Melrose Park Improvement



Business in our neighborhood


Many great shops are in our neighborhood and nearby Elkins Park and Cheltenham. Our committee person in this area of work is Michael Shechtman, who may be reached at: 215-635-0577

Rather than try to summarize all or even some of our work in this area, we willl instead offer a report on a recent meeting on the subject organized by Cheltenham Township.

By the way, the photo at the right is not of a business, but it is a neighborhood scene, and it's pretty!


Report on the Commercial District Enhancement Plan (CDEP) meeting

held on Thursday 6/10/99 held at the Rowland Community Center

by Shelley Schwartz


The CDEP is a coordinatted effort between our commissioners, Joel Johnson our
Main Street Manager, and a hired consulting team consisting of 3 groups of
experts: the Carver van Dyke Asso. (land use and Design experts), Urban
Partners (economic development), and Gannett Flemming (transportation

The format of the meeting consisted of the community and the experts
elaborating on what they felt were the strengths of our current commercial
district, its' weaknesses, and feedback from the community which surrounds
this district (both area neighbors and merchants) as to what they wanted to
see in change.

The CDEP is divided into 4 areas. They will be dealt with individually with
an ultimate goal of coordinating efforts of all 4 areas. Our neighborhood
comercial area will be identified and enhanced. It consists of the distance
along Cheltenham Ave. from the Melrose Park Shopping Center to the Rail Road
Bridge at Coventry Ave.

I, along with other residents of Cheltenham encouraged the CDEP to extend
this area all the way to Cheltenham Ave. and Old York Rd. for continuity.
Areas within Melrose Park to also be addressed will include the Melrose Park
Train Station, the area along the R/R tracks on both sides, and finally thru
streets such as Coventry, New Second and Front St. were specifically
addressed with respect to speed control, beautification, and sign enhancement.

It is important to note that the development plan is a program which is paid
for by a grant from the state of Pa. Monies allotted from this plan can be
allocated to cover costs of signage, plantings, clean-up etc. (all things
which MPIA had discussed at earlier meetings of our group). The operative word
here is "can" not "will" as this is only in the preliminary stages. No promises
were made (of course...).

Citizen issues which were identified included:

Neighborhood aesthetics
Identifying our neighborhood as distinct from Philadelphia
Traffic control issues (especially during rush hour)
Uniqueness of road design as a challenge to traffic control
No permanent shopping center within the confines of our neighborhood for food
Retention of businesses within the confines of our neighborhood.
Attracting the kinds of businesses which will attract other businesses.
Neighborhood cleanliness
Neighborhood security
Curb and Sidewalk repairs in commercial district
Maintenance of cement islands


The CDEP was very impressed with our neighborhood association and our efforts
to address the (not so ironically) same issues as became evident at this
township meeting. Consequently many of these same issues could be addressed
and ultimately "paid for" in part by the township and the CDEP as part of the
revitalization program.

This was a very exciting meeting. I am very encouraged that the goals of our
MPIA will be realized with the support of the Township-wide revitalization
program. Thank you again Albert, for asking me to represent our group. It
was a wonderful experience.

Shelley Schwartz