ode to the politically expedient

Dear Representative Howard,

First of all you are probably wondering why I chose the title for this post? Simple. Being politically expedient means something someone does to advance themselves politically.

That madam, sadly, appears to be you to a “T”.

You fooled a lot of us and rode the D train to election in November, 2018. What’s that song by The Who ? Won’t get fooled again?

It’s oddly, somehow, appropriate.

Here are the lyrics:

We’ll be fighting in the streets

With our children at our feet

And the morals that they worship will be gone

And the men who spurred us on

Sit in judgement of all wrong

They decide and the shotgun sings the song

 

I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution

Take a bow for the new revolution

Smile and grin at the change all around

Pick up my guitar and play

Just like yesterday

Then I’ll get on my knees and pray

We don’t get fooled again

 

The change, it had to come

We knew it all along

We were liberated from the fold, that’s all

And the world looks just the same

And history ain’t changed

‘Cause the banners, they are flown in the next war

 

I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution

Take a bow for the new revolution

Smile and grin at the change all around

Pick up my guitar and play

Just like yesterday

Then I’ll get on my knees and pray

We don’t get fooled again, no, no

 

I’ll move myself and my family aside

If we happen to be left half alive

I’ll get all my papers and smile at the sky

Though I know that the hypnotized never lie

Do ya?

 

Yeaah!

 

There’s nothing in the streets

Looks any different to me

And the slogans are replaced, by-the-bye

And the parting on the left

Is now parting on the right

And the beards have all grown longer overnight

 

I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution

Take a bow for the new revolution

Smile and grin at the change all around

Pick up my guitar and play

Just like yesterday

Then I’ll get on my knees and pray

We don’t get fooled again

Don’t get fooled again, no no

 

Yeaaah!

Meet the new boss

Same as the old boss

You are essentially invisible to your constituents. You are visible when hanging out with Governor Wolf who doesn’t care about us in Chester County and for parking lot photo ops.

Those damn pipelines will never be safe. And they are destroying where we call home, where you call home so how can you ignore your constituents?

You were…. politically expedient in August.

Today, once again you were politically expedient.

Your constituents have been coming to you for quite a while now begging you to take an interest in the pipelines. But you don’t respond to your constituents do you? No but today you take the time for tours and probably a photo op with West Whiteland and well….Sunoco/Energy Transfer?

I could call your office and leave you a message about how distressed I am to hear this latest news but why bother? You don’t really care about me or what I think or anything any of your constituents think or feel. If you cared about your constituents then you would not have ignored the pleas to meet with some of your incredibly well-informed and directly pipeline-impacted constituents.

When we asked you to get involved in East Whiteland and attend a public meeting at Immaculata about the proposal regarding the potential use of a traffic circle at King and 352 you didn’t come yourself, you sent someone who didn’t even stay the entire meeting. If a traffic circle is chosen it means eminent domain. We still don’t know as residents where we stand with PennDOT. And you didn’t go to the meeting so you really couldn’t judge for yourself how your constituents felt who were personally impacted in this scenario.

P.K. Ditty photo

You were not elected by the people to be one of the handmaidens of Tom Wolf. You were elected to serve your constituents. And all we have seen since you got elected is you being politically expedient when you surface at all.

So Representative Howard I have to ask are you of the people or against the people? Because if you continue to be politically expedient it seems you are against the people doesn’t it?

According to article 2 section 1 of the Pennsylvania Constitution you have a two-year term. How do you want to mark your place in Pennsylvania political history?

Representative Howard, we aren’t really that stupid or ill-informed. Your constituents are NOT happy. You are almost at the halfway point of your term. Again I ask, how do you wish to mark your place in Pennsylvania political history? Because right now you are only going to be remembered for being invisible to your constituents and for being politically expedient. That’s not a good look for any politician.

It’s time to choose. Your constituents would prefer you chose people over pipelines, constituents over being one of Wolf’s handmaidens.

Republican, Democrat, or Independent as residents we are resolute in our desire for good government and fair representation….and we need the people who represent us to stand with us in our everyday realities, not against us.

P.K. Ditty photo

are traffic accidents a symptom of over-development?

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August 14, 2019 PM accident at Route 30 and 352/Sproul Rd in East Whiteland.

WARNING: RANT AHEAD. TURN AWAY NOW IF YOU AREN’T INTERESTED.

There was ANOTHER accident at Route 352/ Sproul Road and Route 30/Lancaster Avenue in East Whiteland Township again earlier this evening. Right after I came through the intersection basically.

There was an accident at a similar time LAST evening. Same location.

Are traffic accidents a symptom of over-development due to stressed overcrowded roadways?

