Morning Headlines: NIMBY Drama Stirs Up Between Residents and Swarthmore College

Construction on a controversial roundabout is starting this week.

Photo credit: Fritz Ward via Flickr.

Photo credit: Fritz Ward via Flickr.

Three things are set to happen once construction ends on the new development Swarthmore College has commissioned: First, more books will be available; second, the borough will get its first liquor license; third, Route 320 (Chester Road) will see a shift in traffic flow. Two of these are unwelcome changes for some Swarthmore residents.

As the Inquirer’s Laura McCrystal reports, an inn, bookstore, and roundabout are going to to be constructed in the area, the latter development starting this week. Hopes for the roundabout, which is planned for the intersection of Chester Road and Rutgers Avenue, include it “improv[ing] a dangerous intersection and connect[ing] the college to its community.”

However, opponents of the roundabout see it a different way:

Jacki Miller, a Swarthmore resident leading the effort, said she worried that the roundabout would cause “inevitable queuing during rush hour.”

The intersection at Chester Road near the borough’s SEPTA station is already busy, and drivers use Route 320 as an alternate route when I-476 is congested.

As such, residents not in favor of the new intersection–including attorney Stuart Bowie–say they will file an appeal in court. Bowie for his part says he plans to request a formal public hearing from the Commonwealth Court in Harrisburg.

The roundabout is expected to reach completion in about six months.

The planned inn, meanwhile, will have a restaurant with a liquor license. This resulted in a “lawsuit from concerned residents, though a Delaware County judge this year upheld the exception to the borough’s dry status.”

The inn is set for a 2016 opening.

Controversial Swarthmore construction begins [Inquirer]

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