Sunday, December 29, 2013

Media in Two Minutes - Go Eagles

Hopefully you're in Dallas reading today's post while getting ready for the big Eagles game later this evening.  I was hoping to be on my way to Dallas this morning while writing this post and doing the same thing. Not to be, so here we are with another round of Media in Two Minutes.

Ok, Let's Go

ATM Spotlight: Fresh Bread at 320 Cafe
I've taken a liking recently to the bread selection, especially the French Baguettes, at 320 Market Cafe on State Street.  The bread is fresh and goes quite well with the traditional soup season that now falls upon us in the winter months.  Check it out if you haven't been there.

A Kind Gesture on Christmas Day
On Christmas Day at 1:45pm I saw a woman walking around N. Olive and 5th Streets placing Post-It notes on cars.  I initially thought something may have happened like a robbery or accident that she wanted to people to know about, but turns out she was just leaving kind notes.  One read, "A balloon makes someone happy." Maybe you got one.

Trouble on State Street?
I really hope this isn't true, but I'm hearing there is some kind of disagreement going on between the retail businesses and restaurants on State Street.  Interesting, because I attended a MBA (Media Business Authority) meeting a few months ago and asked why did ~25 retail business owners sign a petition to have the MBA financial records released for public review.  After the board took turns telling me how insulted they were for me bringing up the topic, they then told me the financial reports were on the website in plain view.  Before I went to that meeting, I searched their website 3 times and didn't find the reports.......I still can't.  If you find them, please post.

It looks like a committee will be setup to review the marketing issues between retail businesses and the restaurants.  Isn't that what the MBA is suppose to do in the first place?  If they represent all businesses in Media, shouldn't they have addressed this months ago? 

It's Expensive to Park on Media Streets
Collision on N. Orange
There was a heavily damage car I saw this week parked on N. Orange that I suspect was from some kind of accident.  I'm not sure if it was from a drunk driver or someone not paying attention, but the damage was visible and the car appeared to be pushed up on the curb.  A similar situation happened to my truck a few months ago were it was parked and hit by a drunk driver on 4th street in the early evening on a Sunday.  I'd be interested to know what the breakdown of monthly car accidents in the borough is.  Other than Baltimore Ave and Providence Road, I've have to guess Orange Street is the most used road to get into and out of Media.  If nothing more, another reason why Third Street should be opened.

NYE in Media - How I'd do it.
I'm a low-key kind of guy which means I'm naturally not into the rowdiness of  the New Year's Eve celebration.  One year, I was among the crowds to see the ball drop on State Street.  It's fun, and if you're into that scene, then check it out.  Be prepared to potentially get doused by sparkling wine, as I wasn't and I did.
Choice Place for NYE in Media


If you want something more subtle, here's what I recommend if still available:  The best place to go on NYE in Media is La Bella Epoque on the corner of Olive and State.  They have great food, atmosphere and the best wine/champagne selection around.  To make this work, you have to get seats at the bar and reserve the two high-tops by the window by State St. if you can.  The layout is nice, you don't feel cramped and the noise level to socialize and entertain is well within acceptable levels. 

Send in the Drones
It is a mere matter of time before someone flies a drone down State Street to film Media.  The learning curve to fly one of these things is almost non-existent now that they come with autonomous flight guided by GPS.  I was surprised to see how big a market there is for this stuff, as a full setup costs just a few hundred dollars.  I don't believe you can fly them over public property, but it seems the technology has far outpaced local ordinances.

Media Sued, Again!
How Things Get Done with Media Boro. Council
Last week I mentioned a matter that I held off on sharing with readers, but today I'll reveal.  The Friday before Christmas, MRE filed papers with the courthouse to take Media Borough to court over the requirements they had for the proposed Wawa project.  Apparently, after two years, Media Borough Council wasn't prepared to negotiate the segment of land Media owns that is crucial for the project.  Media borough council didn't have a real estate consultant until two days before the 30 day deadline MRE needed to decide by.   The second issue, involves the $290k Media wants from MRE/Wawa to alter the traffic pattern on Providence road.  It's not clear if Media has the authority to make such a demand.  Lastly, I'm not a traffic engineer, but how did the one Media Borough hire not even visit the intersection in question before making a recommendation on how the traffic should be handled?

Now Mayor Bob McMahon and Media Borough Council have us in two lawsuits over two vital issues for the borough.  Is this now how things get done in Media by suing the borough?  Is there anyone out there that believes this mayor and council can get anything done?


27 comments:

  1. Asking a builder for money for an infrastructure improvement directly necessitated by a building project is not out of line at all. When my employer opened a 2nd campus that was going to add a significant number of car trips per day to the local roadways, the local township required my employer to pay the money for utility work, signage, and the construction of a re-routed local road next to the campus and feeding onto the main road. There is nothing out of line with asking Wawa (or the builder) to pay for the necessary infrastructure so the roads can support their project.

    I'm quite sure the public would support having the builder pay this rather than the borough.

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    1. I think it's fair to ask a developer to perform upgrades to prevent new problems from forming.This intersection is already a problem. I don't think it's fair to say no one may develop in the area unless they pay to fix the intersection first.

      Also the developer had an expert say their design would address new issues. So was there a professional study with contradictory result, or just some dude saying "I don't like your results and therefore reject you"

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    2. Lawsuits are just part of doing business. Tedman has a flair for blowing somewhat normal activities way out of proportion. Like he wouldn't do the same thing.

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    3. The State of Pennsylvania also has standards for new developments, so that the roads are adequate for the development. MRE suing the Media Borough. Ridiculous.

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    4. Or, it can sit as a vacant grass field for another decade. No biggie.

