Media Borough Council Hears Public Comment Before 3rd St. Project Vote
Media Borough Council held a special meeting to hear the public's opinion once again on the 3rd Street Project before a vote next week.
Media Borough Council held a special meeting Thursday to hear the public's opinion once again on the 3rd Street Project before a vote next week.
The 3rd Street Bridge has been closed for 16 years and for about the last year council has sought public opinion on what to do with the project through numerous public meetings, a citizen's advisory committee and mailed survey to residents. (See a timeline of the project here).
Borough Council President Brian Hall said Thursday council would vote on how to proceed with the project at its May 17 meeting and the point of Thursday's meeting was to hear the public's opinion on the citizen's advisory committee report and survey and provide council with any information they may have not heard before.
"What we want to accomplish here, is that, as of tonight we have heard all that we need to hear about this subject so that when we take our vote next week we'll feel confident that we have all the information that we need in front of us," Hall said.
Hall said at April's council meeting that the decision in May will likely only give very broad direction as to the nature of the project.
About 65 people, from both Media Borough and Upper Providence Township, attended Thursday's meeting and the room was divided on what to do with the 3rd Street Bridge and Dam. No new information, data or research seemed to be provided to council.
There are currently three proposed designs for the project, one that would return it to a roadway, one that would make it a greenway and pedestrian area, and one that would breach or remove the dam entirely.
Several residents spoke in favor of the greenway or breaching the dam and preserving Glen Providence Park.
"We treasurer Glen Providence Park and want to preserve it as a quiet space," Holly Hoffman, a borough resident, said.
Media resident Sue Owens said she supports the removal of the dam and Media has changed since the road was closed 16 years ago. There are more pedestrians and walkers now, she said.
Janet Riddle, of Upper Providence Township, said it would be easier and more convenient to open the roadway to traffic but she is opposed to opening the road again and prefers a greenway for pedestrians.
Several other residents spoke in favor of fixing the dam and bridge and opening it up to traffic once again.
Former Borough Councilman Jim Cunningham said Middletown and Upper Providence townships along with the Rose Tree Media School District have all joined together on the issue in favor of opening the roadway. He also said while volunteering at the polls on Election Day, Media voters continuously asked him when will the bridge be open again.
"Do the best that you can for the greatest amount of people, over the longest period of time," Cunningham said. "Open the bridge and let's get moving on a project that won't cost the citizens a dollar."
A Kirk Lane resident said not having the roadway open has been a nightmare and she is concerned for the safety of her family.
"Safety is more important than trees and shrubbier," the Upper Providence Township woman said. "Please move forward with the agreement already in place."
Jean Kenny and Kurt Jackson, both Upper Providence residents, each said they were in favor of opening the roadway for safety reasons, the impact of new developments in the area and in order for emergency vehicles to have access.
"With the density of the new homes (that have been built in the last 16 years) and cars, there is even more of a need for the road today," Jackson said.