A MELROSE PARK "WISH LIST"
GOALS WORTH DISCUSSING!
Last updated 2/14/03
A good place to begin reading this document is the Mission
Statement below. Note that this Wish List reflects ideas contributed by
various sources. Do you have other ideas for us? Then send them along! --
|| Melrose Park Neighbors
ADAPTIVE RE-USE OF OPEN SPACE
· Technical assistance to prepare us for the post-petroleum age
· Acquiring open space for a community garden
· Demonstration project of a nature walk through the wooded area
west of Melrose recreation area on Asbury
· Removal and control of invasive plant species
· Community gardens on Township property by Mill Run along Coventry
and New Second Street
ART and CULTURE
- · Have cultural and art attractions, with funded sculpture
competitions with Tyler, Arcadia and Temple
· Provide additional playground equipment for the park on
· Sponsor a contest for art students to imagine and draw
what Melrose Park could be in the post petroleum age
· Develop a plan to relocate the Barnes Foundation Museum to
the Widener Estate on AshbourneCreate or commission signs such as "Welcome
to Melrose Park," to be posted at principal gateway areas to our neighborhood.
These include: Old York Road and Valley Road, Cheltenham Avenue and Coventry,
Cheltenham and Mountain, Montgomery Avenue, near Myers Elementary School.
- Develop beautiful public art works for the neighborhood, such
as sculptures and tile works. An example: the beautiful tiled pillars at
Elkins Park Library.
- Arrange for a large mural to be painted on the large brick wall
at the Myers Elementary School playground. Idea: a scene of children playing,
flowers, and other upbeat themes.
- A foreign film festival in Melrose Park may be possible. This
would be at Gratz College, or at the Merlin Theater in Jenkintown. It would
be an extension of the Neighborhood Film Festival. EP neighbor Laura Fattal
has been working on this.
- Elevate the level and ambitions of the Town for plantings in public
spaces in our neighborhood, including maintenance of new floral beauty
- Build a picnic area between Coventry and Mill Run along a wooded
· Immediately add new greenery in front of the Save A Lot and
· New benches
· Plant hundreds of trees
· Clean rubbish from the curbs and around islands on Cheltenham
· Beautify Traffic islands on Cheltenham Avenue - These are
ugly and maintained by no governmental body. Bala Cynwyd and Philadelphia
have established a plan for taking responsibility for the appearance of
City Avenue - why not Cheltenham Avenue? Note that Mike Swavola has been
working to secure funding through an RFP available for this kind of work.
- Refurbish or replace existing signs announcing entry to Melrose Park
· Shielding the glaring exterior high pressure sodium lights on
· Plant decorative all-season entranceways for manor entrance
points to our neighborhood
· New Second at Coventry, Coventry at Granite, Triangle space at
Oak Lane Road and Valley and Cheltenham
· Replace concrete surfaces with planted soil of the center traffic
islands on Cheltenham Avenue from Washington
· Lane to Front Street islands in Abington on Old York Road near
· Do same to center traffic islands on Old York Road from Cheltenham
Avenue to Ashbourne Road.
Even though "Shoppers World" in Philadelphia at 5th near Cheltenham
is not part of Melrose Park, our residents use its stores. Yet this is
a run-down, trashy area with potholes and no amenities. Perhaps we could
work with Philly official or business groups to upgrade its appearance
- Purchase buildings along Cheltenham near Lord Cheltenham Tavern
- Establish a neighborhood coffeehouse with live music/performances;
a Melrose Park Hall for meetings and dances
- Pay for liability insurance and security to use Myers Elementary for
community groups evenings and weekends.
- Post Economic Development Task Force minutes on Cheltenham web site.
- Mike Svabola notes: "For example, if we had a stronger citizen
advocate on the Economic Development Task Force, the concerns of Cheltenham
Avenue could move farther forward in terms of relative importance to the
group overall. The President is Jim Butt, a Melrose Park resident. His
greatest concern is to maintain process and progress."
- Develop neighborhood input on types of businesses we'd like to see
in the neighborhood
- Establishing a business directory of Melrose Park businesses on our
- Develop Melrose Park train station into a lively place - perhaps a
deli or coffee shop.
- Click HERE to read a report on a 1998 meeting
of the Township's Economic Development Task Force meeting
- Have regular Town clean-ups of trash-littered areas
- Organize neighborhood clean-ups, possibly combined with plantings.
- Coordinate with teenage volunteers in an organization called STRIVE
to participate, especially if plantings are also involved.
- Encourage neighbors not to leave their trash cans on porches, which
- (These are internal goals for MPNA as an organization:)
- Right now, communications on Melrose Park developments are: the MPNA
web page, Township web page, hand-distribution of flyers, e-mailed Melrose
- We need to explore mailings, and whether lists are available, or mailings
on which we could piggyback to all neighbors.
- In some areas, neighbors are allowing their dogs to defecate on sidewalks,
on other neighbors' properties, etc. We need to find a way to approach
neighbors who are not bagging or otherwise collecting this waste, and convince
them to act more responsibly.
