SEPTA and JOSS Realty held an open house at the Jenkintown-Wyncote Station yesterday to formally unveil its plans for the area. A flyer distributed by SEPTA already hinted at the new building proposed for the corner of Township Line Road and Greenwood Avenue on the Cheltenham side. The Open House also took the wraps off the new parking garage.
Plans for the new parking structure place it behind the new office and retail building on the Pitcairn property on the northeast side of the tracks rather in the SEPTAs current lot. A SEPTA official told GlensideLocal that it will continue to charge only one dollar per day. “We provide parking as a convenience to our riders,” he said. SEPTA will lease the garage from JOSS. Terms were not disclosed.
While SEPTA provided no definitive plans for the current station, the proposed garage will free up more spaces for whatever leases the space in historic building.
Some of the residents continued to express some exasperation with SEPTA over the garage proposal, claiming that added parking capacity will do nothing to ease the traffic and congestion in the neighborhoods surrounding the station.
Indeed, a rebuttal to the study that served as a foundation for SEPTA’s plans makes the case that increased parking fees would actually increase ridership while bolstering ridership as it eases its perennial fiscal crisis. You may read this rebuttal here.
Last April, SEPTA nearly lost a major source of funding. The transit agency receives $450 million from the Pennsylvania Turnpike as part of a 2007 law that uses tolls to support transit projects. The judge in that case dismissed the lawsuit, claiming that it did not hinder interstate commerce. The diversion, however, has brought a financial crisis of another sort to the Turnpike, which has been unable to make payments on its $6 billion debt load.