At the Transportation Management Association of Chester County’s (TMACC) Annual Spring Breakfast, multimodal planning was the key theme for the morning’s discussion. Representatives from Treydffrin, West Whiteland, Downingtown and Coatesville gathered to present future improvements for their communities.
“Being close to public transportation allows us greater mobility opportunities.” said Executive Director of TMACC, Tim Phelps, in his opening remarks, “Applying transportation oriented development principals to our communities along the Keystone Corridor creates new residential and business opportunities and reduces road and highway congestion. We are excited that these municipalities see the opportunity and are reshaping their communities around their rail stations in partnership with Amtrak and SEPTA.”
Among the plans for Tredyffrin improvements were the demolition of the current North Valley Rd Bridge and the extension of Darby Road to include a new bridge. Tredyffrin Township Manager, Bill Martin, also discussed the East Central Avenue Multi-Modal, which includes new sidewalks and the addition of bike lanes. The East Central Avenue project is expected to begin in May and be completed by the end of 2017.
West Whiteland, although ahead with their Exton Train Station construction, discussed challenges with planning to connect people to their station. “Transportation oriented development surrounds Exton, except we can’t easily get people to transportation in Exton.” said West Whiteland Township Manager Mimi Gleason.
As of now, West Whiteland has five plans and projects going on to improve mobility in the township including a Main Street to Exton Station Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan, the Chester Valley Trail Extension Plan and the Pottstown Pike Congestion Mitigation Plan to try and find alternative, safer ways to get to the Exton Train Station. “In an ideal world, Exton Station would be in the middle of Exton, but instead we have 5 lane highway to be crossed, bridge abutments and multiple bypass on and off ramps in the way. Planning for safe connections has been no easy task, but we know we have to create them.”
Mike Trio, City Manager of Coatesville reported that the 3rd Avenue Streetscapes Project has received final PennDOT approval and will move ahead with the project in June 2017. The 3rd Avenue Streetscapes Project is the beginning to the 4 Phase Coatesville Train Station Improvement Project. The next three phases in the project are the 4th Avenue Streetscapes Project (Phase 2), the Train Station Improvement Project (Phase 3) and, finally, the creation of a parking garage with office space.
Trio stated that his main focus for this project is to improve the lives of the residents in Coatesville, “The heart and soul of Coatesville are the people. Planning for the improvement of their lives and connections is the main goal in our plans.”
The event ended in a panel discussion where guests from the audience were able to ask questions about each representative’s projects. The event was hosted at Downingtown Country Club.