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Turnpike Slip Ramp
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Meeting of the Citizens Opposed to the Turnpike Slip Ramp
Great Valley Nature Center
Monday, February 15, 1999
At least 70 people attended last evening's meeting of Citizens Opposed to the Turnpike Slip Ramp at the Great Valley Nature Center. While most were residents of Charlestown Township, there were also interested parties from Schuylkill and East Whiteland Townships. Many Township officials were present including the three Township Supervisors and members of the Planning Commission as well as the leaders of the Civic Association, Charlestown Green and the Republican and Democratic Committees. At least one member of the press was present.
Sally Willig led off by summarizing the major issues associated with the slip ramp and encouraged all residents to call upon members of the Great Valley School Board to pass a resolution opposing the slip ramp. That vote is being taken at tonight's meeting of the School Board in the KD Markley boardroom. The members of the School Board and their phone numbers are provided on our address page.
Sally Willig then introduced County Commissioner Andy Dinniman (photo). Commissioner Dinniman reviewed the meeting the Commissioners had with representatives of the Turnpike Commission, emphasizing the fundamental violation of the Landscapes initiative represented by the slip ramp. He then outlined the kind of activities that need to be accomplished in order to most effectively fight the construction of the new interchange at Route 29.
Supervisor Chairman John Sauser spoke briefly about the verbal response received from a representative of the Turnpike Commission to a letter written by the Township Solicitor. Mr. Sauser also said the supervisors are mailing a newsletter to all residents, a significant portion of which is devoted to the slip ramp issue.
Kevin Kuhn and Sue Staas then polled the audience for volunteers to be present during the February 25 "meeting" sponsored by the Turnpike Commission at the Great Valley Senior High School. The volunteers will be there to answer questions and hand out information to those who seek it. Apparently the event, which is from 4 to 9 pm, involves one-on-one meetings between residents and individual representatives of the Turnpike Commission, and all questions to the Commission are to be presented in writing and the address of the author of the question must be included with each question.
One.???ect of the slip ramp issue that was obvious from the meeting was the many dimensions to slip ramp opposition. Traffic and safety, especially for our school children, are clearly major issues for all residents, and especially those who must pass anywhere near Route 29 and Phoenxville Pike during rush hour and school transportation periods. It's also an issue for residents who live several miles from that intersection, but who already have cars streaming past their homes at high speed during rush hour.
The slip ramp would also mean a major setback for all of the land use and open space preservation initiatives taken by both the County through Landscapes and by the Township through our aggressively defended zoning ordinances. The many beautiful views in Charlestown, already threatened by managed growth, would be further threatened by additional pressures for development stemming from the convenience of the slip ramp and pressure for wider, faster roads.
Other issues include the displacement of residents who live in the path of the new ramps, the effects on historic structures and roadways in the vicinity of the ramps, and the environmental impact of the ramp and associated traffic.
Several documents were handed out during the meeting. Those that are not already posted on our Turnpike Slip Ramp Opposition Center will be posted soon. They include an extensive list of questions covering all.???ects of the slip ramp issue. I will post that list as well as sample letters to give residents a sense of what others are writing to government officials regarding the slip ramp.
It is going to require funds to continue informative mailings and the posting of signs to call attention to the slip ramp issue. The "hat was passed" during the meeting and contributions may be mailed via checks made out to Charlestown Green, Inc. bearing the notation "slip ramp". These are tax deductible contributions and should be mailed to
Charlestown Green, Inc.
P.O. Box 469
Devault, PA 19342-0469
In summary, the single most important action residents can take to put a stop to the slip ramp is to write letters to the various officials listed on our addresses page, and to do it as soon as possible. Letter writing "parties" have already taken place in some neighborhoods and are scheduled in others. The next most effective action is to have large turn-outs voicing slip ramp opposition at all public meetings where the issue is to be discussed.
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