What might be done to improve commuter access to and safety at Hatboro’s train station?

“Our vision is to create a walkway with art, signage and information that would move commuters from the train station out to our Main Street,” said Diane Hegele, manager, Borough of Hatboro.

The Borough of Hatboro and the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) just finished a “Safe Routes to Transit” study to “identify upgrades that would enhance bicycle and pedestrian access” to Hatboro’s SEPTA train station, 40 S. Penn St. The program emphasizes short-term strategies that can be implemented with funding from competitive programs and other sources.

“While the Borough of Hatboro faces some challenges in creating additional pedestrian and bicycle access to the station, strides have already been made in an effort to make the station more accessible,” according to DVRPC, the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization for the bi-state, nine county Greater Philadelphia region.

Hegele said the borough already is installing “missing sidewalks” from E. Montgomery Avenue to E. Moreland Avenue. PennDOT also is to improve crosswalks at Byberry and Penn roads, and will install bicycle lanes in a Jacksonville Road paving project. Said she: “Currently, pedestrians walk through our police station lot, which is not recommended.”

An array of recommendations are presented in the 24-page report that connect Hatboro’s train station “with dense residential, commercial corridors and employment centers” within a half-mile radius.

One improvement strategy in the study is to promote the installation of new bicycle infrastructure with storage and lockers for station passengers. Other recommendations include a bike box at Jacksonville and E. Moreland so bicyclists “can safely dismount and walk to bike parking or continue riding; build an eight-foot wide multi-use path from mid-block crosswalk on Byberry Road to sidewalk on Moreland Crossing, and widen existing sidewalk from five feet to eight feet up to E. Moreland Avenue to accommodate a “multi-use path.”

“This report/study was needed and will be an asset in applying for grants,” said Hegele, noting no action is needed by elected borough officials. “It will be discussed at our September committee meeting.”

The detailed DVRPC study offers many useful recommendations for the Hatboro station and should not be derailed.

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