Clifton Heights Intersection Improvement – Update April 2016

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As reported, part of the Penn Dot’s $4,128,459.90 of Transportation Incentive Program (TIP) known as the Baltimore Pike Optimization Project the widening of Baltimore Pike and Springfield Road and the installation of sidewalks is in its final stage and construction as pictured above in front of and side of the Old Price property located on the Southwest Corner of Baltimore Pike and Springfield Road Intersection. The above construction also extends down the west side of South Springfield Road.

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Open Spaces Update – Glenwood Road Property

The Glenwood Road Property
Glenwood Road and Fairview Avenue

An Update – in the recent past, a developer was in the process of submitting an application for approval to Clifton Heights Borough Council and the Borough’s Zoning Board to construct a multi-unit on the vacant lot that fronts Glenwood Road at the intersection of Fairview Avenue. The residents along Glenwood Avenue and Fairview Road contacted my then State Rep. office voicing their concerns.

I personally contacted Ralph Pansini who I knew to discuss the new development proposal and to voice the concerns of the residents of the area. I convinced him to end the controversy and donate the open space property to Clifton Heights Borough. After some thought and back and forth dialogue, he and his wife decided to take my advice. They proposed and executed a transfer of property agreement to Clifton Heights Borough.

The Borough – Pansini Agreement included a provision that specified that the property remain as open space and that a plaque be placed on the property with an inscription stating that the land was donated to the Borough of Clifton Heights by the Pansini Family.

In a response to my inquiry about the execution of the provisions included in the Pansini Agreement, Mayor Joe Kelly sent me an e-mail informing me that the property adjacent to the Pansini property owned by the Borough will be used to construct the building(s) to transfer and house a Highway Garage, a Salt Shed and Supplies. The Pansini Property, per EPA regulations and mandates, will be used as a water retention basin and remain as open space.

Note: After meeting with residents along Glenwood Avenue and more discussions with Mayor Kelly, jointly we uncovered that the Manager, Anthony Tartaglia’s plans does include construction of a garage on the Pasini property towards the former basketball site.The rest of the property is to be used to meet EPA’s mandated water retention provisions.

As you may or may not be aware, with part of the $2.3 Million Redevelopment Capital Assistance Program (RCAP) grant that my State Representative Office provided in 2008, the Borough will be renovating the Borough Hall and constructing the Glenwood Road facility mentioned above. The $2.3 million grant funds are being used and will be used in the near future on properties owned by Clifton Heights Borough and the Clifton Heights Community and Economic Development Corp., respectively. I will provide more information as the proposals develop.

Roadway Improvement Project Update – September 2015

Although there has been a great deal of inconveniences with all of the detours, the projects that are being implemented throughout Pennsylvania have been delayed over at least the last 15 years because of the lack of funding at the state level.

In October of 2014, former State Representative Nick Micozzie was appointed the Majority Chairman of the Pa. House of Representative transportation Committee. He joined State Senator John Rafferty of Pittsburg and Secretary of Transportation Barry Schook with the sole purpose of enacting a much needed dedicated funding source to fix the states deteriorating infra structure that included bridges, roads, as well as initiate long overdue needed road projects. Nick’s amended funding legislation was signed and enacted into law by former Governor Tom Corbett.

As the Majority Chairman, Nick made sure that Delaware County Pa. Dot and Septa projects were a priority; thus the projects being implemented throughout Delaware County – Septa Trestle over Darby Creek between Clifton Heights and Lansdowne, the work being done at 252, 352, I 476, etc.

Here is an update on the roadway improvement project for Clifton Heights and surrounding area in Delaware County.

The following is a three Week schedule Starting Week September 7th 2015 & the schedule for next few months work. Of course, there will be delays but here is what Pa. Dot has announced.

Week of September 7th:
Tuesday: Signal cables at Bishop Ave will be pulled and pedestrian PB pipe poles will be installed. The mast pole foundation at Home Depot driveway will begin and pole foundations at Springfield & Woodlawn will continue.

