Seminary not to blame for Avenue traffic woes

When I first heard of the Lutheran Seminary’s building plans, my initial reaction was dismay at their potential impacts on Germantown Avenue traffic, which is already a mess. I’ve lived in the general area of the seminary for decades and have watched Germantown Avenue traffic grow worse year by year.

This trend is no friend. The specific problems are two nearby intersections that generate heavy left turning traffic, southbound Germantown Avenue to E. Mount Airy Avenue and northbound Germantown Avenue to W. Allens Lane. Through traffic cannot get around the left turners because their right lanes are blocked by illegally parked cars and by SEPTA No. 23 buses.

This stretch of Germantown Avenue is in woeful need of a traffic engineering study, but some solutions are obvious. The two problem intersections’ traffic lights need to be equipped with left turn arrows for several seconds to clear traffic, SEPTA needs to terminate the No. 23 bus stops southbound at Mt. Airy Avenue and northbound at Allens Lane, and the Parking Authority needs to focus enforcement staff on these two intersections instead of randomly wandering around Mt. Airy annoying people.

This is not to say that I otherwise approve of the seminary’s building plans or the manner in which they released them, but the seminary has been a very good neighbor for a very long time and its plans should not be held hostage to a problem that is beyond its ability to solve. I’ve often enjoyed walking through its leafy campus, attending its chamber music recitals and using its library, and I want them to continue to prosper here. This problem which is not theirs has been a long time coming and it’s now time to solve it.

Edward W. Duffy
Mt. Airy


Time for a CHEXIT

In response to Joyce Lenhardt’s article “Community Matters” in the October 31 issue of the Local, first let me say that I look forward to reading more in the series about why Chestnut Hill seems to be allowing new construction that is not in keeping with the historic traditions of our community. I believe this is a timely subject and should help residents to understand the process developers go through regarding zoning regulations.

One paragraph in the article stands out for me:

“Our ‘greene countrie towne’ is regulated by the country’s sixth-largest city, Philadelphia. Chestnut Hill does not have its own laws; it does not have its own governing body or decision-makers. It is governed by the same zoning regulations that apply to Society Hill, Fishtown and the rest of the city.”

My response to this statement: CHEXIT!

That’s right. If the UK can choose to withdraw from the European Union, why can’t Chestnut Hill choose to withdraw from the City of Philadelphia? Instead of paying taxes to Philadelphia, we would pay our taxes to Chestnut Hill. This funding would be used for trash pickup, street maintenance, police and fire protection, local schools, our library, parks within Chestnut Hill and other commodities that I may have forgotten. We would no longer have to pay the outrageous sweet beverage tax in Chestnut Hill. We would become another suburb of the city. I have no doubt that, once the initial details were worked out, the above services would be better if we provided them ourselves.

I have lived in Chestnut Hill for a total of 22 years. I love the people, the shops and restaurants, the trees and gardens, the architecture and the walkability. Being frustrated with the poor service from the city, with its irrational real estate appraisals, bumpy roads full of potholes, minimal leaf collection and snow removal, schools in disrepair which deprive children of clean air, art and music, to name a few, I have often thought about moving out of the city, where services are much more efficient, and tax money is put to better use. But then I think about my neighbors, whom I have grown to love. Chestnut Hill has become a real “home” to me, and I can’t imagine myself living anywhere else.

So, now, with CHEXIT, we can have everything good about Chestnut Hill without the city bureaucracy.

I wonder, is it too late to get CHEXIT on the Nov. 5 ballot?

Linda Baldwin
Rex Avenue