The consultants hired by Tredyffrin Township to study and make recommendations for improving traffic and pedestrian issues heard from the businesses that are affected by the problems every day.
Consultants with (and working for) McMahon Transportation Engineers & Planners of Exton met with members of the Paoli Business Association and other interested business owners in and around the Paoli Train Station Wednesday night to ask get their take on what needs to be done to improve traffic in the area.
What Business Owners Say They'd Like to See
Among the suggestions and concerns the business owners expressed:
- A need to improve street and lot parking access
- A desperate need to add more and improve the efficiency of existing pedestrian crosswalks along Lancaster Ave.
- Better coordination of the traffic lights on Lancaster Ave between 252 in Paoli and the entrance to Paoli Hospital in Willistown
- Better landscaping to make Paoli look like a place drivers would want to stop and spend time in as they drive through every day.
What changes would you like to see to improve the business climate along Lancaster Avenue and surrounding areas of Paoli?
Tell us in the comments box at the bottom of this article.
The $300,000 study is being completely paid for with state funds but is managed by Tredyffrin Township. Last night about 30 business owners and other interested people met with the planners to learn about the study and sound off on what Paoli businesses would like to see happen along Lancaster Ave, Valley Road and Central Ave.
The meeting is one of eight the consultants are holding this month and next with interested people (the consultants call them "stakeholders") who live and/or own businesses along Lancaster Avenue and surrounding areas between Paoli Hospital and Route 252.
The consultants laid out their time frame for presenting study results and suggestions for improvements, based on traffic studies, safety studies and the opinions of the public. The consultants also handed out a questionaire on business issues and promoted a new website the public can use to follow the study and make their opinions known.
The consultants expect to have a proposal for improvements and changes in and around the Paoli Transportation Center area by next summer.
There will be a public open house/workshop at the Tredyffrin Municipal Building on October 24. That's when business owners and any interested member of the community can come learn more about the study, spend time with planners working on this study as well other ongoing studies.
This is one of several studies being conducted simultaneously in the area. The township is coordinating an ongoing study on how to improve traffic at the interesection of Lancaster Ave./Route 30 and 252. SEPTA is conducting a study on the best design and plans for the planned Paoli Transportation Center which will some day replace the current Paoli Train Station.
After all these years of waiting for something to happen in Paoli, why is this study any different?
The simple answer from Township officials is: because it is an actual first step toward eventual construction. That's how Township Engineer Stephen Burgo and the consultants sum it up. They point out that rather than just talking about what to do, things are now in motion and money is actually being spent to get the ball rolling.
But, just as politicians who announced the study at the beginning of the summer cautioned, it will still be years before any shovels start digging.
Many of the business owners on hand Wednesday expressed cautious optimism about the study and the future of development along Lancaster Ave.
"I think we're moving in the right direction," Center on Central's Katie Opher told TE Patch. "I just hope it doesn't take forever."