Pattye Benson

Community Matters

Paoli Transportation Center project — Taking Another Step

Monday morning marks the next step for the Paoli Transportation Center project!

Five months ago on January 31, I wrote that SEPTA had awarded a $7.5 million contract to Gannett Fleming for the design of a new Paoli regional rail station and parking garage. The plan calls for building the new station 80 feet west of the current train station location to better connect SEPTA and private buses. The plan will involve high-level platforms and the reworking of Amtrak interlocking system. PennDOT selected Parsons Brinckerhoff for the interlocking design work on the Keystone Line between Philadelphia and Harrisburg, which include the Paoli Transportation Center. Gannett Fleming design work is to take place through 2014.

At the same time that SEPTA announced its award to Gannett Fleming, the township selected McMahon Associates as the engineering consultant team to complete a study to outline recommendations for the necessary road improvements, including the bridge, needed to support the new transportation center. The McMahon study will address congestion, public safety and establish a plan for an overall vision for the new train station through traffic calming, streetscape and intersection modifications. This is a state-funded project and completion is expected by the end of 2013.

Tredyffrin selected Bergmann Associates as the engineering team to design the signal and roadway improvements for the intersection at Rt. 252 and 30. The design will be based on the 2011 feasibility study. This design study is state and federally funded and expected to be completed by 2013/14.

Well folks, it looks like the Paoli Transportation project is taking its next step – tomorrow, Monday, June 25 at 7:30 AM, there’s a press conference at Paoli Village Shoppes to officially announce the start of the Paoli Transportation Center project.

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  1. Despite the fact that I do not think this is a good direction for Paoli, I am delighted to learn that this is all going forward, as standing still and debating a project forever has no value to anyone. I personally abhor indecision, so my Kudos to those who believe and keep pushing.

  2. :) Some of my family will be there — but me, I’m moving to an affordable area of the country :) I have loved living here, but I want to go someplace where I can drive a 10 minute drive in less than half an hour. But celebrate — I do hate indecision. I lived in Dallas and am amazed at how much they can accomplish in 20 years where this area could barely complete the Blue Route. In 1987, Dallas Texas had NO rail system. 25 years later, they have an entire network of light rail running through major suburban areas. They have added 8 lane highways for 30 miles north of Dallas, and 4 lanes for perhaps another 50 miles. Not a single road has a toll booth — everything is billed to the license plate or the tag holder — it’s cheaper if you have a tag. Regional planning is the only thing that works. (Did I mention that I got an MS in Real Estate and Regional Planning at SMU?) In Dallas, Malvern and Downingtown would not be in competition with Paoli.

    Seriously — keep the movement going. And Good luck :)

  3. I sure hope they plan on addressing the traffic concerns on East Central Avenue. There is nothing in the plans (that I can tell) that would ease congestion on that roadway given its cut-through nature. At afternoon rush hour, it’s pretty typical that west bound East Central can be backed up through the apartment complex. Just wait until the Transportation Center is developed. Even with an improved 252/30 intersection, the road provides the perfect cut-through from 252. Rather than ignore an existing problem that is likely to be exacerbated, I’d like to see it addressed.

  4. Dave. good point. Example: since that new Wegmans opened, did you notice how traffice has INCREASED on Swedesford road as it curls around between Wegmans and the side entrance to Walmart? Compounding the problem is most drivers don’t realize you can turn right on red at that new traffice light. THis takes you to the mall past Ruth Chris.. not sure of the name of that road.

    So there are always unintended consequenses if plans aren’t drawn with all contigencies, even with the most earnest and honest planning..

  5. As a strong proponent of transit oriented and town center development, as well as the revitalization of Paoli, one phrase comes to mind–Do you believe in miracles? More than 15 years, some say almost 30, from first plans and we yet again have next steps in the long delayed Paoli transportation/town center project. Who knows? We may someday see a shovel in the ground. Let’s not rehash the false starts, dashed hopes, missed opportunities, and lack of collective commitment. Instead, let’s welcome these renewed initiatives. Let’s focus on the future and the vision of a vibrant Paoli bringing economic and lifestyle benefits to our Tredyffrin community. Let’s finally forge ahead with conviction. For this venture to succeed, we need the unwavering political will of all participants, especially our local governmental leaders. We cannot afford more delay.

    1. It could be worse though. Paoli could look like Frazer. It’s really sad driving down Rt.30 through there looking at the run down and abandoned buildings and trailer parks.

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