This intersection in East Whiteland is much like a couple of problematic intersections in West Whiteland.  Take for example the West Whiteland intersection at Whitford Road from the train station side and Route 30/ Lancaster Ave/Lincoln Highway. Maybe there should be NO right turn on red and whatever else can happen to ensure better safety on the roads? I go through that particular West Whiteland intersection at least twice a week and people run that light there and just dive into the intersection.  This afternoon at a little past noon as a matter of fact, a BIG truck was what dove onto Route 30 West towards Downingtown from Whitford Road.  The light had changed. It was red for Whitford on all sides, but it didn’t matter people were diving left and right. 

But I digress, back to East Whiteland.

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From the people in Linden Hall  (which sits at 30 and 352) I have learned there are at least 25 kids in that development. Ages are infant though high school. Plus all of the adult residents.  Are there lives to spare, East Whiteland? I don’t think so.  (And don’t get me started on the sloppy ugly construction site left by Linden Hall as in the historic structure. Has anyone from East Whiteland bother to swing by to see the “parking lot”? Would you be happy as residents to see that site?)

Now BACK to the traffic at the intersection of Route 30/Lancaster Ave and Route 352/Sproul Road in East Whiteland. Can we talk about the people turning LEFT from Lancaster (westbound direction) onto Route 352/Sproul Road sit in CENTER of intersection even through signal changes effectively blocking ability of Linden Hall residents to safely exit their development— this development which East Whiteland approved and allowed to be built. And someone keeps denying them a left turn signal  they have requested of the township (or PennDOT?) so they can exit  more safely.  They are crammed in like lemmings in that development so why aren’t there enough people to justify it?

Can’t have it both ways. If East Whiteland Township (as well as neighboring townships) are going to cram every square inch with development they have a responsibility to ensure the safety of residents. For goodness sake, make these developers pay for sufficient road improvements and for installing township parks and stuff. It’s called conditions of plan approval, right????

But hey, we all know how traffic concerns in East Whiteland from Carol Lane and Summit residents got translated by certain East Whiteland supervisors the last time, remember?  All of a sudden, their traffic issues became the impetus for a traffic circle at Route 352/Sproul Road/North Chester Road and King, correct?

So…once again Carol Lane and Summit Road neighbors are attempting to have a meaningful conversation with East Whiteland to get what they feel are much needed traffic corrections to Summit, Carol, and those streets in THAT neighborhood.

WHAT THE RESIDENTS ARE TRYING TO MAKE EAST WHITELAND TOWNSHIP UNDERSTAND IS THAT THEY WANT IS TRAFFIC CALMING ON SUMMIT AND CAROL, PART OF SUMMIT FROM CAROL TO MADELINE AND SUMMIT BETWEEN CAROL AND WOODCREST.

I have born witness to the speeding on Carol and Summit myself as recently I drove through there to just see if I could get the idea of what goes on. What goes on is people cut through and speed. I had someone on my tail and for a couple of moments I actually thought they might pass me for doing speed limit. My friends over there tell me they have had cut through speeders pass them for going the speed limit.

This neighborhood has at least 20 children on Summit from Carol to 352, 10 on Carol, 8 or 9 on another connecting street and dog walkers, walkers, and joggers. Are there lives to spare here at this location, East Whiteland?

People living in East Whiteland and neighboring townships are really struggling to co-exist with the insane amount of development. Residents should matter more than the ratables and ill-advised development saturated comprehensive plans on a local or county level. But do residents matter?

After all residents in East Whiteland have expressed concern about the number of living units for what they call “Frazer Lanes Redevelopment“. Everyone agrees the site could stand to be improved BUT what will life be like when 227 units in 4 stories on 5 acres is built with 330 total parking spaces across from the Wawa at the corner of 30 and Planebrook?

What will life be like as you go west on 30 and hit the intersection of Ship Road if that development gets built?

Inquirer: Another Wawa may be coming to Chester County after town officials change zoning rules
by Katie Park, Updated: May 23, 2019

A Wawa may soon be built next to a centuries-old chapel and tavern in Chester County after officials approved a zoning change that cleared the way for the convenience-store giant.

The West Whiteland Township Board of Supervisors voted 2-1 on Wednesday to allow Wawa to move into a yet-to-be-built 5,600-square-foot building — complete with eight gas pumps — at 690 E. Lincoln Highway, once home to an Entenmann’s pastry factory and outlet store….As a result of the supervisors’ decision, developer Eli Kahn, the owner of eight acres at 690 E. Lincoln Highway, said he would likely not go forward with his original plans to build 130 apartments and a three-story office building there in favor of about 80 townhouses, the building he plans to lease to Wawa, and two other retail buildings that he could also rent out.

NVR Homes, which teamed up with Kahn, has also indicated it would not build more than 400 apartments and townhouses on 52 acres at 500 E. Lincoln Highway — the former home of the Laborers’ Training Facility — and instead opt for about 90 single-family homes and 65 townhouses, West Whiteland officials said.

Is it just me or is the Ship Road Couplet and development insanity…well, crazy?

