MikeBPRR wrote:But Montgomery County seems to have placed a far greater priority in the R6 Extension Study than in restoring the line to Newtown. Just based on the fact that at least upper Montco and lower Bucks Co. at least have some train service, restoring passenger service to the gridlock of the 422 corridor makes more sense. Newtown won't happen until after that is resolved. Don't disparage the county entirely - they salvaged the SVM catastrophe and put forth a good, workable proposal that would have been shovel-ready for stimulus money if SEPTA had published it in 2003. If the county wasn't serious about mass transit, they wouldn't have done that.
You are absolutely right. MontCo does have their hands full with the SVM, which does address an area totally bereft of commuter trains whatsoever (note where I live). That should be the priority because it is sorely needed. There are no nearby lines for commuters to run to like the R2/R3 for Newtown.
However, the SVM is also a much bigger undertaking, dealing with additional factors not present in the Newtown line. Freight owner, greater distance, Berks County (in place of Bucks), etc. MontCo has a larger stake in the SVM, and that is fine. But it is at the expense of the Newtown line. I am used to the Newtown line constantly pushed on the backburner year after year.
And yes, it appears the trail is more the work of a few politically connected folks in Abington township than the general riding public. I am sure if we polled current Abington riders on the R2, R3 and R5, they would want to the Newtown line back to relieve congestion.
The sad reality is that there is zero community effort here. Instead, one community pits there wits against the other. Montco is well the aware that the Newtown line really is not a big player in their county. They have the R2/R3/R5 for that. Bucks County is the real beneficiary here. If MontCo planners and townships actually found their moral compass, they would say "let's just leave the line alone. Bucks will need it, so let's not ruin their chances." Instead, they destroyed the line every way possible. Culverts, trails, back door deals...meanwhile, Bucks (particularly Southampton and Newtown) are the real losers here. And they cannot do a damn thing about it. All for what?
MikeBPRR wrote:People have been talking about it lately, though. Are any of these postings your work, Pacobell?
Hi - no, 'twernt' me. That looks like a person named TransitChuckG
. I don't think I am even on subchat.com
ChrisInAbington, why does the brass of Abington oppose restoration? Does their opposition reflect the locals? Why is there opposition?I must admit I'm not sure if there even is "opposition." I suspect that was more the opinion of the one gentleman quoted, not the administration. I don't believe it is a long simmerng dispute, but more likely just a few NIMBY's that are reasonably well connected. I don't know of anyone that would personally be against restoration of the line, and I don't see my township as having as publicized desire to kill any regional transportation proposals. (certainly nobody campaigned on the issue). As for why the bike trail was created so quickly, the county must have had somebody light a fire under their butt. I remember a few years back the same was done for the Perkiomen trail, and that was with private landowners already on the land being used. Again as a private citizen, I'd rather have a train line than a trail. However, I'd rather have a trail than nothing and I suspect most others have in a similar outlook. I just have little faith that 15 years from now SEPTA would have gotten any further along the way to restoring service along the ROW.
Perhaps an interesting perspective would be from the DVRPC. How do they see the corridor in 25 years? Is this permanently part of the regional trail program?
ChrisinAbington - that is really all it is. The line is pretty well secluded in the are of the trail, so the few landowners (with $$$) probably contacted/paid their Commissioner (Robert A. Wachter, Esq
., Commissioner Ward-2 Abington, [email protected]
) to do a little back-door deal with SEPTA real estate, and---boom---done and breakneck speed. Based on the towns in Abington township, nearly all have an R-line through them, all of which are very busy. Me thinks the Newtown line would receive a great deal of Abington support if it were promoted and put on the radar as a viable transportation link.
Dirty politics, laced with lies about the line and several very wealthy, connected lawyers, poretty much got together on the sly with Wachter (I know for a fact that Commissioners in the other Abington wards were not even aare of the trail deal), bullied a weak SEPTA into trashing the trackage within the confines of Abington, and then the trail-to-nowhere was done. Mission accomplished.
ChrisinAbington - if you go here http://www.r8newtown.com/action.html
, make your voice known to Wachter as a concerned an Abington citizen.