Pattye Benson

Community Matters

Will Radnor Commissioners Support Residents Vision to Improve Walking and Biking in their Community . . . And Will Tredyffrin’s Walkers and Bicyclists Enjoy the Same Support?

Over the last 6 months in Tredyffrin Township, there has been much public commentary about sidewalks and trails in Tredyffrin — St. Davids sidewalk issue, Patriot’s Path, the Sidewalks Trails and Paths (STAP) committee and the newly formed subcommittee that will review sidewalks throughout the township’s communities. We can see that the sidewalks are nearing completion along Conestoga and Old Lancaster Roads in Berwyn and I noticed that storm water materials have arrived for the Irish Road section of the sidewalks below the high school.

Sidewalks and trails have become a much discussed topic among many in the community. There are those residents that support and believe in making the township more walkable and bikeable; others that do not want an increase in taxes to provide for sidewalks, trails, etc. at any cost; and still others who simply believe that in today’s era, people are not going to use the walkways and therefore don’t think that they should be considered. Depending on who you ask, you may be apt to receive several different opinions. Reaching a consensus on the subject of sidewalks and trails, . . . is that actually possible in Tredyffrin?

With sidewalks and trails such a ‘hot’ topic in Tredyffrin, it was interesting to read the following article by John Boyle, of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia. With the popularity of the Radnor Trail, there is a proposal to link that trail to the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge, which I believe is down by the Philadelphia Airport. Connecting Radnor’s Trail would allow for a connected 18 mi. bike ride. Coming up in front of Radnor’s Board of Supervisors tomorrow night, I will be curious to see if their commissioners support the vision of many bike riders of creating interconnecting safe trails in the Southeastern section of Pennsylvania. With so many differing opinions on the ‘value’ of trails in our community, do you think Tredyffrin bicyclists would ever the necessary support that’s required for such a vision as Radnor bicyclists are seeking?

The Vision for a Trail from Radnor to John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge
By John Boyle, Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia

Imagine a resident in Wayne, biking a few blocks to the amazingly popular Radnor Trail, but instead of the short out and back ride that is possible today, that person would be able to travel 18 miles and visit the Egrets and Bald Eagles at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge.

Such is the vision for a trail tentatively named Radnor – Tinicum Trail The trail would extend the existing Radnor Trail under I-476 via a deer tunnel and then follow the right of way of the Norristown High Speed Line (Rt. 100) just south of the Main Line across Haverford Township. The width of the right of way for the most part is wide enough for 4 tracks but since only 2 tracks were built there is in theory enough space for a rail with trail.

The trail would then follow Cobbs Creek on the unbuilt portion of the Cobbs Creek Trail which was blocked by NIMBY’s in the Overbrook Farms neighborhood in 1990’s. The trail will straddle the creek near Upper Darby and Millbourne before taking the existing Cobbs Creek Trail and the planned extension to Heinz National Wildlife Refuge and the East Coast Greenway. The TIGER funded 58th Street Connector Trail will provide access from Cobbs Creek to the Schuylkill River Trail via Bartram’s Garden and the South Street Bridge.

The trail alignment offers multitude of transit connections and will improve local walk and bike to transit access along Route 100 line including a long awaited direct pedestrian connection between Radnor’s Route 100 and R5 rail stations.

On Monday night the Radnor Township Commissioners Meeting will vote on a resolution to support the concept of a trail along the Rt 100 line. You can show your support by attending the meeting and voicing your support during the public comment period.

Radnor Township Board of Commissioners
June 21, 2010
7:00 PM
Radnor Township Municipal Building
301 Iven Avenue
Wayne , PA 19087

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  1. Just a quick opinion on the sidewalks-to-schools from my recent forays down Conestoga Road: not only are they beginning to look good (with the prospect of being better when finished and seeded), but they are being used – a couple of walkers/runners every time I traveled the road. Early days yet, but so far, I applaud the vision and the execution.

    1. I agree, they have done a nice job with the construction. I live in the neighborhood, so understand that not all of the walkers are incremental – some walkers on Conestoga previously used the less busy side roads.

      These sidewalks support an area that has a relative need for walkways with its two large schools, dense population, and proximity to “downtown” Berwyn and its train station. This project should not necessarily justify additional sidewalks in areas of the Township with different characteristics.

  2. In regards to the newly formed ‘sidewalk committee’, I have heard virtually nothing since the infamous St. Davids sidewalk decision reversal. What is the status? I thought that the committee was going out in to the neighborhoods and having focus groups. I haven’t seen any kind of schedule on these meetings — can we get Lamina to give an update. I am in the Panhandle area and I am one of the people who WANTS there to be a well-connected sidewalk and trail system in this township. Just because the anti-sidewalk St. Davids people were extremely vocal does not mean they represent all the people, certainly not me!

  3. Walking/biking trails are a poor fiscal decision in this economy when capital reserves are being used for operating budget and vital services are receiving budget cuts.

    In a different climate, sure why not.

  4. CJ, I agree. kinda like those who “WANT” these things saying to the rest.. “let them eat cake”.. Difficult to justify in this economic climate. Although maybe we can get a federal make work grant, put a crew together, garner the inefficiencies of a federal bureaocracy (SP) and get on with it anyway.

  5. Just what we need, an 18 mile trail, costing millions of our tax dollars, so a few bikers can ride down and look at the egrets. The road to financial ruin is paved with hare-brained ideas like this.

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