Meeting Minutes for July, 12 2016

Friends of the Chester Valley Trail July 12, 2016 7:00 to 7:59 pm East Whiteland Township Bldg. Presiding: Tim Lander Board members present: Mike Broennle, Bob Cochlin, Phil Hoke and Gail Lipstein Representing Chester County:  Park Superintendent Owen Prusack Others attending: Dick Antonson, Beth Beckett, Jim Brazel, Bob Campbell, Jay Hayes, Mark & Betsy King, Chris Medykiewicz, Ron Medykiewicz, and Rich Muliero.

  1.  Minutes
Minutes for May 17, 2016 were accepted without change.
  1.  Financial Report
Bob Cochlin reported total assets of $20,816.24 comprised of General Fund $6,832.890, Malvern Federal Trust grant $3,983.44, and RTC Grant $10,000.
  1.  County Update:  Owen Prusack, Park Superintendent presenting:
  • Foundry Way Crossing:  Agreement has been reached with a contractor to perform multiple improvements to the trail crossing including better signage for trail users and drivers and placing thermoplastic continental crossing markings to meet current traffic control standards.  The FCVT is funding this project.  Timing not yet announced.  No update for a traffic study of 4 way stops was available.
  • Community Day / National Trails Day, June 4:  This first time event was successful with an estimated 1000 attendees and approximately 40 participating organizations.  County Parks plans to stage this event again in 2017 with more food vendors and anticipate doubling the turnout.  Tim staffed the FCVT table; Bob, Gail & Mike assisted Amanda Lozniak, TMACC & Bike Chester County and other volunteers with a successful kids bike rodeo.
    • Phase 4A, Commerce Dr. to Oaklands Corporate Center:  Construction details are evolving.  Anticipate construction bidding will occur in late 2016-early 2017 with construction in 2017.  
  • CVT Montgomery County:  The construction design contract for the CVT connecting the trail from KOP Rd. to the Schuykill River Trail in Norristown, approximately 4.5 mi., was awarded to Boles-Smythe engineers, Philadelphia in June 2016.  Construction is estimated to occur between late 2017-early 2018.
  • Trail issues:  Montgomery County experiences similar issues on its multiuse trails to Chester County: speeding bikes, pedestrians walking abreast across the trail, dogs on leash but wandering across the trail, and earphones interfering with users hearing audible warnings.  
  • Route 100 crossing redesign:  McMahon Associates is contracted to redesign the trail crossing on the south side of Rt. 100, hopefully with the changes in place within a year.
  • Cooperation with municipal police departments:  Owen reported he has regular meetings with the municipal police department representatives along the trail, enjoying good relations between the departments.
  • Powered devices on the trail:  A policy is under development that when approved will address use of powered devices by physically challenged users and meet ADA requirements.
  • Schuykill River Trail northwest to Pottstown:  Chester County Facilities is negotiating for right of way between Parker Ford and Pottstown. A major parcel is an abandoned rail route owned by Norfolk Southern, which has rejected the county’s first offer.
  • Chester Valley Trail Extension:  The preferred route, which is free of at grade crossings between Ship Rd. and Downingtown, is part of continuing negotiations between PennDOT and Norfolk Southern for an unused rail line that ends in Caln.
    • CVT connection between Caln and Atglen:  The CC Planning Commission is applying for a grant to fund a study to determine the preferred pedestrian and cycling connection between Caln and Atglen to meet the Enola Low Grade Trail that is under development by various Lancaster County municipalities, to connect to Harrisburg.
  • Signage project: The design for CVT signage to include wayfinding and possibly usage regulations is nearing completion. Apparently there has been no effort yet to get input from the Circuit Trails Coalition.  Implementation is not yet funded.
  • Potential Westlakes Trailhead development:  Potential development of a hotel on the current privately owned Westlakes Trailhead is being considered.
  Audience questions and comments:  
  • Issue affecting verbal signals when passing:  Several users have noticed verbal signals from westbound cyclists are sometimes not heard apparently because of the usual winds from the west.
  • Helmets:  Bob Campbell expressed concern about some children and more adults who do not wear helmets.  He suggested a statement encouraging helmet use be on the FCVT website.  In discussion it was mentioned that the July issue of Consumers Reports has an article reporting the effectiveness of helmets and ratings of helmets for adults and children.
  •  Owen Prusack reported he has budgeted for a solar power digital speed monitor and message display for county trail use.
  •  Special Events:  Owen reported till now County Parks has limited Special Events on the trail to 2 per month.  The organizers must arrange for munivipal police support if desired.  Chester County fees depend on the number of participants and need if any for rangers.  In discussion the sense was the impact on general trail users has been minimal and more events would be acceptable.
  1.  Events – Reports & Plans
  • Apr 16, Sat:  Opening Day for Trails:  FCVT Gail, Tim & Mike, joined County Parks, TMACC and Exton Bike Line with tables at the Exton, E. Whiteland and Westlakes Trailheads.  Good weather, attendance down from 2015.
  • Apr 22, Fri: Earth Day Trail Clean up:  TMACC organized volunteers from McMahon Associates and others to replace dead pines on the trail west of Contention Lane.
  • May 13, Fri: Bike to Work Day organized by TMACC had 100 riders pre-registered, and despite threatening weather, about 65 including Mike rode from the Exton TH and Westlakes TH to a light breakfast ceremony at PNC Bank in Uptown Worthington.
  • May 18, Mon: Paoli Hospital Employee Health Fair: FCVT table staffed by Gail.
  • May 21, Sat: Girl Scout Bike Rodeo organized by the scouts with assistance from TMACC was scheduled at Westlakes TH; Bob, Gail & Mike volunteered to assist but the event was cancelled because of threatening weather.
  • Jun 18, Sat: State Rep Duane Mile Kids Fest: Gail and Bob staffed the FCVT table.
  • Jul 21, Thurs.: Prescribe-a-Trail, Wilson Farm Park: with a Paoli Hospital representative: FCVT table staffed by Mike, trivial attendance.
  • Jul 28, Thurs.: Prescribe-a-Trail, E Goshen Twp. Park: with a Paoli Hospital representative: FCVT table to be staffed by Mike; cancelled 2o weather.
  • Aug 27, Sat: East Goshen Community Day Prescribe-a-Trail: with Paoli Hospital representatives.  Mike with the FCVT table, few visitors despite 2000 attending.
  1.  New Matters
  •  Volksport hiking group are beginning activity in Chester County.
  •  Sullivan’s Bridge, crossing the Schuykill River to connect Valley Forge Park with the Schuykill River Trail at Betzwood: the grand opening is scheduled for Fri, Aug 19.
Next meeting:  Tuesday, Sept 20, 7 pm, Tredyffrin Township Building, 1100 Duportail Rd, Berwyn. Respectfully submitted, Mike Broennle

Approved 9/20/16