3rd Street Dam: Council votes One-lane, One-way Eastbound with Pedestrian Component
At last night’s legislative session, Media Borough Council voted 4-3 in favor of design parameters for the 3rd Street Dam:
- A width of 28 feet for the road and pedestrian surface
- A single lane of minimum width required by PennDOT with adequate drainage widths, one way heading west to east
- A buffer between the lane and the level pedestrian area
- Hiring a landscape designer
Public comment featured:
- Tina Mason, a lifelong resident (and member of the Planning Commission) delivered a petition for a 2-way road and had collected 17 signatures, and indicated another individual had collected 25 signatures of residents who wished to see the road be 2-way.
- Beverly Jackson, who indicated she was surprised that this decision had not been made, and requested 2-way access.
- David Miller, of Upper Providence, requested that according to the Stipulation, that the road should be an open thoroughfare which implied 2-lanes of traffic.
Council discussion was heated, with Monika Rehoric and Dawn Roe stating that the proposed motion was never discussed in workshop. Council President Brian Hall indicated that Kent Davidson (author of this site) had asked at workshop whether we were considering “just length” or everything previously discussed, which the answer was “everything previously discussed.” Mr. Davidson confirmed his statement as asked and answered.
Further discussion ensured as to the nature of the discussion in past workshop meetings, with vigorous disagreement about what had been discussed at workshop and the nature of this motion. Ms. Roe and Ms. Rehoric asserted that the width was the only decision which they believed would be addressed at this meeting.
Borough Council has been discussing the structure of the design since June workshop meeting after the May vote to move forward with dam reconstruction.
A motion was made by Ms. Roe to table the motion for a later date, which failed by a 3-4 margin with Paul Robinson, Dawn Roe, and Monika Rehoric in favor of putting off the decision for another month for further discussion, and all other council members against tabling the motion.
Councilman Paul Robinson stated that his preference was for a one-lane road and that council should be decisive and if a one-lane road was desired, that the dimensions should preclude two lanes in the future. He requested from the borough engineer the absolute minimum width required for a two-lane road to confirm whether the dimensions being discussed would preclude two lanes in the future or not. The engineer confirmed that 28 feet would accommodate two lanes and a pedestrian sidewalk, however, stated that the PennDOT standard was 10′ – 12′ lanes on all new roads.
Councilman Davidson reminded council that PennDOT would not pay for a sidewalk on the dam structure for a two-lane road because there would be nothing to connect it to.
Dr. Eric Stein noted that we had been discussing this decision for months, and that council should be expeditious in order to secure the money put aside for the project. After discussion from Dawn Roe who stated she no longer had concerns about losing the money for the project, he clarified that he was not insinuating that the money was at risk, rather that time was of the essence.
Kent Davidson made a statement that this decision was a compromise, thanked the citizens who went and collected signatures for their petition, and reminded members that a similar independent petition was delivered to previous council where more than 500 Media residents requested a greenway on top of the dam. He also confirmed that he had signed that same petition as a resident. He also urged that after four months of deliberation on this topic, that his preference was for a smaller width, but that as a compromise this decision would allow for residents concerns to be addressed, including emergency vehicle access to and from Media.
Ms. Roe made a statement saying that this decision was “insanity” and vehemently objected to moving forward.
Monica Simpson (who was attending the meeting by phone) attempted to apologize for the tone of Ms. Roe’s final statement, and after some further verbal sparring between the two councilwomen, the vote was called into question.
The vote was cast with Brian Hall, Dr. Eric Stein, Monica Simpson, and Kent Davidson in favor of the design parameters, and Monika Rehoric, Dawn Roe, and Paul Robinson against.
Related to this vote was a vote later in the meeting in which the Third Street Project Committee was disbanded by a unanimous vote of council.
Story also reported on Media Patch.