The Limerick Township Board of Supervisors heard two presentations on traffic/transportation and new development at Tuesday night's meeting and was visibly pleased with both presentations.
The first presentation came in the form of a public hearing on Act 209, which concerns the Transportation Impact Fee Ordinance. The presentation was given by highway design engineer Joe Platt of Traffic Planning and Design, Inc. in Pottstown.
The Act 209 committee reconvened in January 2011 and worked all the way up until now to put together the new transportation service areas (TSA) that were seen on Tuesday night. Platt indicated that the last ordinance was set in 2001 and resets every 10 years. Therefore, the new ordinance would take effect from 2011-2021.
The TSA can only be seven square miles in area. In 2001, there were two service areas designated as a north and a south TSA. The north route totaled $1690 in transportation fees, while the south route totaled $494.
In light of new developments of the township, the committee made the decision to turn the TSAs 90-degrees and make the routes more of an east-west format, where growth was strong near the Sanatoga interchange and near Linfield. These two new TSAs are just under the seven square mile maximum.
Platt also pointed out that while the north and south TSAs were designated as a preferred "E Level" service, the east TSA that is seen now has been upgraded to a "D Level." The west side remains an E.
Main improvements to be made in the TSAs include a new westbound on ramp (most significant improvement identified by Platt), the realignment of Swamp Pike in the western TSA, the changeover to a four-way intersection at Linfield-Trappe Road and Royersford Road and the addition of turning lanes at Buckwalter and Township Line.
Overall, the new fees become $1102 for the west side, which correlates with the southern TSA of 2001, and a $1403 fee for the east, which correlates with the northern TSA of 2001. Resolutions were adopted for the Roadway Sufficiency Analysis and the Capital Improvements Plan.
In what was designated as old business, Peter Simone, president of Simone Collins Landscape Architecture, gave a presentation on the streetscape project of rebuilding the overall makeup of Ridge Pike.
The township adopted a 10-year plan in 2008 to redevelop some of Limerick's main roads in an effort to increase business and foot traffic.
"Over time, uncoordinated development led to a mismatch of uses on Ridge Pike," said Simone, who has been designated to plan the project. "We are trying to plan for the highest and best-use scenario and something that is also aesthetically pleasing. Ridge is essentially the township's 'Main Street.'"
Overall, there are many existing land uses on Ridge Pike currently, including 55 residential homes, 24 business/office facilities, 13 motor vehicle repair shops, nine motor vehicle sales and repair (which Simone noted as the least attractive of the bunch), six storage and warehouse facilities and 21 undeveloped or agricultural lots.
Simone said that the goal is to create a consistent zoning district that would allow shared parking and develop the area as a "complete street that safely accomodates muses, motor vehicles, bicycles and pedestrian transportation modes."
The board was satisfied with what they heard.
"I think we're heading in the right direction and this is a definite improvement to what we have now," said board chairman Thomas J. Neafcy, Jr.
The board will reconvene and review the presentation. The board is working on scheduling a meeting with the landscape buffer committee in the near future.