (specifically in the Mt. Pleasant community). I am glad to see some positive movement in this direction and look forward to some resolution for residents with student rental issues.

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  1. I will be interested to see the presentation of this plan. With all the congestion already on 202 and 422, I don’t exactly understand how tolling it is going to help the traffic problem. There’s a lot of open farm land up 422 – I sure hope that the plan includes the appropriate compensation for the farmers.

  2. I need to know more about this plan. On the surface, if the plan includes tolling (and it seems that it would have to include tolling to pay for the project) I am not sure how toll gates is going to speed up the flow of traffic. Why does Paul Drucker favor tolling on 422? And then conversely, why isn’t Warren Kampf a supporter of the project? Maybe Mr. Kampf will explain his position on Monday night.

  3. I would rather see them use toll money then raise my state taxes to pay for it. I rarely use 422.

  4. I would be amazed if Warren supported any toll, fee or tax for any reason between now and November. It should be interesting to see how he responds to direct questions about balancing Tredyffrin’s 2011 budget without any additional sources of revenue. There is little left to cut without adversely affecting essential services, and so far Tredyffrin’s 2010 transfer tax revenue doesn’t come close to closing the budget gap

    Regarding Route 422, Representative Drucker’s position is this: he supports adding a dedicated tolling lane on 422 – one for users who drive the whole length of the road. He does not support tolling daily, short-term users. Local users would be exempt.

    1. “Local users would be exempt”

      Except 422’s not that long a road. What metric would determine a daily, short-term, local user from one who gets tolled? Would one be tolled ONLY if one drove the ENTIRE length of the road? I don’t know how thought out Drucker was when he made this statement. I doubt his handlers let him off the leash.

      And Warren? Might be not a bad idea to give the matter due consideration before making a Drucker-like pronouncement.

      1. Wait a sec…”Potted plant” & “big box of crayons” is fair play but “handler” is beyond the pale? Yeah, okay, that makes sense.

  5. John —

    You say: “You can bet that toll gates will not be used. With EZ pass, such archaic devices are no longer required.”

    While I wish this were true, there are still toll gates at places on the Turnpike and bridges. I don’t put anything past PennDOT.

    You say: “If I use a road and have to pay something for the convenience and those toll funds are directed toward maintaining THAT road, I’m for it.”

    Problem is, John, Mr. Drucker proposed tolling not for road maintenance, but to build a rail line (basically parallel to 422 and past). I think most people agree with your premise of paying tolls to maintain that road, but that isn’t what the proposed tolling is for. Just as important, the legislature isn’t real strong at keeping its promises regarding “dedicated funding” for things. Remember the gaming legislation to pay for property tax relief — that money is being used for sports stadiums, to build college campuses, etc., etc.

    Right now, I don’t trust Harrisburg to spend money where it promises.

  6. I suggest you attend tonight’s BOS meeting, Mr. Maddox, to learn more than the few facts you seem to possess before deriding a plan that involves a public-private partnership to improve the flow of traffic along 422 and move toward a mass transit option to travel from Reading into Philly.

    As I understand it, the 422 Corridor Master Plan will ask businesses located along Rte 422 (including major drug companies) and commuters who travel the length of the road to contribute to a rail system that will help bring workers and smart economic growth to northern Chester-Berks County.

    It is a plan that doesn’t ask the state’s taxpayers to underwrite an improvement from which the region will benefit. It’s forward -thinking and accepts the reality of limited funding going forward- even for the kind of mass transit projects that cut traffic congestion and pollution.

    But for people stuck in the here and now and the mindset of “it’s MY money”, “the government is not to be trusted” and ” it’s every citizen for himself “, this is is just another idea to complain about.

    Personally, I am pleased my state representative is supporting ideas that will help this region regain jobs and economic prosperity. Obviously, it is just a plan at this point.


    1. Kate., those who disagree with you are just complainers? You tried to chew me out previously, and now it’s someone else. You must be hell to live with. There are many of us and hopefully their voices will be heard in November, who are just tired of tax and spend. So you say that donations from businesses on 422 (large drug companies.. those bad CORPORATE boogeymen) will pay? Through extortion? Bullying? Seems like they should be in the business of making new drugs to keep old folks like me alive and not directly subsidizing public improvements. Of course they pay taxes, but corporate haters forget that. “My money” isn’t just every citizen for himself. Afterall, you are free to contribute more than your “fair share” since you sound so generous.

      1. Chet, those tiresome, entirely predictable criticisms of everything that doesn’t fit into your ultra-conservative little box are yours to spew. So spew away. No one is trying to stop you.