Here is where you click to see most of what West Whiteland has going on development-wise: Spring 2019 Present & Proposed Developments Map

Here is where you click to see most of what East Whiteland has going on development-wise: Subdivision and Land Development Plans.

And we can’t leave East Goshen out of the equation given the Paoli Pike debacle can we? You see, the East Goshen Board of Supervisors will meet to discuss the proposal from The Hankin Group on further development of 1351 Paoli Pike on Tuesday, August 29, 2019 at 7:00 pm.

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And don’t get me started on West Goshen and that hideous development at Greystone (I tell you what I sure wouldn’t be a bride paying for a pricey wedding at the Greystone Hall venue now.)

And there is what? Another elementary school being built over there? (But hey now development doesn’t add to the burdens of a school district, right? )

Back to East Whiteland (and anyone else in Great Valley School District).  I still think in my humble opinion it is not a question of IF but WHEN the Great Valley School District will be dealing with a Great Valley East and Great Valley West situation.  Whose land will they take to deal will the growing population and a need for larger if not additional schools?

Back to what inspired this post: stressed out infrastructure. In this case roads and intersections ill-equipped to effectively handle traffic. And it’s only getting worse.  In East Whiteland every which way you turn there is yet another development.  Much like West Whiteland. But the roads? The roads are essentially the same and how can they be?

Can I say planning in these townships and at the county level just sucks? It does. It just sucks.  Chester County Planning Commission has a NON-resident as it’s Executive Director and it shows. That guy is not invested in our communities. He is a non-resident carpetbagger the taxpayers are paying for.  Landscapes is a joke as well. The “vision” message is clear: development, development, development. Seriously. LOOK at the interactive development map.

Zoning in townships like East Whiteland and West Whiteland should benefit the residents. But can it be said zoning benefits special interests and developers mostly?

Oh I know, I know.  This is indeed a full-on rant but something has got to give.  And I say a side effect of development are accidents since I feel traffic accidents a symptom of over-development due to stressed and overcrowded roadways.

We as residents deserve better. We also need better representation in local government.  As residents, we need to take our power back collectively. After all did any of us move to Chester County so we could live in King of Prussia-lite or Bensalem-lite?

NOPE.

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August 13, 2019 PM accident at Route 30 and 352/Sproul Rd in East Whiteland.

adaptive reuse ❤️

I love that whomever owns what was once a motor court on Route 30 in Exton is rebuilding the little cottages/cabins one by one.

Adaptive reuse and preservation. We need more of that combined with land conservation and farm preservation here in Chester County.

I

stuff the underpass…west whiteland township (ship road)

Above is a reader submitted photo.

You see, this morning that big old truck decided to stuff itself under an underpass on Ship Road.

Ship Road is in West Whiteland, and like many other roads in our area has railroad underpasses. The heights on these tunnels are posted.

I am sure as in a lot of the situations we have apps like Waze to blame.

Except I don’t understand how people can drive rigs this big and can see where it’s posted as to how big/tall the tunnels are and still do things like this?

Is it that these truck drivers really don’t know how tall their rigs are? Or are they so intent upon their cell phone and apps they don’t see the underpasses coming up?

mind you, all the increased traffic on our roads due to development and other issues doesn’t help this situation does it?

what a difference a year or two makes in west whiteland

Ashbridge house in Exton. 2017.

I took the above photo of Ashbridge House located in West Whiteland at Exton Main Street in Exton in 2017.

It’s been mothballed for years in plastic since the mall was built. It’s another Chester County property with quite the history.

They even have a sign up in Exton Main Street about it:

Supposedly this house is being restored. I don’t know exactly which decade that’s going to occur in however, do you? I found this 2017 West Whiteland Planning Commission document (CLICK HERE) which indicates it would be preserved in the middle of hundreds of new apartments. (Also check out the Daily Local Article from May, 2017 and a blurb on the WCHE website from the same time.)

Hundreds. Because you know there aren’t enough apartments and townhouses and carriage houses being built in West Whiteland Township now are there?

That’s crazy. Obviously it was approved. Click HERE to see a list of developments in various stages in West Whiteland. Suffice it to say, I thought the list of developments in East Whiteland were bad enough. And I can’t say for sure that these lists are current as to what development is planned where.

But I digress.

Here we are in March, 2019 right? So a couple of weeks ago I guess it is now, I was over at Exton Main Street with my husband. I can tell you I was stunned by the way Ashbridge House and the outbuildings looked.

Ashbridge House in Exton. 2019.

When exactly is the preservation going to finally begin? Is it just me or do others of you out there think it’s never going to happen and someday will just hear how the house mysteriously fell down?

Ashbridge House in Exton. 2019.

I just don’t understand. I don’t understand why people no longer seem to care about historic preservation in a county that used to be known for it.

If you are interested in Ashbridge house, I have found a couple videos:

Janice Early’s terrific history video

Abandoned Steve Adventures 2013 video

Ashbridge House in Exton. 2017 or 2018.