Newtown, PA

Key Data Explored in Study

Gregory Vellner
Open space design plans studied.Unsplash

Part II: Uncovering the Borough

NEWTOWN BOROUGH, Pa. -- With a grand mission -- to advance public health and recreation, protect natural resources, and enhance the uniquely rich historical and aesthetic context of the community -- the Newtown Borough Open Space and Continuity Plan team eyed some key data.

The U.S. Census Bureau put the borough’s 2020 population at 2,268, while the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) predicted “robust population growth” between 2020 and 2040, with a 2045 population of 2,543.

“The Borough should ensure that its recreational facilities and programs adequately serve all of its residents in order to maintain public health and a high quality of life,” said the plan.

Before its next step -- to design enhanced open space assets -- the Plan team examined the borough’s five existing public parks and open spaces: Pickering Field, Brian S. Gregg Memorial Park, Linton Memorial Park, Newtown Common and Patriots Park. In addition to publicly-owned spaces, it identified community associations and institutional lands protected from development.

As a result of that examination, plans were designed for open space enhancement. Here’s a look at a few –

-- Sidewalk connections into downtown. Sidewalks on Greene Street, South State Street and Washington Avenue constitute downtown and “could be routed through the municipal parking lot, or would proceed along South State to Centre Avenue.”

-- Pedestrian accessibility. Considered a “fundamental open space need,” the existing pedestrian infrastructure is good overall in the borough, “but additional sidewalks are necessary to improve residents’ access to open space and other destinations.” It recommended some improvements: N. Lincoln-N. Elm Avenue connector (“A 680 foot walkway is proposed,” said the plan.), and Frost Lane (a 1,250 foot sidewalk is proposed along the north side of Frost, between N. Lincoln and Edgeboro Drive,” said the plan).

-- Bicycle accessibility. Dedicated bicycle routes are needed for access to parks and the proposed multi-use Newtown Creek North/South Projects and Newtown Rail Trail, according to the plan. “In order to facilitate the Bucks County Bicycle Plan and to promote the borough’s multi-modal accessibility” bike routes are necessary, it said. It said the borough should coordinate with Newtown Township and county officials to connect to regional destinations including Council Rock High School North, Tyler State Park, Bucks County Community College, Washington Crossing State Park and the Delaware & Lehigh Trail, by doing the following: connect points north of the borough on Lincoln Hill Road to Pickering Field, Lincoln Memorial Park and the proposed Newtown Rail Trail. Coordinated with Newtown Township to continue the bike route north along Linton Hill Road toward the proposed County bicycle route along Washington Crossing Road.

A number of individuals contributed to the completion of the update Newtown Borough Open Space and Connectivity Plan, from Borough Council and the mayor, to Environmental Advisory Council, Ad Hoc Working Group and Tackett Planning Inc. of Phoenixville, Pa.

(Next week: Part III, explores how to protect open space and what’s recommended for enhancement.)

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As a professional journalist for several years -- reporter, editor, feature writer, columnist -- I handled a range of subjects. Breaking news, investigative series, government action, feature events, and staff feature writer with national entertainment magazine interviewing stars including Tom Selleck, Mel Brooks and Danny DeVito. No matter the topic, certain ingredients are key: truth, facts, objectivity, balance.

Bucks County, PA

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