        I’m waiting for one of your kind to start talking about solid solutions to move our community, our region and our country forward. Stop spending? You really mean that government should stop spending on things you don’t value.

        You’re tired of tax and spend? Almost every single person reading this blog paid less in taxes last year Obama cut taxes for most people. Rendell has kept the individual state income tax rate lower than most .

        And you talk about cutting spending but never mention George Bush’s UNFUNDED tax cuts plus UNFUNDED wars . They cost the taxpayers trillions.

        Now your party wants to yank the safety net out from under anyone not fortunate enough to have a job and some savings to fall back on.. Let them lose their homes, their healthcare. It’s probably their fault, isn’t it? And anyway, it’s not your problem.

        The real answer is in creating jobs. To do that we need to encourage economic growth through public, private, and public-private investment. Paoli’s Redevelopment project can do that for our township. The 422 Corridor Master Plan offers a vision of smart growth for the region – that will bring jobs to the region through improved transportation. You guys are focusing on a possible toll when the issue is so much bigger.

        What do you screaming deficit hawks actually propose to do to move things forward?

        1. Kate, the term ‘unfunded tax cut’ is an oxymoron. I challenge you to rationally explain how an ‘unfunded tax cut’ can cost the taxpayer trillions.

        2. I recommend everyone read today’s column of David Brooks (a Radnor grad) in the NY Times. His observations describe many Tredyffrin voters :

          “Moderate suburban voters do not see the world as liberals do, even in the most propitious circumstances, and never will.
          …economic policies are about values. If your policies undermine personal responsibility by separating the link between effort and reward, voters will punish you for it.
          …after a period of overconsumption, Americans now see debt as the primary threat to their well-being.
          …liberals may see themselves as the champions of the little guy, but in the new age of austerity, many voters see them as protectors of the special interests, as the guardians of the unaffordable promises.”

        3. Hellish Kate… I’ll ignore most of your claptrap to agree with you on one thing… jobs are the key. There in lies the great failure of the current administration in washington. Anti job growth polilcies.. except if you are a government employee, or a privileged union employee. So we can build roads, rail lines or whatever. Without SUSTAINABLE (favorite word of progressives) job growth in the private sector, this is all bunk.

          Americans of all stripes are awakening to this reality. yep. I sense change you can believe in is coming again. and not too soon,. I’m done with you.

  7. I attended tonight’s BOS meeting but left after the 422 presentation. While some of the concepts make sense, some do not. For example, how is it that the transportation infrastructure is improved, there will be LESS development of land. Importantly, how can we afford the massive cost? As much as Kate derides the mindset, it is MY money and YOUR money that will pay for it. Sounds nice, but there are governments around the world have spent money they don’t have and are paying the price for it now and will be for many years to come.

    An interesting contrast to the Township financial discussion – the 2010 results are hundreds of thousands dollars ahead of plan, tens of millions of cash reserves, and Moody’s reaffirmed Tredyffrin’s Aaa bond rating, one of three townships in the state – they specifically cited for praise the Township’s budget process and the changes made for 2010. Some refuse to credit anything they’ve done, but over many years, the Supervisors’ financial discipline and conservative spending have served this community very well and in fact, reflect the wishes of the Township’s voters for limited government and buying what we can afford.

    BTW, Captain Brazunas reported that Fire Company contributions have already exceeded their 2010 target, a testament to the generosity of our citizens, despite Mr. DeHaven’s and others’ claim that “people don’t give”.

  8. Mike,
    Although the donation contributions to the Berwyn Fire Co have exceeded the 2010 target, it should be noted that the ‘target’ number was 10K lower in 2010 then it was in 2009. The contribution level has not at this point exceeded 2009 levels.

    Also be reminded that only 25% of the citizens donate, and 5% or less of the businesses donate. This number has not gone up in the last 6 years.

    1. John:

      I did not misrepresent what Bill said – it was a direct quote to me. Capt. Brazunas says they have exceeded their 2010 full year target (budget) – while this # was $10,000 lower than 2009’s, it is only June. So if they get $10k in the next 6 months, they will have exceeded 2010 targets and 2009s.

      1. Point of clarification:
        this # is for the fire fund drive only. This is only 1 or 3 fund drives + many fund raising activities throughout the year. So this does not meet the total target for the year, just this drive. We are pleased to have reached our goal for this drive, but we have a lot of work ahead of us to reach our fundraising goal for the year.

