Melrose Park Neighbors



SEPTA -- Making transit easier for Melrose Park neighbors

This page last updated 12-20-03

On this page or connected:




Goals and contact info

Other SEPTA Goals


A planting at Melrose Park Station, 2000. Shown are Bill Donnelly (left), Chris Kumar, and Lisa Donnelly.

Background: The SEPTA Station in Melrose Park is an important neighborhood resrouce. Besides taking commuters to Center City in about 15 minutes, the station can also carry you directly to Philadelphia International Airport and from there to anywhere in the world - conveniently!

At one point, the station was almost abolished. Neighbors protesting the planned abolition succeeded in saving the station in the mid 1990s. A fire in the mid-1990's led to the replacement of the destroyed southbound station with the tailer now in place. Bill Donnelly is our SEPTA chairperson on our MPNA Board. Contact Bill to help out with many of our goals.You may reach him at 215.635.1170.

 ACHIEVEMENTS! The following are some objectives we have been able to achieve thus far:

    • ACHIEVEMENT! 2000 - Got Town to remove the felled tree rotting on the embankment on Mill.



    • ACHIEVEMENT! 2000 - Arranged for installation of a pay phone on the Southbound side. This was thanks to the work of Board member Helaine Zlotnick.
    • ACHIEVEMENT! 2000 - Arranged for the soutbound waiting room to be heated. A heater had been turned off, due to overheating of the ticket salesperson. Neighbor, energy expert and Board member Andy Rudin arranged for use a of a baffle to keep commuters warm and the salesperson comfortable.
Maureen Hicks is a neighbor who initiated complaints about SEPTA. These led to a $100,000 study by the Town, which in turn led to millions of dollars in repairs and improvements. Bill Donnelly is our SEPTA subcommittee chairperson. He has been relentless in contacting SEPTA and insisting that they not forget about needed repairs. His committee is very active. Come help out!


The following are goals set forth by Bill and other members of our SEPTA committee:

Melrose Park SEPTA GOALS:

1) Improving the Pedestrian Bridge at Mill Road near Myers Elementary School - Responsibility: Maureen Hicks (Doug Tedeschi)

The two issues here are:

a) Getting the bridge repainted (preferably a dark green) - the bridge is rusting and some paint would help. Additionally, SEPTA is repainting bridges between Center City and Fern Rock currently, perhaps we can be added to this effort since we are just one station out from Fern Rock.

b) Replacing the sides of the bridge with another material that is both safe, paintable,and does not look so bad as graffitti gets removed. Currently, when the fiberglass sides of the bridge get graffitti, the paint-over on top of the graffitti makes the sides get progressively worse looking. SEPTA has told us this siding must be impermeable because of safety risks to trains and to the high voltage wires that run under the bridge. This means even a screen with holes small enough that a wire can go through to the train lines is no go for safety reasons.

2) Installing Fencing along the Track bed
See SEPTA Fence Petition Version B

The issue is safety:

a) Fencing along the tracks between the pedestrian bridge and the stone wall
along Mill Rd. would deter children from going onto the tracks. Given the
closeness of the elementary school and the number of children who walk home,
this is a big safety concern. SEPTA removed the old, wooden fence at our
request last year, but we are only halfway there. Now we would like to put
up new fencing.

b) In addition to the fencing, we are working longer term with the
beautification committee to plant the area with plants (holly, firs, roses)
that will also deter people from going onto the tracks.

3) Commuter/Community Concerns - Philip Kates, Doug Tedeschi, Bill Donnelly

The main issues here are commuter concerns:

a) Replacing the missing bench at the station. Requests to replace the bench
have gone in to SEPTA and have been lost in a reorganization.

b) Get a status on the planned shelter to be constructed at the station. We heard plans over a year ago that a new shelter would be constructed at the station. SEPTA had shown the plans to the township, but we have not gotten any updates since then.

c) Train brakes squealing: Some trains seem to squeal very loudly as they come into the station. We have heard that the brake shoes are being switched out and over the last year it has gotten better. We are going to track the trains which seem to squeal most and see if a pattern exists.

4) Longer term: New Station. we will start to push for a new train station to be built in Melrose Park and for the parking lot to be repaved.

Please let the group know if you have made any progress, have insights, or need additional help. Contact numbers are below:

Bill Donnelly: 215.635.1170
Philip and Pamela Kates: 215.635.1191
Doug Tedeschi: 215.782.3361
Maureen Hicks: 215.635.3044
Mike Shechtman: 215.635.0577




Station and Corner at Mill and Valley


How MPNA helped win a new $2.5 million station for Melrose Park

Bill Donnelly, MPNA SEPTA chairperson reported: "Jeff Kneuppel of SEPTA said to me:

'When I came to the neighborhood to meet here (an MPNA meeting at the Steigerwalds, perhaps in 2000, I went back to SEPTA and said 'This group in Melrose Park is so committed and enthusiastic. They are not going to settle for just a tiny shelter for a replacement station (10 years after the fire burned the original). They will not be satisfied by it.' So as a result of your group's work, I argued strenuously for an entire new station, and I got it. This new station is at least twice as big at least as it would have otherwise have been.'"