Wednesday: The footer at Home Depot will be poured and signal cable at Oak Lane will be pulled. We also should complete Underground conduits & JB’s at Church Stshould be completed. Work also will continue at Woodlawn.

Thursday September 10th: Road construction at Baltimore Pike & Springfield Rd will begin. Mast Poles will be installed and final connections at Bishop will begin. Work will continue at Woodlawn and the signal cable at Oak will be pulled.

Friday: Continued work at Springfield Rd. Completing final connections at Bishop. If all goes well new pavement markings will be added and an active new traffic pattern for southbound Bishop and also eastbound Baltimore Pikeshould be in place, if not then it will by Monday.

Week of September 14th & 21st:
Road construction will continue at Springfield Rd. New traffic signal conduit & pole foundation installation will start. Curb work will begin as well as work on new signals at Oak, Church St, Broadway & Woodlawn. Underground installation at Delmar/Home Depot will begin.

Once curb work on north side Baltimore & Springfield Rd is completed the work on ADA ramps at Broadway, Madison and at Woodlawn should begin.

Hopefully the completion of the north side of Baltimore Ave & Springfield will be by the end of September and then traffic pattern changes to move to south side, with the goal of having completed all work by end of October.

If all goes well traffic signal installation will continue going east from Springfield Rd.

As of now not all controllers are scheduled for installation, only at Bishop and also Delmar/Home Depot. The controllers for Oak, Church, Springfield, Broadway, Madison and also Woodlawn have been released, but with no scheduled delivery date. There is not yet a schedule for all poles to complete all the above intersections but should get most completed, with second release should be arriving in November.

The much needed traffic lights at Madison Avenue and South Springfield Road, turn signals at Oak Avenue and Baltimore Pike will be installed. There will be widening at the Lansdowne Avenue and Baltimore Pike intersection as well the installation of left hand turn signals.

Outdoor Storage Area and Garage application update

The Friends of Nick Micozzie recently received this update from Nick on an issue that could have affected our region…

“7-6 of 15: Application of Zuriel Nagar, for a Special Exception to permit an outdoor storage area for the storage of taxi vehicles; situate 870 Bunting Lane, Primos, Pennsylvania. C-4 Commercial Industrial District. 2nd. District.

The above Upper Darby zoning application if approved would have created a traffic nightmare for residents of Clifton Heights and Primos Secane on Bunting Lane and from Oak Avenue to Springfield Road and the surrounding areas

The property is zoned C-4 Commercial Industrial District located in the 2nd District of Upper Darby Township that abuts Clifton Heights Borough at Oak Avenue and Madison Avenue, respectively.

On July 6, 2015, an Application was submitted by Zuriel Nagar to the Upper Darby Township Zoning Board to permit an outdoor storage area and garage for the storage and maintenance of 60 plus taxi vehicles and Limousines at 870 Bunting Lane, Primos, Pennsylvania. The vehicles would service areas as far away as Bucks and Montgomery Counties.

The lot is located in the rear of a lot located across the street from Primos Elementary School adjacent to the AMPRO Lot, behind the Primos Swim Club and behind the twin properties that front Ashurst Avenue and the Muckinipates Creek.

On July 30, 2015 at 7 PM, the Upper Darby Zoning Board heard pro and con testimony as to whether to approve or disapprove the application.

Primos Secane neighbors as well as Father Joseph McDermtt of St. Eugene’s’, Mayor Micozzie, State Rep. Santoro, Upper Darby Councilmen Bierling, Bonnett, Rankin and I attended; all testifying against the application. My testimony was essentially about the past history of the property and the adjacent areas.

In the mid 80s, as an Upper Darby Councilman and a State Rep. because of severe flooding and traffic congestion, my office and residents fought a developer at the Upper Darby Zoning Board hearings and in the DelCo Courts on 3 occasions to construct apartments on Ashurst Avenue adjacent to the Primos Swim Club and just in front of the 870 Bunting Lane property. We were successful in defeating the proposed development.

The above application to permit an outdoor storage area and garage for the storage and maintenance of 60 plus taxi vehicles and Limousines was denied.