- On the Cheltenham or MPNA web site, post selected comparison test scores
from Cheltenham as compared with other school districts. Note that we have
2 pages of statistics from the PA System of School Assessment (PSSA) as
printed in the Inquirer, 1/24/99. These could be sifted and appropriate
- Mill Run (a creek that flows through Melrose Park)
· Install a floatables collection system, followed by a thorough
cleanup of trash from Mill Run
· Continued pressure on the Philadelphia Water Department to eliminate
toxins from the water
· Repair the eroded stream banks
· Find some way to allow fish to get over the concrete dams under
the bridges that cross Mill Run
- Assuring that the pollution is eliminated. We need regular reporting
on the testing done, and progress if any. Also, confirm a schedule of the
remaining work to be done. Money has been allocated for clean-up on the
Philadelphia side (See Andy Rudin's helpful background article on our web
- After the stream is no longer hazardous to humans, organize or get
the Township to fund a clean up of debris.
- Have plantings, and a nature walk alongside Mill Creek
- Fight Light pollution - Decrease light pollution in the neighborhood,
preventing people from seeing the stars. This can be achieved with shielded
bulbs and fixtures. Note that this will not decrease lighting available
at street level.
- Tookany Creek - Polluted near Ogontz Park, and no doubt elsewhere
as well. Acknowledge the problem; obtain funds to clean it up.
- Andy Rudin will be chair of the stream pollution subcommittee. A vision
(Andy Rudin's and others'): To see fish return to Mill Creek.
- Other environmental items.
- Research and publish the history of Melrose Park, and of Cheltenham
Township. Coordinate with Township. Publish on web and/or in print. Ask
Cheltenham high School teachers to suggest these types of projects to students
/ convert projects for posting on the Web.
- Research and publish a history of the Melrose Park Improvement Association.
- Sponsor a history project at the schools on these topics.
- Mike Svabola notes: "the Historical Commission, the Centennial
Committee -- these are all bodies that bring issues forward and advise
on decisions brought before the board." Worth coordinating with them.
- Click here to see selections from a map
of the area, plus some historical anecdotes by Gordon Elkins!
MPNA WEB PAGE WORK (intenrak goal)
- Establish a corps of people who will volunteer to keep our web page
up-to-date and helpful. Volunteers should contact Albert Fried-Cassorla.
Note that the following statement was adopted by 27 members attending
our meeting on August 4, 1999:
- Melrose Park Neighbors Association is an organization of neighbors
dedicated to creating a better life and environment for residents in this
area and the vicinity.
- We are dedicated to:
- Encouraging neighborliness and making it easier for neighbors to get
to know one another. The Annual Flea market provides one fine example.
- Improving the environment, including water, air and noise.
- Enhancing the beauty of the neighborhood, including floral beautification,
and artistic endeavors.
- Enhancing the presence of culture in our lives, in as many media and
avenues as possible.
- Encouraging ethnic, religious and cultural diversity in our neighborhood
- Eliminating or reducing traffic problems, such as dangerous intersections,
speeding, and more.
- Helping ensure that SEPTA becomes a better and more responsible neighbor
- Recording and spreading word of the history if our neighborhood and
- Encouraging the kind of economic development that we believe would
be beneficial to our neighborhood.
- Responding to the needs and wishes of neighbors as they arise.
MULTI-CULTURAL / MULTI-RELIGIOUS ACTIVITIES
- Try to encourage even more interactions among black, white, and Korean
- Invite more African Americans and Koreans to our meetings
- Involve the religious organizations in our organization and in Township
development and improvement
- Publish an article on the web on how to cook Korean food and how to
shop at a Korean grocery
- Provide an opportunity, as we do, for neighbors to get to know one
- Hold a snow sculpture contest to be held on snowy day like today up
in the field at Melrose Park (park)
- Provide information on how to form a block association or sponsor a
block party or town watch.
- Publicize the Flea Market, organized yearly by Lane Neubauer, the Posmontiers
and other neighbors.
- Sponsor a contest for art students to imagine and draw what Melrose
Park could be
- Research and publish relevant information about aspects of Melrose
Park life, such as comparative statistics on: health, education, income,
crime, and other subjects.
- Add statistics to the Township web site
- Current postal addressing software in use across the U.S. does not
recognize Melrose Park (or LaMott) as a valid entity. Let's see if we can
change this. The US Post Office says it is not responsible, but this may
not be true.
PLANTINGS and LANDSCAPING
- See Beautification, above
PROPERTIES NEEDING REPAIR
- There is a boarded up house at 7315 Chestnut, which is owned by an
out of state bank. There is no ordinance that says you cannot board up
a home. How about putting it up for sale? Mike Swavola to check up on it.
PUBLIC RELATIONS / POSITIVE ATTITUDE / HOME
- Home values relate to a positive perception of the neighborhood. Encourage
a positive approach in all we do, even if dealing with problems.
- Attract new residents, especially home buyers, to the neighborhood.
- See if the township (Nancy Gibson) issues news releases on positive
developments. Learn what are some recent examples, and where newspaper
publication or other media pickup occurred.
- Publish statistics on Township life on the Town web site.
