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Innovation & Growth Initiative: Montgomery County Benchmark
Learn about Abington's Next Century. To access a white paper that compares Abington to the rest of Montgomery County, click here >
Candidate for Commissioner - Abington Township Ward 7
Download a PDF with responses by Democratic candidate Madeleine Dean and Republican Matthew Willis. RMCA is pleased to present responses from this candidate running for Commissioner. These are the opinions of the candidate and RMCA is not responsible for the accuracy of the statements or typographic errors.
RMCA: Abington’s Comprehensive Plan appears to represent a major redevelopment and revitalization effort. Consistent with that plan, the Fairway Transit District (FTD) was adopted. These plans are intended to impact the quality of life and tax base in Abington. If elected, how would you spend the next four years implementing or changing these plans? Please name three concrete steps you would take.
Madeleine Dean: As you can see from my campaign and biographical information, I am running for township commissioner for some very specific and concrete reasons: I want to make Abington an even better place to live with safer, slower streets and smart, controlled, thriving economic development.
Abington’s Comprehensive Plan speaks to some of these values and ideals, in that it articulates important goals such as the preservation of parks and natural resources, a commitment to offering diverse and valuable services, building a greater sense of community, and looking at business and economic growth with an eye toward building community, controlling zoning while increasing the tax base.
But using that Plan, we must do more.
We should focus on developing safer, slower streets -- not faster, greater traffic. In any redevelopment or rebuilding of infrastructure in Abington, we should require smart, traffic-calming devices, such as wider sidewalks, textured crosswalks, parking bump-outs, and dedicated turning lanes. Smart communities use these and other techniques to make streets safer and, thus, enhance the quality of life and value for the community.
In response to FTD Ordinance, in January 2011, the Board of Commissioners passed the FTD Ordinance for Baederwood shopping center. When and if the owner of that property comes forward with a plan for re-development, the Board of Commissioners must use their authority – in the best interests of the greater community – to control development and require smart, aesthetically pleasing development. Specifically, I would work to limit density, control traffic, encourage a more diverse business base of stores and services, and make green as much of the development as we can.
My goal is to make Abington a more walk-able, family friendly township. Smart, controlled development can do just that.
RMCA: Abington sponsored a traffic study in 2007 and identified nine failing intersections in the Township. The Comprehensive Plan calls for educational efforts and an increased use of public transit to impact traffic levels. How would you spend the next four years to improve infrastructure, traffic lights, street signs and crosswalks to reduce congestion, auto collisions and deaths? Please be specific about your priorities.
Madeleine Dean: My greatest priority is safer, slower streets.
And as I knock on doors all around Ward 7, the most common issue among residents is traffic and the safety of our streets. Through uncontrolled growth, we have fallen prey to faster and faster traffic. Maybe no other ward knows the seriousness of this problem like our Ward 7, with Old York Road its speeding cars, trucks, buses hazardously slicing our ward in half.
As you can see from my answer above, as well as my campaign materials, I will work tirelessly to change that and to make Abington a more livable place to live, walk, bike, and work. That is at the heart of why I am running for office.
RMCA: A large number of residents have expressed dissatisfaction with 48 foot long billboards potentially being built in the midst of our community. In response, Abington Commissioners have entered into litigation with the sign company to stop or slow them down. How would you modify existing ordinances or craft future ordinances to avoid getting into similar situations with outside entities? Do you believe that we need to review all of our ordinances to ensure that they comply with current Commonwealth law?
Madeleine Dean: I am confident that my background as a lawyer and student of the law puts me in a unique position to review and analyze existing and future ordinances. The issue of the proposed billboards is an example of some things we must do better in local government: our township could and should have anticipated the dramatic and offensive billboard proposal. We needed only to look to Ardmore and other nearby communities that have been in this fight for years. Abington’s elected officials must work in a far more consistent, assured and reasonable way to legally oppose the
As a lawyer, and a resident, I will be a consistent, strong voice against billboards and any other proposed change that harms our quality of life.
Finally, as you can see from the name of my campaign website – Abington2020.com – my goal is to be a part of clear-eyed, future-thinking and government; government that looks not only at today, or reacts to yesterday, but good government that thinks and acts in terms of today, tomorrow, as well as the next 10 years and beyond.
Candidate for Ward 7 Commissioner
Download a letter from Madeleine Dean to RMCA members.
0 comments by Members are their personal opinions (see RMCA policies)