Survey: Chester County Residents Upbeat But Hate Traffic, High Taxes

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chester County residents like the county’s open space and scenery, but also value highly its proximity to metropolitan areas. They use its libraries and parks like gangbusters, and are confident its 911 and emergency response systems.

They do not, however, like the traffic and road conditions they encounter or the taxes they pay.  They wish the county government would do more to help create job and business opportunities and manage the suburban sprawl that continues to plague the countryside.

In general, county residents see they place they live as an excellent place to raise a family, get a good education, and buy a home — even if they have a sense that it might not live up to the same expectations when looking to retire, open a business, or find a job.

Those, in part, are the results of a unique survey done to assess the quality of life in Chester County, completed earlier this summer by the Center for Social & Economic Policy Research at West Chester University.  The survey results follow up on a similar project completed in 2009 by Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster.

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Expanding Suburbia: Route 39 In West Hanover Township Primed To Grow Over Next Several Years

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Dauphin County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Dauphin County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s hard to miss the signs pointing to Route 39‘s future north of Hershey in West Hanover Township.

Some of them are quite large and aligned toward the road.

While the names are all different — High Associates, Brownstone, Landmark Commercial Reality, among them — the message is pretty standard: “Available.”

In West Hanover Township, Route 39, also known as Hershey Road, is open for business.

What used to be rural farmland and rolling green hills is once again quickly becoming dotted with new developments and “For Sale” signs as two lines of force converge along Route 39.

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Pennsylvania Third-Class Cities’ Problems, Solutions May Be Addressed

Map of Pennsylvania, showing major cities and ...

Map of Pennsylvania, showing major cities and roads (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

All 53 of Pennsylvania’s third-class cities share common bonds, and one state senator believes legislators who represent those cities should band together to help address their common challenges.

“Sprawl, changing demographics, public safety concerns and archaic tax structure have drained the vitality of our once-vibrant downtowns,” state Sen. John N. Wozniak, D-Johnstown, wrote in a letter to his colleagues.  “Since the causes are not unique, we can’t stand by and ask local government officials to stem a tide that is overwhelming their capacity and authority to innovate.”

Wozniak noted in the letter to colleagues from both parties in the Senate and House that while the state’s historic downtowns are unique, the fiscal problems they face are not.  With that in mind, Wozniak is proposing the creation of a bipartisan “Third-Class City Caucus.”

“We can no longer afford to consider the plight of our cities as a concern that is separate from the overall welfare of our Commonwealth,” he said.

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In Post-Lower Macungie Development Boom, Talk Of ‘Smart Growth’

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lehigh County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lehigh County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jim Palmquist is one 66-year-old who has the time, motivation and legs to walk the nearly two-miles from his Lower Macungie home to the closest restaurant.

What he doesn’t have is a death wish.

With the proliferation of cars and trucks clogging roads between his Fresh Meadow Drive neighborhood and the closest Brookside Road businesses, walking can be a life-risking proposition, particularly because of the sporadic placement of sidewalks and walkways that go virtually nowhere.

“This is a township that is completely auto driven,” said Palmquist ,who recently did a thorough study of sidewalks in the area of Lower Macungie and Brookside roads. “You can’t walk to the Wawa. You can’t walk to the township building.”

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Lower Providence Township Opposes 422 Tolling Plan

The Lower Providence Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a resolution opposing 422 tolling on Thursday evening.

To read the entire article and watch a video, check out the coverage from the Times Herald: