What is Going on In Ardmore? Other Than Lower Merion Can't Get Out of Their Own Way?
My sources tell me that North Ardmore Civic is dealing with some weighty issues? What is going on in Ardmore?
What is going on with the cram plan for Sibley Ave?
What is going on with the Dranoff Plan and is something like that seriously going forward when Ardmore isn't even getting a new train station? Still don't get how Lower Merion is giving away land do you?
And why is it that Paoli can get a shovel in the ground, Malvern can complete a station do-over complete with updated parking and handicap accessible ramps, Wayne can do the same and yet in Ardmore nada?
And what is the HUGE rumor of Suburban Square supersizing again? Is Lower Merion really going to roll over and allow development on the Ruby's lot? Please tell me this is just a rumor?
And many also wonder why Jim Gerlach doesn't just pull back the 6 million he got for Ardmore for a train station because it is a train station that is apparently related to pink elephants which only a few can see, right?
Well once again, Lower Merion Township could not get out of its own way to do something for merchants and shoppers in Ardmore could they? Why is it that Lower Merion Township can't fork over the money to pay for free parking in Ardmore this December? Why should the Ardmore Initiative or Ardmore Business Association pay for it all the time? After all that means the small merchants of Ardmore are paying for it all the time, doesn't it?
So when you wonder come Saturdays this month in December where a lot of the customer base is of a lot of your merchants are, you have to look no farther than Radnor Township. Or Chestnut Hill. Or Manayunk.
Lower Merion could have done this no problem for the merchants of Ardmore, but chose not to. After all, life is much more fun when you can skin a louse for its hide and just suck up to special interests and developers, right?
There you see, Radnor will have free parking in December on the Township basically all weekend long. Lower Merion on the other hand, will only have free parking that they make the AI and ABA pay for.
Explain to me again exactly what it is the township does for small businesses and their customers in Ardmore? Every time I am in Ardmore, all I see (for example) are township vehicles in metered parking spaces. I don't even see the township emptying the trash cans they are responsible for on a consistent basis in downtown Ardmore, and around the township building.
No municipality is perfect, but what I am realizing after moving out of the Magic Kingdom is that once you get past all the hype it seems other municipalities are actually finding a better balance when supporting their business districts.
Radnor has obviously seen the wisdom and giving just a little bit back for one shopping season.
As an ex-pat, I am finding excuses to find less and less time in the place I once called home, and the towns of Ardmore and Bryn Mawr. Why? Because quite simply put it is too much of a hassle from traffic to parking to poor road surfaces to trash on the street every time I drive in. Also quite frankly, given how dark the business districts are in the evening, on a regular basis you don't feel safe wandering around the streets.
I will note whenever it is First Friday, I still feel differently, because the town is alive with what First Friday brings to the community. But much like Clover Market, these are private citizen driven activities. Which receive little support from the Township except when it is convenient.
So you have the people working to try to better their communities and business districts, but you don't really feel the support of the township, only a hand out and a huge list of what you can't do. The Land of No.
My two favorite examples of the township almost being shortsighted to their detriment would be the Bryn Mawr Farmer's market and Clover Market. Remember all the back-and-forth to get those things in place? How they almost didn't happen? Add to those events First Friday, and these three things bring a lot of foot traffic to their respective communities.
Foot traffic translates into people checking out other businesses. But for all these every day people do to better their communities, without a true partnership with the Township people don't come back into the business districts. The foot traffic then become one offs. One offs don't sustain businesses.
And (again) of course it would be helpful if the township vehicles were not parked in public metered parking spaces too in Ardmore.
Just the two cents of an ex pat, but it is common sense that people will go elsewhere and shop where holiday parking is free.
Another observation is how down in the mouth Ardmore is looking. Seems to me having Lower Merion Government centered in Ardmore is as helpful as having the Montgomery County Seat in Norristown.
Can it be said Ardmore's problem IS Lower Merion Township? That and overwhelming community apathy because the more things change, the more things stay the same?
(Please note I do not have the energy to tackle all the other rumors I heard concerning Wynnewood and Bala Cynwyd, and can it be said the eastern part of Lower Merion starting with Ardmore is just screwed?)