PlanPhilly

Villanova is going dancing… on a new pedestrian bridge over US 30

No matter what happens in tonight’s Sweet 16 matchup against Miami, Villanovans have cause to celebrate: the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) approved $4.5 million in state funding for a long-sought pedestrian bridge over Lancaster Avenue in front of St. Thomas of Villanova Church.

The DVRPC board authorized adding $3 million in fiscal year 2016 and $1.5 million in fiscal year 2017 to fund construction of the bridge, which will help link Villanova University’s main campus to the Villanova stop on SEPTA’s Norristown High Speed Line and the Augustinian school’s south campus. Currently, thousands of students must wait for a traffic signal to cross busy US 30.  When Villanova is in session, rush hour traffic along the route can occasionally back up over a quarter mile to Spring Mill Road.

The pedestrian bridge will be wheelchair accessible and will also help serve six new buildings that the University plans to build where a surface parking lot stands today. Villanova plans on building new dormitories, a parking garage, and a performing arts space, along with some student-centric retail and dining options.The building proposals have been part of a protracted conflict between the University and the surrounding eponymous community, which has largely fought the school every step of the planning process.

Even if the Wildcats disappoint yet again in the big dance, Villanova students, staff, and faculty can relish this small victory, and perhaps sing a variant of their fight song:

V’s for Villanova!

V’s for victory!

B’s for Bridge and W’s for Wheelchair accessible

And for the Bridge and Wheelchairs, we’ve fought, fought, fought….

    • Rendering of Villanova's proposed development south of Lancaster Avenue
      Rendering of Villanova's proposed development south of Lancaster Avenue
    • Rendering of proposed new performing arts center at Villanova
      Rendering of proposed new performing arts center at Villanova
    • Rendering of the proposed pedestrian bridge over Lancaster Avenue
      Rendering of the proposed pedestrian bridge over Lancaster Avenue
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About the author

Jim Saksa, Reporter

Jim Saksa is PlanPhilly's transportation reporter, which means he focuses on how Philly bikes, walks, drives, rolls, and rides around the region. 

Jim lives in Point Breeze and has also written for Slate, Philadelphia City Paper, and Technical.ly Philly. He tweets @Saksappeal and you can reach him at jsaksa@whyy.org.



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