  9. I think we are losing focus here. If anything it is encouraging to hear from the fire company that the fund drive is doing good. If you think for one minute the circus that ensued last year is not at least partly responsible for the increase in donations we are all kidding ourselves. Maybe the Supervisors should create another circus this year and then the donations will go even higher…I am kidding.

    I think Mr. Brazunas is trying to give some positive news for a change, rather then the stories of tragedy we hear in the community. Yes fires do happen in Tredyffrin and our neighbors risk their lives for us as they did in Devon last Friday.

    And Mr. DeHaven’s comments still hold true Mike. We still have 70% of the community not donating. And if my memory serves me correctly from what Mr. Beatty has reported the businesses % is even worse.

    1. Mr. Baskin’s clarifications are helpful.

      In my opinion, the “circus” last year did inform the local citizenry of the importance of donations to the fire companies. Many may have been under the mistaken impression that the donations funded extras. I don’t know how the local 30% participation rate compares to other volunteer fire companies, though I’m pretty certain that browbeating folks with comments like “People don’t give” is not very effective. Continue to educate the community on importance of their donations to the core fire company operations, celebrate their exemplary service, and ask nicely – as the saying goes, “you get more flies with honey”.

  10. Apologies Pattye. As far as the real TOPIC here the 422 plan looks good and I am glad Chester County is keeping us informed.

  11. In scanning the 422 corridor plan, a few observations:

    – The changes to Route 422 have a projected cost of +/- $450 million and extension of rail service on Norfolk Southerns tracks +/- $200 million, apparently NOT including the trains themselves or certain rail station improvements. Funds for this project are way short of those needed (about 26% funded), thus the consideration of tolling on 422.

    – Norfolk Southern has a number of conditions attached to sharing its tracks, including that it not impact freight rail traffic.

    – The express lane option, is not being actively considered, due to its cost of almost $175mm.

    – While there is a discussion of the use of “open road tolling” (EZ Pass), it seems that there would also have to be some exact change and full service toll lanes. It is not clear that EZ Pass could be the sole source of toll collection. This would obviously create bottlenecks at the toll plazas.

    Frankly, the primary problem of 422 is the same as I-95, the Schuykill, and the Blue Route – too much traffic volume.

  12. My head spins from the self-righteous certainty of some bloggers on this site. I’m not “blessed” with such certainty. I am merely expressing my opinions, not imparting wisdom from “on high”.

    Good call, Mike, bringing in David Brooks’ NY Times piece to bolster your position that the financial nightmare that many Americans are experiencing is driving them to the right politically. You can only hope and imagine the masses feel as you (and he) do right up until Election Day.

    Meanwhile, the hypocrisy of those who kept their mouths shut for 8 years under Bush – and 8 years under our dear departed leader, Reagan- while deficits went through the roof – is breath-taking.

    As Cheney once said , “Reagan proved that deficits don’t matter.” That cynical remark was in response to objections to W’s UNFUNDED tax cuts, war spending and Medicare Part D bill legislation – that had already cost the taxpayers $1.2 trillion by the time W left office.

    But that didn’t stop Head Hypocrite John Boehner and his House groupies from commencing a steady rant about Obama’s stimulus spending as part of a “socialist experiment that puts a crushing debt on Americans.” He conveniently ignores that Bush’s spending spree raised that national debt to its highest level as a percentage of GDP EVER. (And that Reagan left office having raised a debt burden that equaled the debt accumulated over the previous 200 years of American history!

    Suddenly they’re all deficit hawks….out of concern for the American people……

    Even before the Wall Street meltdown, Bush had contributed to a $500 billion deficit and a staggering increase of $4 trillion in the national debt.

    After the Wall Street bailout – ordered on Bush’s watch, the budget deficit grew to over a trillion dollars , with a national debt of over $11 trillion by the end of 2008.

    Obama’s stimulus spending-which may yet yield the kind of economic growth you naysayers pray does not happen – has not contributed significantly to the current mess we are in.

    Your faith in tax cuts as the answer to everything has been discredited again and again. You think it will magically bring the U.S. economy back to life – just like it did under Bush – who created a total of 1 million jobs in all of his 8 years as president. While Clinton created over 20 million jobs and left office with a $400 billion surplus. And Obama has helped create more than Bush did in his first 18 months and plans to attack the deficit as soon as the economy is on surer footing.

    So bringing things back to lthe local level, “claptrap” about exciting projects that can measurably add to this region’s economic growth – through public -private partnerships and forward-thinking investment
    should be carefully studied and givn the benefit of the doubt at this point – not nitpicked.