– Nick Micozzie”

SEPTA Updates Act 89 Projections and Progress for Trains and Trolleys

The Secane station which was recently highlighted on this website, was earmarked for $20 million for station renovations, tunnel and platform. At Secane, plans for the inbound side were to construct a station building with a canopy and expand parking for an estimated 100 spaces. While the Primos station costs were projected at $14 million for station renovations, parking and platform.

Delco Trolley Line Upgrades from ACT 89

This summer, as part of this program, SEPTA will initiate a series of improvements to the Media/Sharon Hill/101-102 trolley lines in Delaware County through a program entitled 101/102 Trolley Modernization. This program will involve capital improvements to buildings and bridges, tracks, communications, signalization and power systems all along Trolley Routes 101 and 102, from 69th Street Transportation Center to Media and Sharon Hill.

Because these capital improvements will require the temporary interruption of service to both the 101 and 102 trolley lines between June 15th and September 6th, SEPTA is providing substitution buses that will collect passengers from temporary bus stops located close to each trolley route. In order to provide residents, businesses, transit riders, elected officials, community and faith-based organizations and all other stakeholders with the most accurate and up-to-date information throughout the summer, SEPTA will be:

  • Holding community meetings
  • Distributing informational flyers and project fact sheets across affected communities
  • Reaching out directly to individual residents, business owners, institutions and others potentially affected
  • Posting notices along detour routes in and around the 69th Street Transportation Center
  • Hosting and monitoring an information hotline (1-800 834-5564), project website (www.septa.org/rebuilding/101-102-modernization), and email address (trolleymodernization@septa.org).

WORK DATES: Between Mid-June and Early-September 2015

WORK HOURS: 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM Daily-Monday through Friday

LOCATION: Turner Avenue to Shadeland Avenue, and between Hillcrest Road and Garrett Road

WHAT TO EXPECT

Work to begin in mid-June and continue through the Summer

  • Replacing the Overhead Catenary System
    The wire that supplies power to the trolley will be replaced from Drexel Hill Junction to Scenic Road, and from Drexel Hill Junction to 69th Street Transportation Center.
  • Track Surfacing
    The material under the tracks (ballast) will be leveled and regulated from Drexel Hill Junction to Scenic Road, and from Drexel Hill Junction to 69th Street Transportation Center.

Work to begin in July

  • Installing Catenary Foundations
    Drilling, pouring concrete, and setting steel poles for the overhead contact system near Drexel Hill Junction.
  • Preparation Work for the New Signal System
    Cabling and digging trenches in the vicinity of Drexel Hill Junction.
  • Renewing Two Grade Crossings at Turner Road
  • Additional Work Items
    As time permits, SEPTA may perform additional track work near Drexel Hill Junction Station and the grade crossing at Shadeland Avenue. SEPTA will continue to provide updates about the schedule and work to be completed.

We will be contacting you again in the near future with more detailed information about upcoming projects, bus substitution service and public outreach within your own municipality, but we wanted to let you know in advance about the broader context of the individual projects and bus detours you might observe this summer.

Potential Loss of Funding for Community Improvement

Clifton Heights Loss of Funding for Community Improvement

Clifton Heights’ nonprofit Community and Economic Development Corporation (CHCEDC) had a plan to renovate property at the intersection of Baltimore Pike and South Springfield Road and have it occupied by the Knights of Columbus, an organization well known for community activities such as Scholarships and Holiday baskets for those in need in our communities. This plan is being actively blocked by the Clifton Heights’ Mayor and Political Leader and the majority of Council which could possibly result in the loss of $2.9 million of the $4.5 million state grant funding earmarked to develop and revitalize Clifton Heights’ properties.

Background:
The Clifton Heights’ nonprofit Community and Economic Development Corporation (CHCEDC) owns the property located at the intersection of Baltimore Pike and South Springfield Road. The property was purchased by part of a $1.7 million Legislative Initiative Grant provided by my former State Representative’s office in 2010. (See the Clifton Heights Newsletter Winter2011 for more background on the Legislative Initiative grant.)

