July 24, 2008

A Community Effort

Sometimes, politicians from both sides of the isle find ways to work together to improve their community. Such is the case in Abington as a bi-partisan effort is underway to improve the Old York Road Corridor - that stretch of 611 between Jenkintown and route 63.

Last night, approximately a hundred residents attended a town hall meeting given by members of the redevelopment committee. The gathering was intended to educate the public about the group's vision for this stretch of roadway which is often by-passed at a high rate of speed by motorists who use it daily.

It's still early in the process as it's estimated the project will take 10-20 years to complete. However, this meeting was aimed at putting a vision behind the Township's Comprehensive plan to improve the corridor.

The early reviews between several of the meeting's attendants were mixed. Some saw little chance of certain aspects of the plan ever coming to fruition. One particular business owner commented that getting all the separate interested parties to agree on the plan would be a hurdle not easily overcome.

Still others, including myself, like the idea of creating a concept by which future development can be guided. Planning takes just that - planning.

Ten million has been granted to the project so far thanks to State Representative Josh Shapiro. Though just a drop in the bucket for the overall concept to be realized (I heard a figure of $300 million in total), the money should cover most of the curbing and landscaping improvements.

Abington Commissioners from both sides of the aisle, members of both Montgomery County and Abington's Planning Commission, Penn State Abington's Chancellor , Abington Township staff, as well as the Eastern Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce are participating on the committee.

Now one year into the concept, the early signs are encouraging. For further information see the Old York Road Corridor Improvement website. I'll keep you posted as further developments warrant.

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