Pattye Benson

Community Matters

Fantastic News!! PA State Senator Andy Dinniman Announces $14.5 Million Award to Paoli Transportation Project!

I just received the following press release from State Senator Andy Dinniman’s office — what wonderful, unbelievable news!!

Dinniman Announces $14.5 Million for Paoli Transportation Center Project

WEST CHESTER (November 25) – State Senator Andrew Dinniman today announced that $14.5 million in funding has been awarded toward the Paoli Transportation Project.

“This announcement represents my determination to take one the most significant steps forward in the 30-year history of the Paoli Regional Transportation Center,” said Dinniman. “Paoli and the Great Valley Corporate Center have long served as an economic engine for Chester County. The proposed transportation center and train station at Paoli will ensure that our regional infrastructure continues to provide incentives for entrepreneurs from local small-business owners to international corporations, to call Chester County home.”

Funding for the Paoli Intermodal Transportation Center is a vital component of the proposal to relocate and expand the current station to a new site near the existing facility. Specifically, state funding will be directed toward roadway realignment and widening to accommodate the new and expanded regional transportation center. The proposed modern transportation hub in Paoli will improve access for buses, shuttles, and taxis; significantly increase commuter parking to meet both current demand and provide for future ridership; and improve vehicular traffic and reduce congestion for surrounding roadways.

“In light of recent transportation funding legislation in Harrisburg, I worked to ensure Chester County benefited directly from this funding package,” Dinniman continued. “Despite the efforts by some local officials in the House of Representatives to block this vital funding, I am pleased to announce that significant support will be directed for improvement projects such as the Paoli Regional Transportation Center.”

In addition to securing funding for the Paoli Transportation Center, Dinniman announced that more than $123 million in transportation funding will be directed to improvement projects throughout his current legislative district. These projects include $36 million for the repair and replacement of bridges, $17 million for regional roadway and pedestrian-use safety improvements, almost $69 million for roadway repaving, expansion improvement, and other traffic congestion mitigation project throughout Chester County.

“The key to the continuation and growth of our regional economy is directly linked to the strength of our infrastructure,” said Dinniman, noting the 76,000 new jobs estimated to come to Chester County between now and 2040. “With this in mind, I will continue to fight for support of Chester County and will work to ensure that important projects, such as the Paoli Transportation Center, are fully funded and completed.”

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  1. I am all for smart taxes where it makes sense, but I have a hard time partying about a teensy weensy part of a massive pie like this being paid for in this way.

    I’ve heard quoted several different numbers on the gas tax increase…let’s say it’s $.28/gallon (the most conservative I’ve heard). Multiplied by 15 gallons, times 2 cars, times 52 weeks. That means my household alone is contributing $436 to this effort. This year and every year going forward That’s an obscene tax. I’d love for Paoli’s transportation center to become a reality, but sometimes the economics just don’t make sense. Call me a pessimist, but I just don’t see the future value.

    1. Bah Humbug. Lets celebrate the good news about the train station and what it will mean for redevelopment in Paoli.

  2. I’m all for redevelopment in Paoli, I really am, but Daylesford makes a good point. A .28/gallon tax increase in my house will be double the $436.00 Daylesford quotes.

    The economy is still very fragile. Citizens who have regained employment after layoffs, don’t make near the salaries they did before layoffs and jobs are still hard to get.

  3. As a Paoli resident who lives just off Route 30, I respectfully disagree that movement toward the realization of the proposed massively sized new transportation center is “fantastic” news.

    Senator Dinniman’s statement—“The proposed modern transportation hub in Paoli will improve access for buses, shuttles, and taxis; significantly increase commuter parking to meet both current demand and provide for future ridership; and improve vehicular traffic and reduce congestion for surrounding roadways.”—elicits the following from me:

    A newer, more organized train station will undoubtedly improve bus, etc., access; increased parking will benefit new and current commuters; but “improve vehicular traffic and reduce congestion for surrounding roadways”? Nope.

    The proposed plan to close Valley at 30, making Darby Road the entrance to the new train station, will cause commuter traffic on Darby during morning and evening rush to become even more insane than it already is; and if all the current commuters plus new ones know that Valley ends at 30 they will likely use Darby instead. What will that look like? How long will the backup become at the light at Darby and 30? And if drivers instead use Valley and turn right onto 30, in order to turn left into the train station at Darby, the congestion through the pressure point that is between Darby and Paoli Pike will be massive. In the evening rush, the already jammed intersection at Darby and 252 will be nasty. And don’t forget the east-west and west-east Route 30 traffic vying for room on a roadway that is not going to get any bigger.

    What about other “surrounding roadways”? Well worth considering. And worrying about. With more drivers expected and encouraged into little downtown Paoli, they will not only clog the roads immediately around the train station, but also the roads leading to and away. For instance: Valley and Central. Central and 252. Paoli Pike and Cedar Hollow. Cedar Hollow and 30. Cedar Hollow and Devon. Valley and Devon. Valley and Swedesford. 252 and 30. Paoli Pike and 30. These intersections are already nightmares during commuter times. No fixes are proposed for them. Cut-through traffic on residential roads is already a problem; increased traffic in Paoli will only mean it gets worse. The number one concern of Paoli residents right now is traffic congestion; I don’t see this project relieving that problem, only aggravating it.

    My suggestion: Scale back the entire project. It’s too big and too expensive. Come up with a plan that fits the realities—both financial and physical—of SEPTA, the municipalities, PennDOT, downtown Paoli, and related area roads. The decades of uncertainty and inaction inhibiting new business growth across from the current station can end when planners come up with a reasonable and more affordable fix.

    In all my local conversations about Paoli there is always agreement that we need a nicer looking train station and better parking. But a new downtown design that is driven by a hulking 5-story parking garage right on 30 and a plan to attract ever more buses and shuttles and cars? That smacks of 69th Street rather than an enhancement of the village of Paoli.

  4. Did some checking and it turns out the $14.5 Million is NOT awarded yet.

    It seems what Senator Dinniman did was take credit for projects outlined in PennDOT’s decade of investment document which outlined where money from a transportation funding package like the one just passed COULD be spent.

    It hasn’t been spent or directed yet…it’s just Senator Dinniman taking credit for something that (a) hasn’t happened and (b) has been on the books for years.

    Also, the money is not really directly for the PTC…it is for road projects around and near it, but not for the center itself. That funding (over a hundred million) is still not on the horizon.

    I wish the Senator were more honest in his dealings. Any of the Reps who voted No or Yes on this could have claimed the same, and they would all have been less than truthful. Only Dinniman did.

  5. From Senator Dinniman’s press release:
    “Specifically, state funding will be directed toward roadway realignment and widening to accommodate the new and expanded regional transportation center.”

    1. Yes, roads near the PTC are in the decade of investment document. Yes, some could help with the PTC if it is ever built, but need fixing either way. NO, we shouldn’t take the Senator’s press release as the proof.

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