The property has been partly vacant and is in need of up to at least $200.000 in renovations. The De La Salle Knights of Columbus # 590 Home Association (K of C) negotiated a 5 year/ $25 a square foot/renovation lease agreement with CHCEDC. Within a year and a half, renovation costs would be reimbursed by the State’s Redevelopment Authority. A deteriorating building would be transferred into beautiful occupied building. The LCB required Clifton Heights’ Council members to vote to support and approve the transfer. Without any discussions or dialogue with the K of C, the Clifton Heights’ Political Leader and Mayor decided not to support the transfer and used their joint political influence to pressure the majority of Council members to pre oppose the transfer.

Here are some of the objections set forth:
1. We don’t need any more bars in Clifton Heights
2. There is not enough parking at the site
3. The K of C has too many members for the size of the property

In Response:
Objection #1 – We don’t need any more bars in Clifton Heights’
Facts: The K of C is not just an organization with a bar. It has served local communities well. The history of our organization formerly located in Springfield Township from 1960 to 2012 is legendary. Anyone involved either actively or remotely will attest that it was not just an organization with a bar; it was a way of life over those many years.

Objection #2 – There is not enough parking at the site
Facts: In response to questions presented to the manager and code enforcer – the property is zoned commercial and there is ample parking at the three borough owned properties.
Objection #3 – The K of C has too many members for the size of the property
Facts: In Clifton Heights’ zoning laws and under their Fire Code limits are set on how many persons are allowed to gather in a building at any one time.
With a limited active membership, the property was not going to be a catering hall. The property would be used to continue to enhance its four principles of Charity, Unity, Fraternalism and Patriotism and its well-known community activities such Scholarships, Thanksgiving and Christmas baskets, those in need in our communities regardless of religious affiliation, etc.

Results of CHCEDC Revitalization Plan Being Blocked:
The renovations and lease of the property would have made the CHCEDC financially solvent. The ones who will lose In the long run are the residents and the business community of Clifton Heights in the loss of much needed Borough and School property tax dollars paid by the property owner and the eventual demolition of the building. Also there is a possibility that the $2.9 million of the $ 4.5 million state grant funding that my former office garnered and ear marked to develop and revitalize Clifton Heights’ properties will be either returned to Harrisburg to be used in other areas of the state or another Delaware County entity where there is vision and foresight by its elected officials.If the $2.9 million dollars was spent according to State guidelines, the amount spent will be reimbursed by the State.
After meetings with Delaware County and State elected and appointed, I agreed to transfer the remaing fundsover to Clifotn Heights borough. In doing so I hoped the funds would be an incentive to assist in redevelopment of the Borough. the Mayor and Council decided to use he funds to renovate the Borough Hall. Since RCAP is a match grant, any funds expensed in renovating the Borough Hall willl be matched by the State of Pa.

Clifton Heights Background for Ongoing Projects and Revitalizations

CHNWinter2011-250The Winter 2011 Newsletter put out by then Rep. Nick Micozzie provides a great deal of informative background on projects that continue today. We hope you get some good information on topics like the Clifton Heights Baltimore Pike Revitalization Plan, Clifton Heights Community Economic Development Corporation, Mac/Sam Apartment Complex Environmental Remediation, a Summary of the major budget items where taxpayer money was allocated back to Clifton Heights Borough, and the Redevelopment Capital Assistance Program (RCAP).

Please read this informative PDF newsletter and share your thoughts on areas of interest to you.

Baltimore Pike and Springfield Rd Construction Update

Update: Delay – Installation of Drainage System – Widening of intersection at Baltimore Pike and Springfield Road…

Our office has received calls about what is causing the delay in the the installation of the drainage system and the widening at the intersection of the Baltimore Pike and Springfield Road, respectfully.

Please be informed the delay is being caused by the need for Verizon to relocate their underground cables, which are currently located where the newly planned drainage system is to be installed along Springfield Road.

We appreciate your patience on this temporary inconvenience so that we can have an improved traffic flow at this intersection in the future.

If anyone has any questions or comments please let us know by responding to this article and we will do our best to respond to your concerns in a timely manner.

