A proposal to radically revamp the Baldwin Street corridor has raised many questions in the community.
The Bridgeville Planning Commission will discuss some of those issues with councilmembers at a public meeting at 7:30 p.m. at the borough building.
“We will be at their next meeting,” said borough council president Mike Tolmer.
In the end, borough council will have final say on whether the plan moves forward. The planning commission simply reviews potential changes in the borough and makes recommendations to council.
Initially conceived as a long-term revitalization effort, the $30 million dollar proposal planned often referred to as “The Baldwin Street Plan” took on additional importance last summer as a potential flood control roadmap.
Curiously, the Baldwin Street Plan appears to delete Baldwin Street, at least in the initial artist’s rendering.
In the version that the planning commission reviewed last fall:
- Baldwin Street would disappear and be replaced by a new Bower Hill Road that follows a similar route to the current Baldwin Street.
- McLaughlin Run Creek would be widened and deepened. Engineers would add new curves to the creek and it would be flanked by wide swaths of greenspace on both sides. The area that we now know as Bower Hill Road would become a creek bank.
- The land on the south side of Baldwin Street would become a new retail district with pedestrian trails, park space, and underground parking.
First, though, Bridgeville would have to acquire privately owned land in the area. The borough is currently seeking federal funds to buy residences from willing sellers in that flood plain.
Although the Baldwin Street Plan appears to have some support among councilmembers, Bridgeville officials have been circumspect about flat-out endorsing the idea wholesale.
Former mayor Pat DeBlasio Jr. last week encouraged council to work with the planning commission to find a way to make the concept a reality.
“The grand ideas about Baldwin Street are big both in money ways and big to our community,” he said. “I would hope that council would work with the planning commission to move forward with a solid plan.”