« Add a sidewalk, curb and storm drain along Coventry
« Repair or replacement of existing damaged benches
« A van service for elderly and handicapped people
« Fund increased speeding patrols near 5th and Cheltenham to arrest
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
The issue is safety:
a) Fencing along the tracks between the pedestrian bridge and the stone
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
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
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,
The main issues here are commuter concerns:
a) Replacing the missing bench at the station. Requests to replace
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
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
OTHER SEPTA-RELATED GOALS
- Replace pedestrian bridge sides with a different material to discourage
or control graffitti and prevent articles from being pushed through and
onto the tracks
- Repaint the bridge
- Remove the old wooden fence on Mill Rd. side - COMPLETED!
- Clean up Mountain Ave. side of bridge - COMPLETED!
- Clean up roadside and land patch on the Mill Rd. side of bridge - COMPLETED!
- Plant the areas at the ends of the bridge, including trees to help
reduce noise, improve safety and looks - IN PROGRESS
- Construct a manmade and/or living fence along the tracks on Mill Road
between Stratford and Melrose to keep people from walking on the tracks.
- Replace fence on the outbound side of the station (part of station
in Philadelphia) to complement new constructed fence on inbound side.
- Clean out the garbage at the RR tracks. - IN PROGRESS (thanks SEPTA
- we notice it!)
- Investigate the impact of plans to increase speed of trains from Wayne
Junction to Glenside on the Melrose Park Community.
- Work with SEPTA to clean up trash at station and along tracks. - IN
Station and Corner at Mill and Valley
- Remove concrete at Mill and Valley Rds. - COMPLETED!
- Clean up trackside at Mill and Valley Rds. - COMPLETED!
- Plant the corner at Mill and Valley Rds., including trees to help reduce
noise, erosion, improve looks - IN PROGRESS, ground is cleared - we need
- Plant the station area and platforms to add color and decoration to
the station - IN PROGRESS
- Replace the missing benches at the station.
- Promote the station location and try to locate a commercial tenant
for the location.
- Rehab and re-open the station building on the outbound side.
- Work with SEPTA to improve/repave the station parking lot and clear
it better during bad weather.
- Promote the use of the train among neighbors.
- Monitor and report vandalism; work with SEPTA to keep the buildings
- Investigate ways to reduce station vandalism, auto theft, and station
safety to increase ridership.
- Look into reasons why some trains squeal so loudly as they brake at
- Re-build an inbound station (not just a shelter) that fits the character
and style of the neighborhood and contains rentable space· Technical
study to have R3 to West Trenton stop at Melrose Park with better connecting
service to Trenton
· Landscape of the Melrose Park Train Station -- $5,000 to implement
and $1,000 yearly maintenance for the landscaping already approved by both
SEPTA and the Township for plantings around the Melrose Park station.
· Plant the lower corner of the SEPTA lawn just west of the SEPTA
bridge over Valley
· Plant both ends of the SEPTA bridge near Mill, Montgomery, Surrey,
· Replacing the sides of that same bridge with another material
that is both safe and is easy to keep clean from graffitti
· Replacement of outside benches for seating
· Construct a fence between Mill and the SEPTA tracks, especially
on Mill Road between Stratford and Melrose
· Develop inbound Melrose Park train station into a lively, multi-function
place - perhaps with a deli or coffee shop.
· Hire consultant to develop a re-use plan for the building on outbound
Strong desire expressed for construction of a fence to keep people from
walking on the tracks of SEPTA - especially on Mill Road between Stratford
- SEPTA should clean the embankment along Mill Road and plant attractive
- Remove the felled tree rotting on the embankment on Mill.
- Fiberglass train bridge should be replaced by more attractive bridge.
- Clean out the garbage at the RR tracks.
- The gaps in the tracks cause noise and are a train wreck danger.
- Attract a café, restaurant or other shop to the train station
- Replace the southbound side shack with an attractive building
- Rehab the older building on the northbound side.
- Assist and publicize our current Town Watch organizations
- The Town has a Parking and Traffic Advisory Commission, with which
we should coordinate.
- Stop speeding on: Woodlawn Avenue, Mill Road, and Cheltenham Avenue
- Eliminate the 15-mph speed restriction at Gratz College on Old York
Road, where no students ever cross. (Needless restrictions decrease respect
for the necessary ones!)
- Change traffic flow to one-way on Moseley from Woodlawn to Mill, to
cut down on dangerous speeding.
- Change the direction of traffic on Crest.
- Additional 4-way stop signs were requested at Spring and Mill, union
and Mountain, Woodlawn and Windsor.
- Stop the speeding at Coventry in the morning.
- Traffic flow at Valley and Cheltenham should be reversed. Valley
and Crest is a major school bus stop.
- ACCOMPLISHMENT! NEIGHBOR
Cindy Taubman was successful in arranging for an additional one-way sign
to be installed at High School Road and Montgomery Avenue. The danger was
that cars were coming the wrong way on High School towards Montgomery --
they did not see the one sign that was there. She spoke to the Police Department's
Highway Safety sub-department to do this.
- ACCOMPLISHMENT! Hedges were
cut at a dangerous intersection of Mountain and Union, thanks to MPNA participation
and Commissioner Swavola's efforts.