Committee tours, discusses pedestrian safety options in Delco

Local leaders, SEPTA, bicycle coalition discuss improvements, options

MEDIA, Oct. 24 – Safer Main Streets save lives and grow our economy, and the House Majority Policy Committee heard about the need for more state investment during their tour and discussion Tuesday with local leaders in Delaware County.

The benefits for creating safer Main Streets include healthier recreational options, economic development, more transportation choices and – ultimately – lessening the financial burden on taxpayers. The House Majority Policy Committee toured and rode the SEPTA trolley in Media to talk with local leaders Tuesday about potential improvements in Delaware County and across the state.

“Communities thrive when pedestrian safety improves,” said state Rep. Jennifer O’Mara, who hosted the policy event and represents Media and surrounding municipalities in Delaware County. “When we have safe streets, we increase the number of environmentally friendly transportation options. If people can walk with their children down Main Street or in the neighborhood, they can drop into stores and parks they might have missed if they had been in their car – and we reduce the number of cars on clogged roadways. Pedestrian safety is a win for everyone.”

The committee took a firsthand look around Media, riding the trolley and talking with Media borough councilmembers Paul Robinson, Elizabeth Romaine and Kevin Boyer. Officials from the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, including its trolley modernization team, as well as advocates from the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia joined committee members to discuss pedestrian safety issues and options.

“More than 100,000 pedestrians and bicyclists are injured in U.S. roadway crashes annually,” Policy Committee Chairman Ryan Bizzarro said. “We need to do a better job of protecting children, families, walkers, runners and cyclists. Improving the safety of walking Main Streets also makes sense from an economic standpoint, since businesses thrive in pedestrian-oriented streets. The cost of keeping walkways paved and safe pales in comparison to the constant paving and upkeep needed for streets with heavy automobile use, and it’s why streets designed for pedestrians offer a higher return on public investment than vehicle-oriented streets.”

O’Mara, who serves as the House Majority Southeast Delegation chair, will continue to work on the issue of pedestrian safety at the local and state level. She serves on the House Transportation Committee and her staff is represented on the Springfield Township Pedestrian Safety Committee, which explores education, prevention and grant opportunities to increase walker, runner and bicyclist safety in Springfield. Some of the recent grants awarded in her district include traffic signal upgrades and walking trails at parks.

Information about this hearing and other House Majority Policy Committee hearings can be found at Photos to be used for publication can be found at