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Malvern Borough Taking Suggestions for Development Plan

The first of three transit-oriented workshops will be held Tuesday afternoon.

Malvern Borough will host a transit-oriented development workshop Tuesday afternoon to discuss plans for the area surrounding the Septa station.

The workshop will be held in the borough building from 4 to 7 p.m., with presentations at 4:15, 5:15 and 6:15 p.m. Full details are available in the flyer attached to this article as a PDF.

In 2011, the borough was to to develop a transit development plan for the area within a quarter mile of the Malvern regional rail train station.

In a column in Main Line Media News, former borough council president Henry Briggs examined the impetus behind the workshops:

The idea is to stop urban sprawl and environmental threats to open space. DVRPC, with SEPTA's endorsement, wants to steer population growth the towns with transit centers. Malvern is a perfect example.

The pitch was music to [current council president Woody] Van Sciver. "Malvern evolved from train growth", he says. He feels added density around the SEPTA station is a natural evolution for the town; it offers a smart and environmentally sound alternative to, for example, the Great Valley expansion around Route 202 and 29 and the resulting growth in traffic and sprawl there.

But not everyone is convinced development of the area is a good idea:

Among others, ex-Borough Council President and 10-year Borough Manager Pat McGuigan questions the idea of making Malvern more dense.

"It ain't broke; don't fix it. " he says. "This kind of development will fundamentally change the town. Malvern is unique in that it's a traditional village, the last one in the area. Other towns have become compact and contiguous. You can start at Overbrook and drive all the way to Exton on Rt 30 and it feels like you're in one extended town.
Nabob September 24, 2012 at 01:37 PM
Problem is the density around the hugely expanded train station has produced a horrifying volume of traffic. Even though the longstanding construction project is now completed there are still a fair number of yahoos that park on the side streets instead of the septa lot. Quite often, Monument Avenue is a single line of traffic tunnel because cars are parked on both sides of the street. Getting in or out of Malvern if you live there is equally nightmarish. When those afternoon trains roll in it is like the Oklahoma Land Rush. "Gentlemen, start your engines" and cars spewing out of the various entrances from the lot onto King Street. Drive up Monument Avenue to avoid King and you can be sitting in a line of cars that goes back past the scout cabin. When you get to Forest Lane and 352 the line is even longer and you may sit for over 5 minutes waiting to turn left onto 352. King and 352 up by Immaculata? It isn't unusual to have to sit through 4 or 5 light cycles before you can get across 352. Seems like all the roads through and past Malvern are short cuts for commuters seeking to avoid 202, Rte 30 and Paoli Pike. When you add hundreds and hundreds of of more cars for septa commuter traffic right square in the middle of the borough it is a NIGHTMARE for the people in Malvern
Regina DiLabbio Klugh King September 24, 2012 at 02:10 PM
And we ain't even talkin' the traffic that the East King development will add to the nightmare of the Malvern that Once Was a little tiny hamlet tucked up in the hills by the quiet Quakers who founded it! That was the intent -- to NOT be part of the Lancaster Avenue Main Line stream of consciousness. I (and I am unanimous in this) avoid morning and evening rush hours on King, Bridge and Warren from my perch down here in Down East and as a native-born borough girl shall still continue to do so!
Pete Kennedy (Editor) September 24, 2012 at 02:55 PM
Instinctively read this in the voice of Allen Iverson. Not sure if that was your intention.
Jessica September 26, 2012 at 07:31 PM
I really agree with you Nabob and Regina... as much as I enjoy what is to come to downtown Malvern, like The Whip Tavern and Kimberton Whole Foods for example, I do not enjoy the influx of traffic in the area. Monument Road (from Sugartown to Hickory.. taking you to 352) used to be mainly used for those in the neighborhood, but now there is a constant flow of traffic going both ways most of the day, particularly during rush hours. This road is 35mph and most people end up speeding, even though we have so many children, pets, runners, bikers, walkers on the road.... I wish we could think of a way to better utilize the area for such expansion but there are limited roads leaving Malvern.. so what can we do? And yes, the parking on both sides of the street down on the end of Monument is getting ridiculous. I usually turn off of Monument on to King before that point to avoid it. Maybe in the future they will not allow people to park on one side of the road.. I don't know!
Michele Matherly October 10, 2012 at 02:42 PM
I think that the growth of Malvern is not going to take away it's charm. Yes, there will be more traffic but that comes with any community that is doing well economically. The alternative would be a ghost town with struggling and abandonded businesses, runned down homes, and an empty non-thriving version of a once charming little town. We don't want that. Growth is good! Welcome the new residents and businesses to our town. michele -

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