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EAST GOSHEN — Paoli Pike in East Goshen Township may soon see pedestrians and bikers as part of its daily traffic.
The township is looking into the possibility of creating the Paoli Pike Trail, about 2.7 miles long, running from Airport Road in the west to Line Road in the east.
“We have undertaken, with McMahon Associates, a feasibility study to see if, in fact, a trail would be feasible along Paoli Pike,” said Marty Shane, chairman of East Goshen’s Board of Supervisors. “The reason for that is that trail is part of the county-wide trail component that they have in place and adopted. It’s up to the community if they want to get involved.”
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McMahon Transportation Engineers & Planners has been taking a look at Paoli Pike since April, judging if a trail is feasible.
Over the next few months, McMahon will create a conceptual plan and an implementation plan before creating a draft and final report at the end of 2015.
“We have been busy over the last two months gathering data and analyzing the existing conditions,” said Natasha Manbeck, project manager with McMahon.
There will be several opportunities for public comment on the trail.
During the month of September, after the conceptual plan is finished, there will be time for residents to comment and again during the draft and final report stages.
“The purpose of this trail is to provide a safe, convenient, continuous connection for people of all ages and all abilities to walk and bike between destinations on Paoli Pike,” Manbeck said. “In order for it to be considered multi-use and support both bicyclists and pedestrians, it needs to be at least 10-feet wide with 8 feet allowed in constrained areas.”
The trail itself will be paved with asphalt.
Also, separating the trail from the road will be a buffer with varying widths along the 2.7-mile stretch.
“It will help to make it more safe and comfortable,” Manbeck said.
At this moment in time, all that makes up the Paoli Pike Trail is a line on a map, distinguishing whether the trail will run on either the north or south side of the road.
The preliminary alignment currently has the trail running along the north side of Paoli Pike up until the east of Reservoir Road.
From there, the trail will cross Paoli Pike and run along the south side until the end at Line Road.
“We’re still evaluating alignment options between Reservoir and Boot roads,” Manbeck said.
As part of the crossing, the plan is to have a flashing signal to warn drivers of possible pedestrians and bicyclists.
With the Paoli Pike Trail, East Goshen could start a trend for its neighboring townships to join in on.
“If, in fact, our trail’s completed and the West Goshen one is completed, you’ll be able to get all the way into West Chester,” Shane said. “Then, from West Chester, you can get to Exton or Downingtown and some of the trails that go there. You can be trailed all over the place.”
If Willistown to the west joins the trail at Line Road, it can connect to the Patriot’s Path and the Chester Valley Trail.
“You can go an awful long way with this trail,” Shane said. “The reason we did it now was in order to try and get our plan done first, we wanted one of the first shots at funding some organizations do for trails.”
The trail was chosen to run along Paoli Pike because of the commercial developments along it and because it can run between larger communities.
“Today, Paoli Pike is generally one lane in each direction and there are limited bicycle and pedestrian facilities,” Manbeck said. “Paoli Pike, overall, is an important community arterial connecting West Chester and Paoli.”