    I view your knee-jerk negativity as partisan driven. If a Representative Kamp were to present $1million in funding for the Paoli Revdelopment project and the support Route 422 master plan, you’d be lapping it up.



    as opposed to a pay as you go approach.

    And Chet, let’s agree to ignore each other’s posts from now on – for Pattye’s sake. I get your drift, and you get mine. Enough said.

    1. Again, I challenge you to RATIONALLY EXPLAIN how an ‘unfunded tax cut’ can cost the taxpayer trillions. Please feel free to cite examples.

    2. Kate:

      We can disagree without being disagreeable.

      My reference to specific passages of Mr. Brooks’ column was to share a well-articulated description of the majority of Tredyffrin voters, as confirmed by the election results of the past many years. In my opinion, a candidate running in Tredyffrin, ignores this thinking at their own peril.

      Admittedly, I share the same basic philosophy. In looking at these “exciting projects” such as the 422 Corridor, the Paoli Transportation Center, this trail or that sidewalk, I look very closely at the costs, as well as the benefits, especially in light of limited resources at all levels of government. In order to make these projects happen, we need to either raise taxes or take on debt, and there are few projects that clear that hurdle, at least for me. I think of it as I would in my own family – if in order to buy something, I need to either work a bunch more or borrow money, I almost always choose to do without.

      BTW, while you prefaced your remarks by saying you were expressing your opinions, some of your comments came dangerously close to “self-righteous certainty”;).

      1. Mike –

        I like this — We can disagree without being disagreeable.

        It’s OK for us to have different opinions and I actually enjoy reading the different viewpoints. I may not change my mind on a given subject but reading well-written comments that support a specific position will always give me pause . . . I just don’t like the rants of some of the posters. You get my attention if your support your argument with background and knowledge on the subject.

        Can we keep the bar up at a certain level, and disagree with civility.

      2. Mike,

        One person’s self -righteous certainty is another person’s passionate opinion, I guess. No all-knowingness intended. :) I thought I based my opinions on facts. I do strongly believe that tax cuts alone will not lead to an economic recovery in which large numbers of jobs are created, and that there is solid evidence to support this position. But I agree with you , Mike, that holding the line on unnecessary spending is essential .The problem is : what’s essential to some is seen by others as wasteful and favoring some people at the expense of others.

        Is compromise and consensus even possible any more? Politicians who operate independently of their party and its official positions risk losing their standing among their peers and their jobs. Special interest groups and lobbysists are busy 24-7 muddying the waters on every issue.

        The prospect of finding common ground and moving forward is depressingly unlikely as long as politicians must raise gobs of money to keep their seats….and candidates are chosen by the most partisan voters in their respective parties. Forget about supporting Independents not obligated to either party. The deck is stacked against them.

        Still, I continue to believe in tooth fairies and the posibility that my party’s candidates can make a real difference.

        1. Kate:

          Appreciate your thoughtful response and the repartee. Of course, we all selectively use the facts that support our opinions and conveniently ignore others :).

          I am also attracted to independent thinking candidates and those less beholden to special interest groups. For that reason, I have steered away from supporting any party with my time or money.

          While many long for an era of bipartisanship, the lack of consensus is very often borne of legitimate differences in solutions to our problems – it’s tough to find common ground when the basic philosophical divide is wide. Plus, it seems like at every level of government, the party in power tends to think that bipartisanship and finding common ground is when the other side “goes along so we can get along.” That said, modern communications, sometimes allows those on the extreme right and left to scream the loudest, and it seems that civility has diminished.

          By and large, with Pattye’s guidance, this board is a place where, despite our differences, we can continue to learn from each other.

    3. I will let your entry speak for it self. I couldn’t be more eloquent than you are, point for point in your rebuttal to me. Revealing. I hope I don’t need your permission to enjoy your angle on life? GIves good perspective for sure.

    4. Kate, Bush made some mistakes, including Medicare. So without calling me names based on my political persuasion, as I have not called you names in response, can you honestly say that those who you voted for are 100% correct. The arrogance of some who cannot police themselve, nor their party is endemic in the Democrat party, and in part is why the population at large will repudiate alot of Democrats in the fall. You talk about hypocracy… Republicans don’t have a singular ownership of it.

      I am no economist, but maybe deficits don’t matter AS MUCH if GDP is growing? And there is growth in the private sector, which fuels government revenue, unless the government just prints money, which they have been doing for awhile and will continue to do, which is what you agreed was necessary,(jobs that is) at least part of what you said as far as I could make out in your ranting about me being a status quo Republican conservative jerk, or something like that. Love to run on…

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