The sidewalk patch in front of the home of Jay Conners was done by the Borough.
The sidewalk patch in front of the home of Jay Conners was done by the Borough.

Jenkintown Council membership has its benefits

For the past several months, pedestrians walking along the 300 block of Rodman Avenue might have noticed a half-block of sidewalk dug out and cordoned off by yellow tape. The photo above taken last Thursday shows it patched with asphalt, something not allowed by borough code.

The property abutting this sidewalk belongs to Jay Conners, Borough Council Member, Chairman of the Public Works Committee, local Democratic party chairman, and a Friend of Sean Kilkenny.

I wrote Jay asking him for an explanation, and he was kind enough to respond:

My water line broke and an emergency repair was done which involved breaking up my sidewalk.

The contractor didn’t finish the job of patching the sidewalk.

Someone complained to the boro that it was causing a safety hazard at which time the boro came out and patched the sidewalk which they do in all cases. At that time I told them that Joe Barricelli had been contracted to replace the sidewalk in the first or second week of June.

I hope this satisfies your curiosity.

I hope you have a nice holiday weekend.

One thing that Jay said is not true. Two years ago, I filed a complaint about this driveway apron. It is still not repaired.

Social Media Bully Rick Bunker's driveway apron.

It belongs to Council Vice President and social media bully Rick Bunker.

Two years ago about this time, I already had my first of two appearances at district court after receiving a citation from the borough for violating the sidewalk code. The judge pointed out that if we didn’t do the work, the borough could fine us $185 per day. We did do the work, but at the cost of about $3,000, or the equivalent of one brand-new, much needed furnace to replace the one installed during the Ford administration.

Initially, we resigned ourselves to having the Borough do the work in exchange for a lien on our house as it stated in its initial letter announcing the sidewalk inspections. At the court hearing, George Locke told Judge McHugh that Council had decided that they would no longer do that, although Council never took such a vote.

We were also told by Rick Bunker that municipalities do not perform sidewalk repair work for residents anywhere in Pennsylvania.

Anywhere but Jenkintown and only for sitting council members, apparently.

Examples of poor sidewalk construction on Greenwood Ave, Jenkintown

Poor construction on Jenkintown’s Greenwood Ave

We missed a few examples on Greenwood that show Jenkintown needs a more pedestrian-first policy.

And the point of this is? Yes, as we have already established, the Borough gives slate curbs a pass, but apparently the original developers of this street lined the entire road with slate. We still have a few quaint remnants of that construction, but a wholesale approach would have removed this once and for all, allowing for unified curbs designed to last at least a generation or more. This just looks sloppy.
Just six feet away, weeds have taken up residence in the cracks in that slate. More Jenkintown sloppiness. We deserve better.
It didn’t take long for that new sidewalk block to crack, and the patch has already crumbled away. Water will seep in, turn to ice, and destroy that block in short order. If the Borough itself contracted to do the entire street at the same time it paved it, everything you see here would look nice and clean, and last much, much longer.
Another shoddy, apathetic example of Jenkintown borough’s inspection process. Who cares if the sidewalks look like a stretch in North Philadelphia? The street is nice and smooth. Don’t blame the abutting property owner: They only need do what the Borough requires.


how walkable becomes laughable

How walkable becomes laughable

In what universe does this make sense (or pass code)? Welcome to Jenkintown.

We want to emphasize that we do not blame the homeowner. As one might expect, they will tend to do only what the borough requires on property the homeowner doesn’t own. This is the fault of the policy that eschews a wholesale, money-saving approach to pedestrian infrastructure. It is also the fault of our government that believes we don’t need to find a better way.

Jenkintown’s Sidewalk Follies: 2016 Edition

Can anyone explain this bit of sidewalk inspection boobery?

Jenkintown's sidewalk follies: Sidewalk Cracks on Rodman

To our friends and neighbors on Rodman, who just got hit with this  unjust form of infrastructure maintenance and automobile subsidy, we’re still here willing to fight with you to change this system of sidewalk maintenance. Reach out. Call us. Spread the word.

Results of Jenkintown’s Beautification, Part 4

Yesterday, I toured Greenwood Avenue, where a good part of the curbings appear to be made of granite, not slate. This interests me only because my hometown of Springfield, Massachusetts typically used granite curbs, which typically hold up better against the elements and snow plows. My mom’s neighborhood, built in 1971, and sees about the same amount of traffic as your average Jenkintown side street, has yet to repave the street or replace any of the curbs. No, she did not have sidewalks, but if she were still alive, she’s probably say “See? I told you so.” This, despite the fact that Springfield maintains its sidewalks. City ordinance only requires residents keep them clear.

The Verizon building near the train station does indeed cut a fine presence in our town, but it would appear that the Borough conveniently overlooked this patchwork. This meets code? [UPDATE: Soon after we published this photo, this section of sidewalk was fixed.]