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Friends of Glen Providence Park Letter to Delco Council

A letter to Delaware County Council from Friends of Glen Providence Park regarding the Third Street Project.

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
Providence Park

 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

KMC January 11, 2013 at 01:41 PM
I see someone from Upper Providence is part if this letter....why should we take anything Mr. Atkins has to say under consideration, according to Mr. Davidson, Upoer Providence has no say in the bridge matter
John Queeney January 11, 2013 at 08:47 PM
I am also in favor of the compromise and want to see things move forward. I am however not in agreement with you regarding the CAC survey considering it contained the option of removal of the dam and replacing it with a bridge. A bridge that was never a viable option and was put forth like something that could happen apparently without research. Or maybe it was researched and put on the survey to help get a desired outcome. Take into account the survey did not allow for cost consideration I do not see how it can be anything but useless. I have heard you, Terry Rumsey, pat yourself on the back at meetings because of the hard work everyone on the committee put in. Maybe you did work hard but what you produced was a flawed and unclear result. I also take issue with your FROG group pushing for a gate that Media would control. What makes you think that you have the right to tell your neighbors when they can use a road? Would you decide the most environmentally friendly time for people to cross? Would school buses that today waste fuel by being detoured make your cut? I realize the gate idea is no longer part of your platform but it told me all I needed to know. People who want to restore the two way road do not love the park any less than you do. And just because you want to keep cars off of your side of the dam does not make you more forward thinking than someone on the other side. In my opinion it makes you the same as everyone else, you just want what is best for you.
Dave Daniel January 11, 2013 at 09:53 PM
The authors of the article seem to have an odd defintition of the word compromise I attended the CAC meetings that Mr. Rumsey chaired. Not once was the idea of one-way traffic suggested as a viable option. My understanding of the word "compromise" is that various parties modify their positions to reach a common goal. Here, the MBC voted to move forward with the three-way Stipulation they had ratified and restore the road and dam. This was against the position taken by the FROGS. At the next MBC workshop meeting, the FROGS made their one-way road proposal and it was adopted by the MBC at the next business meeting. The FROGS stated this was a compromise because they were now in favor of dam and road restoration but with conditions they proposed. Did I miss something? Who did they compromise with? Apparently someone forgot to tell the BLCC about this "compromise". Did the County and BLCC envision such a unilateral change when they signed the Stipulation and contracted to be liable for maintenance of the dam? One party cannot unilaterally declare a compromise -- it has to be reached by agreement. I would be suprised if MBC was willing to "compromise" and relieve BLCC of their financial committment to the project. I cannot fault BLCC for crying "foul" and wish Delco would do the same.
Chickadee January 18, 2013 at 06:19 PM
The compromise is that some of Media and UP want a two-lane road, and some of Media and UP want a dedicated pedestrian greenway. The logical compromise is to have a roadway that allows vehicles and pedestrians. I think BLCC should be happy that their private lake is being saved on PA taxpayer dollars. I personally think the PennDOT Bridge fund would be better used elsewhere, especially in these times of harsh budget cuts. It's a shame BLCC is holding up the project yet again.

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