Charlestown Township, Chester County, PA

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Established June 2, 1997
by citizens for citizens


March 16, 1998

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August 13, 1997
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Turnpike Slip Ramp

Sample Letters to
Turnpike Commissioners

I am writing out of concern for my township and county. Charlestown township officials have not been able to stop the proposed Pennsylvania Turnpike interchange that threatens our community. I have been informed that the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission will not allow a public hearing and has the authority to seize the land by condemnation.
The turnpike interchange is unnecessary. There are two interchanges that already neighbor Charlestown township: the Valley Forge/King of Prussia interchange, and the Downingtown interchange. These options are ample and sufficient for the needs of our citizens. Seven-hundred citizens signed a petition at the November election stating their opposition to the proposed turnpike interchange.
Chester County was once known for its open space and farmland. This has continually been encroached upon. Lands have been and continue to be exploited by developers. The concerned citizens of Charlestown wish to retain some of the beauty and serenity that open space provides.
While the proposed interchange is a slip ramp designated for an E-Z pass type of system, this will still greatly affect the township. Aside from the extra traffic and congestion, how long will it take for a gas station to follow, a convenience store, or perhaps a mini-mall to serve all those turnpike travellers?
I oppose the Proposed Interchange of the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Charlestown Township because I look to the future, and I don't see farmland, woods, or country roads. I see litter, traffic congestion, and barrages of stores and malls, which have already begun to taint our beautiful landscape. It is completely unnecessary to have another turnpike interchange when there are already two within fifteen minutes of the citizens of Charlestown township.
Please help save our township!

I am writing to you out of my concern about the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission's proposal to construct slip-ramps in the vicinity of Charlestown Township. The slip-ramps are supposed to relieve traffic congestion at Valley Forge turnpike interchange and are strongly supported by business parks like Great Valley Corporate Center.
Those of us who live in the neighborhood of the proposed slip-ramps see it from another perspective. The "quick fix" for the turnpike commuter congestion will not provide a long-term solution. The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission's (DVRPC) data show that, instead, traffic will be even heavier at this interchange as a result of the new slip-ramps. The congestion problem could be better handled by widening the interchange plaza and adding slip ramps that directly connect to major highways like Rt. 422 and Rt. 202 instead of dumping exiting turnpike traffic on local two-lane roads like Yellow Springs Rd., White Horse Rd., or Rt. 29 in Charlestown Township.
Chester County is attempting to implement a master plan to direct and manage growth for the 21 st century. Transportation is an important component of this Landscapes master plan but, according to the Chester County Planning Commission, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission has not figured at all in the development of the transportation plan. Instead, The Turnpike Commission is proceeding arrogantly in its determination to "fix" Valley Forge interchange without cooperation or consultation with the county, the DVRPC and PennDOT.
In Chester County's Landscapes master plan a large part of Charlestown Township is designated natural or rural. Locating slip-ramps at the proposed sites will create a magnet drawing traffic through the township and spurring more commercial development at the interchange. It would be the natural result of closer access and would severely compromise the natural/rural landscape we are trying very hard to preserve. I hope you will take this concern seriously and discuss it with your fellow commissioners Traffic is a serious problem for all of us but the "quick fix" approach is not the way to solve it.

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