Statement Before the Board of the Glenn A. Walsh
Port Authority of
Enhanced Pedestrian Access to
2003 January 24 E-Mail: < email@example.com >
Web Site: < http://www.planetarium.cc >
Good morning. I am Glenn A. Walsh and I reside at 633 Royce
Transit, particularly the Light Rail Transit System. I do not own or
operate an automobile.
A year ago, I addressed the Port Authority Board’s Engineering
and Construction Committee regarding the need for enhanced
pedestrian access to the new
considering that a staircase and ramp for the disabled already existed to
implement this. At the conclusion of my statement, Port Authority Chief
Executive Officer Paul Skoutelas stated that the staff would consider my
comments and come back to the Committee with a recommendation.
This did not happen!
In July, I
attended a meeting at the
specifically so that I could explain my proposal to Henry Nutbrown. It
was my understanding that I would be notified when Mr. Nutbrown had
formulated a recommendation, as he had made no determination at that
time. I was never notified of any recommendation!
Planning Committee meeting of the
Transit Council, in November, I learned that a decision had been made
to implement the original staff proposal, and that this decision was
already being implemented. This week, Neal Holmes and Jason Finke
contacted me to apologize for any lack of communication.
However, I do feel that I was purposely not notified of this
decision by the staff. Apparently, the thought was that once the staff
recommendation was built, I could no longer argue for my proposal.
Well, I am here today to argue, again, for my proposal. The
implementation of the staff’s preferred alternative does not necessarily
preclude the implementation of my proposal. I am not asking for a
multi-million dollar project.
I am simply asking for the construction of a sidewalk, from the
site of the original
platform, which will allow renewed use of the original large staircase
and wheelchair ramp.
This sidewalk would run between the mainline busway and along
the western edge of a bus layover area. Hence, a barrier along this
section of sidewalk may be appropriate. But, I do want to point-out that
a pedestrian sidewalk did exist on the southeastern edge of this bus
layover area, for twenty years, with no barrier!
This additional sidewalk would provide easy and more direct
access between the newly relocated
Busway station and the
business district, without the necessity
of crossing busy
The staff alternative sidewalk is very round-about and far fewer people
will actually use it. Instead of being inconvenienced by walking further,
many people will simply run across
originating east and south of
Pennsylvania Railroad Station, my proposal provides a “straight shot,”
using the existing wheelchair ramp, to access the new Busway station
without crossing busy
direct route that many people will use this walkway and not even
And, this will allow wheelchair patrons, originating on the south
The Port Authority staff has argued that this sidewalk would be
dangerous, because it would require people to cross two driveways into
a bus layover area. Crossing these two bus driveways, which have
limited traffic, is much safer than
Further, if crossing these two bus driveways is deemed unsafe,
then, under the same rationale, you will need to eliminate all pedestrian
at-grade crossings of the mainline Busway, which are much more
One of the staff’s objections to my proposal was that openings in a
sidewalk barrier, at the two bus driveways, would allow pedestrians to
access the mainline busway, perhaps as a short-cut to the outbound
platform. I was told that a barrier along the staff’s preferred option
would prevent such short-cuts.
Well, now that the staff’s preferred alternative has been built, we
can see that this walkway is not as advertised! Halfway between the
original and new outbound platforms is an opening in the barrier, to
allow Norfolk-Southern access to railroad property.
In addition to safety, there is another reason to implement my
proposal: added convenience to the potential transit rider, which will
attract more people to Port Authority services.
present time, the
system, which include several dedicated pedestrian walkways and access
points. All other stations do not have as convenient access and are not as
attractive to potential riders. One way to attract new riders would be to
provide additional dedicated pedestrian walkways and access points to
every transit station. And, any new station constructed, such as for the
North Shore Connector, should definitely include additional dedicated
pedestrian walkways and access points.
My proposal provides an extremely inexpensive way to provide
additional pedestrian access to the
will actually use! Let me also note that on Wednesday evening, by a
supporting the construction of this sidewalk; you should receive a letter
So, I ask that the Board of Directors of the Port Authority of