The following was submitted to Radnor Patch for publication by Richard F. Booker, Radnor Ward 2 Commissioner Elect.
It took seven years, but a slim majority of the Radnor
Township Board of Commissioners have finally pushed through a project to
construct a new sidewalk from the St. David’s train station, along Chamounix
Road to the Eastern College access path – and the neighbors are not at all
pleased about it.
Deemed to be a boon to the neighborhood, this project has turned out to be a bane to those who have been directly affected by it.
The vote for this sidewalk project has become a disaster for the 2nd ward residents. First, as you can see in these pictures, this very large tree had to be removed to accommodate the sub-base for the sidewalk.
As can be seen in the picture attached, the contractor damaged the roots to the extent, that the homeowner and the Township arborist felt that there was no hope in saving the tree – it had to be removed. In so doing, the Township also had to repair the adjoining fence, and also replace the tree with new ones, in accordance with Township rules.
Next, the contractor broke the water main in the area near the sidewalk – many of the neighbors on Chamounix Rd. and Cornwall Lane were without water for hours -- all this strife for a sidewalk that the neighbors did not want. Many families are being inconvenienced by the Radnor Township Board of Commissioner’s capricious decision to install this sidewalk against my requests, against the neighbor’s request and against the Township Manager’s advice.
The Radnor Township administration has been doing its best to ensure that the neighbors have been kept informed, and working with them to make sure that they do everything they can to honor the Township’s word on this. But through no fault of theirs, this project has wreaked havoc on the neighborhood, and on the 2nd Ward constituents in that area.
Finally, the cost on this project is going to be way above the $70K the Township allotted – the cost will be at least double -- $140,000 or more. Cost appears to be of no object when there is an agenda.
There is no doubt, that more heritage trees on nearby property will be killed by the work crew in constructing this sidewalk along the neighbor’s property. What happens if the roots give way during construction and a tree falls on a nearby house or on the road into traffic or onto pedestrians? Does anybody really know the effect of high winds on a compromised tree structure?
The property owners feel that they have no voice on this issue. This sidewalk project was initiated by Radnor Township (not Eastern University, as it purports to serve) and is being forced upon the neighbors. It was poorly thought out, impacts homeowner liability and current foot traffic is so minimal so as to not warrant a sidewalk.
The Eastern students are adults and certainly savvy enough to walk along Chaumonix Road. The traffic/accident survey used by the Radnor Board of Commissioners to justify the project was misleading. It listed 36 crashes between 11-17-98 and 11-17-08 of which only 3 occurred in the stretch of Chaumonix Road which will be “sidewalked.”
The neighbors rightfully fear for their property, as they have significant plantings which have provided privacy and aesthetics to their homes.
The majority of the Radnor Board of Commissioners who pushed through this project for what appears to be only a political agenda, should be ashamed of what they have done to their constituents.