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Turnpike Slip Ramp


Letter to Governor Ridge
from Betty Stonorov, Director
Charlestown Play House, Inc.



 
March 1, 1999
 
The Honorable Tom Ridge
Governor, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
225 Main Capitol Building
Harrisburg, PA 17120
 
Re: Proposed Slip Ramp of the PATP
      Charlestown Township, Chester County
 
Dear Governor Ridge:
The Charlestown Play House was founded almost 65 years ago and is still operating at it's original location on Charlestown Road in Charlestown. The Play House, a nationally known cooperative Nursery School and Kindergarten, has approximately 90 students. The school is in operation from October through July of each year. Each morning young children (three to six years old) and their mothers arrive about 9 a.m. and leave again about noon. There is also an Extended Day session which ends for about 20 children at 3 p.m. The school is also used by various civic groups for meetings in the evening, such as the Girl Scouts and the Charlestown Historical Society. This school is a local institution and is used by the community at large.
Our parking and loading operations are very involved for safety reasons. They take place near Charlestown Road. We simply can not tolerate more cars and faster drivers. We ask that you help us stop the construction of this slip ramp and exit. This exit will place too many more cars on Charlestown Road which is narrow and which passes through a lovely rural area. We are opposed to the construction of any slip ramps and or exits on or off the Pennsylvania Turnpike that would be located in Chester County, especially in or near Charlestown Township. We are directly involved.
The contractors chose to study the impact of the ramp on a very small area, however, we feel this was a serious mistake. We ask that the Study Area be enlarged to include at the minimum an area with a six mile radius. Charlestown Village and the area immediately adjacent to the school lie in a National Historic District . Within this area Charlestown Road can not, and should not, be widened. The slip ramp will mean that many more cars would use this narrow winding road. In addition, other land immediately adjacent to the school is in an Agricultural Security Area and is being farmed. This is the kind of place that Charlestown Township and Chester County are tying to save. It is still rural. We support the Township and County in all attempts to save rural areas from over development.
We ask that you do everything you can to make the Turnpike Commission hold a public hearing at which individuals can be heard. It is imperative that every person be heard in public on this issue. The Open House which was held in Charlestown should in no way be looked upon as an opportunity for the public to be heard.
In addition to a full public hearing, we request that a Needs Assessment be written and widely distributed to the public prior to the hearing.
Please let us know your thoughts on the slip ramp. We look forward to hearing from you.
Sincerely,
 
Elizabeth Foster Stonorov
Director
Charlestown Play House, Inc.


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