Recently, the Friends of Glen Providence Park submitted a letter to the Chairman of Delaware County Council Thomas McGarrigle. The letter is posted below.
Dear Mr. McGarrigle:
As representatives of the Friends of Glen Providence Park, we are writing to share our ideas on how Delaware County could play a positive role in helping the long-delayed Third Street Dam/Bridge project in Media to move forward.
As you know, in 2011, Broomall’s Lake Country Club (BLCC), Delaware County, and Media Borough Council signed a stipulation that established shared responsibility between the parties for the Third Street Dam/Bridge in Media, PA. The stipulation stated that Media Borough would be responsible for designing and constructing a replacement dam and roadway. The stipulation also stated that, after reconstruction, Delaware County and Broomall’s Lake Country Club would be responsible for maintaining and operating the dam, while Media Borough would manage and maintain the roadway atop the dam.
When the engineer’s plans for the project were presented to the public for the first time in the summer of 2011, many residents in Media and surrounding communities expressed serious concerns about the environmental and recreational impact of the project on the County’s historic Glen Providence Park.
In fact, over 800 County residents, from Media Borough and many other municipalities, signed a petition favoring a pedestrian and bicycle-only greenway at Third Street. Additionally, a Media Borough Council-sponsored public opinion survey of Media residents and business owners indicated strong support for removing the dam completely and creating a pedestrian and bicycle-only greenway. Over 600 Media residents and/or business owners completed and returned the survey.
After more than a year of public discussion and debate regarding a complex and often divisive issue, Media Borough Council crafted a compromise decision that represented a way forward on the long-delayed Third Street Dam/Bridge project.
Although our organization favored dam removal and building a pedestrian-bicycle bridge, we decided to support the Borough Council’s compromise of replacing the dam and building a 28’-wide structure with a roadway that provided one lane for pedestrians and bicycles and one lane for automobiles with one-way traffic from Upper Providence into Media. Emergency vehicles would have two-way access to serve both Media and Upper Providence.
While compromises can never satisfy everyone on every point, the Borough Council’s plan would 1) replace a dam that is currently in dangerous disrepair; 2) preserve Broomall’s Lake for the benefit of Broomall’s Lake Country Club; 3) re-establish automotive vehicular traffic on Third Street from Upper Providence into Media; 4) provide two-way access for emergency automotive vehicles to ensure public safety in both communities; 5) create a safe passageway for pedestrians and individuals riding bicycles on Third Street; 6) limit environmental damage to Glen Providence Park by restricting the width of the dam and roadway and thereby reducing the acreage of the park that will be buried in earthfill and impacted by construction; and 7) save taxpayer dollars by restricting the width of the dam and roadway.
After years of paralysis, the project was finally ready for action.
Unfortunately, one of the three signatories to the 2011 legal stipulation on the dam/bridge – Broomall’s Lake Country Club – decided to file a legal petition in the Delaware County Court of Common Pleas that has delayed the project yet again.
The Club is seeking a ruling from Judge James F. Proud to force Media Borough to construct two lanes for automobiles. Although the authority of municipalities to regulate automobile traffic within their own communities is well-established, and despite the fact that the 2011 stipulation does not expressly require two lanes for automobiles, the Club has decided to pursue that path of litigation. The Club’s legal action is now the only factor delaying progress on this project.
We believe that Delaware County Council can be a positive force at this critical juncture by clearly expressing its support for the compromise crafted by Media Borough Council. Delaware County Council has the opportunity to exert decisive leadership and to play a pivotal role in ending the logjam and moving the project forward. We urge you to support the one-lane, one-way compromise.
Mr. Dylan Atkins, Upper Providence
Ms. Linda Healy, Media
Mr. Terry Rumsey, Media
For the Third Street Advocacy Committee of the Friends of Glen