It's not a commute, it's an adventure.
Home: Kenilworth, North Coventry Township.
Work: Mount Laurel, N.J.
To work: 1 1/2 hours.
Length: About 53 miles, depending on exact route.
East 724, east 23, east 76, Vine St. Expressway, Ben Franklin Bridge, Routes 30, 38.
(I gave up on 422, it's too stressful. 65 m.p.h. to 0, to 25, 0. The Trooper Road merge funnels the entire population of Montgomery County onto 422, or so it seems.) I have seen the River Crossing Project plan for improvement and I am waiting for that construction nightmare to begin.
To home: 2 hours.
I can handle Vine St. and the Expressway westbound because you expect that kind of traffic for the city. Rte. 23 west from the Valley Forge Park through Phoenixville is one solid line of cars.
The "alternates," such as Valley Park Road and Clothier Springs Road, have become just as congested. So I pick up 422 west at Valley Forge. Mind you, I have waited 20 minutes in a solid line of cars from the FedEx building on 23 in King Of Prussia. 422 congestion used to end at Trooper Road. Then, as the county became more developed, congestion ended at the Oaks exit, then Phoenixville, then Royersford, then Limerick. . . . You get the idea.
What are they doing to Limerick? It used to be a country drive. It's getting like King Of Prussia now.
I would gladly take a train to work.
I commute to Valley Forge daily, and half my commute is navigating local traffic on each end of the turnpike. Clearly the local roads were never meant to handle the volume, and the cost to widen on a scale necessary would be prohibitive. The solution is to turn two-way, single-lane roads into two-lane, one-way parkways. By managing a circular traffic flow, there would be no restrictions on the ability to get from point A to point B.
Without innovative solutions, we are going to be in this mess for years and pay a high price in gas and time sitting in traffic.
I have been concerned about the problem of teacher strikes ever since I returned to Pennsylvania after having taught in public schools for 35 years.
The last 22 of those years were spent in Connecticut, first under an "every teacher strike is illegal" law, and then under a new law calling for binding arbitration.
I urge the teachers and legislators of Pennsylvania to investigate this law. It made a terrific difference in the lives of students, parents and teachers in Connecticut. One of the best parts was the strict time line that had to be followed in negotiations. Everyone knew where they stood at all times.
Another excellent part was the three-member panel (not ONE judge!), one member chosen by the teachers, one by the school board and another agreed upon by both parties from a list of "neutral arbitrators."
The concept of "last best offer," meaning that the panel of arbitrators could not "average" offers, made sure that neither party came in with outrageous requests: i.e., teachers want 12 percent raises and board offers zero. One OR the other must be chosen.
Before the enactment of this law in Connecticut, teachers (as they do here, apparently) were teaching under contracts that had expired years before. Because I had the opportunity to serve on the teachers' bargaining committee for my school district, I saw firsthand how well the law worked and the difference in teacher morale and parent support that it engendered.
Carol M. Snyder