Baltimore Pike Roadway Optimization Project

During my tenure as your State Representative and as the Majority Chairman of the Pa. House of Representative’s Transportation Committee my office worked closely with Penn Dot both locally and in Harrisburg to fund the Baltimore Pike and South Springfield Road Optimization Project.

Since the Pa. General Assembly enacted into law a dedicated funding source, PennDOT has begun needed projects throughout the state that include bridge replacements, widening of State Highways, updating and replacing traffic signals with updated state-of-the-art equipment. SEPTA in our area has replaced and constructed a new train station at Oak Avenue in Primos and are presently in the process of constructing a new modern train station at North Avenue and Providence Road in Secane.

Through my office at that time I was able to convince PennDOT to dedicate $4,128,459.90 of PennDOT’s Transportation Incentive Program (TIP) called the Baltimore Pike Optimization Project. The project consists of the widening of the Baltimore Pike and Springfield Road intersection, new mandated Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) ramps with sidewalk construction, upgrades with interconnections of 20 signalized intersections along Baltimore Pike and Springfield Road, extending 3.2-miles from Bishop Avenue to Church Lane in Lansdowne Borough as well as on South Springfield Road to the Aldan Borough boundary line. It also includes the widening of the Baltimore Pike Intersection. I am presently working with State Senator McGarrigle and State Representative Santora to expedite the project.

Widening the Baltimore/Springfield and possibly Baltimore/Bishop intersections has been scheduled in the near future. The design of the ADA ramps for the following intersections have been approved by PennDOT; new construction will include intersections at Baltimore & Bishop, Baltimore & Church Street, Baltimore & Springfield, Baltimore & Diamond, Springfield & Broadway, Springfield & Madison, Springfield Road and West Maryland, Pennsylvania Avenue, Woodlawn Avenue and Clifton Avenue.

Improvements will specifically involve full modernization of intersection signalization equipment. Existing equipment will be removed and replaced by new equipment including signal supports, traffic controllers, signal heads and all electrical equipment. Intersections in the project are Baltimore and the following cross streets: Bishop, Delmar/Home Depot, Oak, Church Street, Springfield, Diamond, SEPTA Route 102, Marple, Jackson/K-Mart, Scottdale/Burmont, Martin/Mansfield, Lansdowne, Wycombe, Union, Giant, Penn/Fourth, and Church Lane. Also, on South Springfield Road the following cross streets: West Broadway, West Madison andWoodlawn.

The Lansdowne intersection will undergo limited widening with new left and right turn signals at each intersection. New traffic lights will l finally be installed at South Springfield Road and Madison Avenue as well as at the intersection of South Springfield Road and the trolley tracts. Also left turn signals will be installed at Baltimore Pike and Oak Avenue.

The improvement at Bishop and Baltimore includes widening and adding an additional left-turn lane to the existing single left-turn lane from eastbound Baltimore Pike (in Springfield Township) approaching the Bishop Avenue intersection. In doing so there then will be double left-turn lanes from eastbound Baltimore Pk. making turns into double lanes on northbound Bishop Avenue (to Springfield Road).

Also the existing 3 lanes (a left-turn, straight and right-turn) from southbound Bishop Avenue approaching the intersection will be shifted towards the proposed widening on the southbound to accommodate the additional lane on the northbound. They are looking to start physical work in May. The current completion date is for mid 2016.

Clifton Heights Intersection Improvement

Untitled-1At the intersection of Springfield and Baltimore Pike the property previously occupied by a service station has been purchased by Clifton Heights Borough. This intersection serves as the gateway to the Borough and has recently been transformed into a beautiful War Memorial Passive Park.

Through the efforts of State Representative Nick Micozzie, Clifton Heights Borough Council funds were obtain through the CDBG program. These funds were used towards restoration and transformation of the property. Improvements includes demolition and site remediation, landscaping, lighting and walk way. The focal point of the memorial is an exquisite war memorial.

The existing war memorial has been transferred to a new prominent home in the center of the Borough. Three flag poles and solar panel light fixtures are installed to illuminate the flags. Park benches and landscaping have been installed also The once dilapidated property is now a charming passive park for all to enjoy and honor those who served.