Decision Maker Response

Timothy Patrick Briggs’s response

Timothy Patrick Briggs
State Representative

Jan 28, 2016 — Thank you for your petition regarding the proposed SEPTA High Speed Line Extension into King of Prussia. Many of those commenting are constituents of mine, and I always appreciate and believe it is very important to hear the views of local residents on their concerns.

As you are aware, Upper Merion over many years has become an economic engine of Southeastern Pennsylvania. This growth has brought many challenges related to traffic and congestion, and will only become a more significant problem for our area as we continue to move forward. I support many studies to explore potential solutions to these challenges, like PennDOT’s recent decision to explore the feasibility of utilizing the shoulders of the Schuylkill Expressway during morning and afternoon rush hours as well as funding studies, improvements and the eventual expansion of Route 422.

I take my position seriously and obtaining accurate information is an important component to making any decision. However, with everything in life it is also necessary to be able to find a balance. A balance between protecting our great neighborhoods and community and allowing Upper Merion to move forward by supporting our commercial and retail assets in order for them to thrive in the future.

This is the approach I have taken in regards to exploring the possibility of extending a rail line through King of Prussia. SEPTA is currently in the process of studying various routes that an extension of the high speed line could make and will determine one that will be called the Locally Preferred Alternative (“LPA”).

It is important to note that this project is still in the very early stages of consideration, and I have attended many public meetings that were open to our community. My understanding of the process is that once SEPTA recommends an LPA the next step would be the adoption of the LPA by the Upper Merion Board of Supervisors and County Commissioners. For the extension to be pursued further, there must be agreement between SEPTA, county, and local officials regarding the proper route, as well as obtaining significant funding from the federal government and other sources.

Although I do not have ANY vote regarding these next steps, I will only support this project if it finds the right balance. Many of the aspects that are currently being considered are not what I had in mind when this was initially being discussed. It is also essential that the concerns of UM residents be taken into account throughout this process. I will continue to listen to my constituents, and I encourage you to attend upcoming SEPTA community meetings as well as contacting SEPTA, the Township Supervisors, and County Commissioners to let them know about any specific concerns you might have. Below is their contact information:

Montgomery County Commissioners
• Josh Shapiro (Chairman) – josh@montcopa.org
• Val Arkoosh (Vice-Chair) – val@montcopa.org
• Joe Gale (Commissioner) – joe@montcopa.org

Upper Merion Board of Supervisors - Contact Page
• William Jenaway (Chairperson)
• Greg Waks (Vice-Chair)
• Erika Spott
• Carole Kenney
• Greg Philips

SEPTA Comment Form - http://kingofprussiarail.com/comment.html

Thank you again for contacting me regarding this important issue.

Tim Briggs