Brandywine Valley Scenic Byway seeks Birmingham participation

Supervisors approve flashing light on US-202 

By Kris Firey-Poling, Correspondent, The Times


John Snook presents the Brandywine Valley Scenic Byway’s Corridor Management Plan to Birmingham supervisors and residents, Monday night.

Monday night’s Board of Supervisors meeting was jam-packed with agenda items and an above average Birmingham crowd.

The Brandywine Valley Scenic Byway Commission presented its Corridor Management Plan, seeking to bring Birmingham back to its organization.

According to John Snook, of the Brandywine Conservancy, “The Byway Commission’s goal is to preserve the history, landscape, and scenic beauty of our unique corridor.  The new plan will serve to guide and focus action and policy on the part of multiple stakeholders.”

The Brandywine Valley Scenic Byway is a 25-mile track that includes portions of Route 52, Creek Road (Route 100), and Route 162. 

Currently, the Byway Commission includes the following five townships: Chadds Ford, East Bradford, Kennett, Pennsbury, and Pocopson.  Birmingham participated in the project’s early years, but is now inactive.

“The Battle of Brandywine and Birmingham’s Historic District are essential elements near the Byway. With your help, we can create an extension to access these interpretive opportunities.  We encourage you to reactivate your involvement with our project,” said John Haedrich, Byway Commission Chair.

The supervisors thanked the group for presenting and moved to the next topic.

After the meeting, Supervisors Chairman John Conklin explained that he represented Birmingham on the Byway Commission years ago.

“Earlier, the Byway included only 400+ feet of our township.  They have since extended our area to include the Battlefield and Historic District.  At this point, I’m not convinced that our participation is warranted.  I don’t see us widening our roads for bikes.  I’m not even sure our residents want more tourists.  We are in a ‘wait and see’ period.  Perhaps we will want to join later,” said Conklin.

In other news, the board approved a flashing red alert light to the current red lights at the US-202 intersection with Penn Oaks Drive.

Supervisors Vice-Chairman William Kirkpatrick said, “This is a particularly interesting intersection. People going north on US-202 come up to that light well over the speed limit. I think the minimum is flashing red lights.  But I must admit, state road experts don’t believe they are effective.  But, they are noticeable!  We have had many accidents at this intersection.  Something must be done.”

Supervisor Scott Boorse agreed that flashing lights are needed to slow people down.

For the record, Conklin questioned the validity of the additional signage when it has not been proven to work.

Also, the Board adopted an updated Emergency Response Plan.

According to Michael Hochhaus, Emergency Management Coordinator, “The goal of the plan is to keep residents safe due to a natural or other type of disaster or incident, including loss of utilities.  The plan must be reviewed and updated every two years.”

In other agenda items, the Board approved Stillman Volvo’s request for access to the PHP Enterprises property for car storage.   They also approved an addition on 1360 Brinton Run Drive and fencing on 1175 Birmingham Road.  Also, Kate Marshall was appointed to the Historical Commission.

After reviewing bids for the 2015 Road Program, Township Engineer Jim Hatfield recommended the lowest bid paving contractor, A.F. Damon, at a cost of $70,636.

“Three of our four bids were very close.  Our goal was to be under $100,000, and for the first time our estimate was the highest bid!  I’m very familiar with A.F. Damon, they are great to work with. We will also be filling in many potholes, and have the additional funding already budgeted,” said Hatfield.

Supervisors approved Hatfield’s recommendation.  The work will include seal coating, patching, and miscellaneous repairs.

Also, Recreation, Parks and Open Space member Anne Siemer presented two potential new signs for Sandy Hollow Heritage Park: one by the replica cannon, the other by the Civil War cannon on the other side of the Park.  Both signs display historical content, describing the Brandywine Battlefield events at that particular location.  The Board approved to move forward with the two budgeted signs and their installation.

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