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    5. Well, Anon 2:23 PM, I'd take a vacant lot that folks could spruce up with some tree plantings via guerilla gardening over turning 252 into a parking lot and the Borough's side streets into drag racing strips because Wawa won't support the needed roadway improvements necessary for a smooth integration of their business into the existing infrastructure.

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    6. MediaMike .... asking a builder for money......is not out of line huh? Then how about asking the builder for say a car or money for a club membership or money for a vacation. This reeks of PAY TO PLAY politics but one guesses that is what this council is used to. See Friends of Glenn providence Park's website for example. Shameful what a few yahoo's have done to this town.

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    7. @anon 12:11 PM: Asking a builder for money for an infrastructure improvement directly related to the building project in not "pay to play" or anything close to it. Your attempt to equate a vital road improvement directly necessitated by a building project to a bribe is rhetorically incorrect.

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    8. I'll try this again, just in case it was my mistake the post didn't get through the first time. I'd hate to think that many fact-based posts are being moderated into oblivion.

      Of course, Media isn't being sued. This is a planning appeal. You can view the court document here: http://tinyurl.com/mkysrrn

      As you can see, Media is basically telling Wawa "If we need road improvements, you must do them yourselves or reimburse us for doing them." Wawa thinks that Media can't say that.

      Given that Wawa doesn't want to make any road improvements, Media Borough has a choice:
      a) Approve the Wawa with no road improvements;
      b) Approve the Wawa and have taxpayers pay for the improvements;
      c) Reject the Wawa.

      Oh, I thought of another one since yesterday
      d) Rent/sell the borough-owned-street for more than the cost of the road improvements

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    9. Float a bond!

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  2. My wife's car was hit by a drunk driver on mischief night a few years back. We live on North Monroe. Thankfully the foolish driver's car was too badly damaged to get away (even though he did try). I guess it is just part of the big city living experience.

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  3. Shocking, Tedman. Word is going around that Media Borough (the taxpayers) is a gold mine for lawyers on the make. The sharks smell blood in the water.

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  4. What's President Hall's excuse this time? The weather? He's already used the calendar. Step down, fool!

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  5. Sounds like Council is taking a methodical approach which is fully explained at each public meeting. Perhaps if you attended, Tedman, you could report facts rather than speculate and raise false alarms.

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  6. No sane person would approve a 16 gas pump/ Wawa at that site. MRE has the right to develop their land, but NOT THE RIGHT TO OVERDEVELOP IT.

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    1. Same thing was probably said about the house you live in, the market you visit and the bldg you go to work in. There are 8 pumps already there. Not to mention the 6 or so pumps that occupied what is now Starbucks and the gold store.

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    2. Get your numbers right, 8:53 AM. 8 + 6= 14. Not 16.

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  7. Wawa's traffic consultant said Wawa/Gas would not draw additional traffic to intersection or add to congestion. This must be in some alternative universe of marketing and physics. Somebody needs be asked what will happen when hundreds of cars take every numbered street through Media to avoid the intersection. Borough Council has been correct in their step by step approach.

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  8. And what are your qualifications to make your statement. A "traffic consultant" is a trained professional whose reputation and hope of future employment is on the line if he's caught BSing. REAL research can often defy intuition, so "I reject your reality and substitute my own," is a fools argument. What specific data points can you contradict? do you have data that invalidates specific assumptions, or are you just calling him a marketing tool because he supports a project you don't want in your back yard?

    Have you ever avoided a place you really like because traffic and/or parking sucks? There was a recent article about the worst Wawa's in Philly that was all about traffic patterns and parking. Developers know it's not in their best interest to create traffic snarls that annoy locals and keep away. Wawa doesn't WANT to create problems any more than you want them too. the question is, is it fair for ask them to foot the full bill for an improvement that Media should have already been working?

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    1. @Anon 9:59 AM:

      Is there any chance that traffic consultant retained by the builder or Wawa is feeling pressure to return a report favorable to their client? Is it possible that consulting firm builds their professional reputation on producing reports that are favorable to the wishes of their clients? There are entire industries of folks who only exist to create business favorable reports and studies passed off as legitimate when they're not. One simply needs to look at the "science" funded by the oil industry and Koch brothers that seeks to undermine legitimate climate change science done by legitimate scientists. It seems very convenient to Wawa, the builder, and MRE that they're producing a traffic study to avid having to foot the bill for a necessary roadway improvement that is necessitated by their building of this new Wawa.

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    2. Theeeere you go again, Media Mike. It always comes back to the lying liars and the lies they tell. Get a grip on Conservative Fantasy, man! You know that's what makes the world go 'round!!

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    3. Koch Brothers ? MediaMike, seek help, you're losing it... Again. Also, seek better Democratic talking points, son.

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  9. Tedman and others misinformed, I wish you would watch the videos of council meetings. Your misinformation is apparent or you are blatantly pushing inaccurate information- perhpas a bin in the supermarket checkout line along with PR rags is a better format for you.

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  10. Can anyone point me to a super Wawa in the region that has traffic problems? I know of a handful of them and have have had an issue... one I know of in Sharon Hill actually improved traffic flow at the intersection. Does Wawa have a reputation of creating new developments with huge traffic problems that I am not aware of?

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  11. Having reviewed the appeal petition, it is pretty weak. For all of the bluster shown at the Borough Council meetings, it hinges on just two claims-- one of which relies on an overly literal application of the Municipalities Planning Code.

    Condition 33 involves the potential for costs to be allocated to the developer related to traffic impact in the immediate vicinity of the developed tract. Section 503 of the MPC is intended to restrict municipalities from imposing "pay to play"-type contribution requirements that are wholly unrelated to the development. If "off-site" were to be given the overly literal meaning that MRE is ascribing to it, traffic impact would never be a viable point for a development plan condition since it involves roadways that are, technically, off-site.

    The other point, concerning the lease of Baker Street, is questionable because this was not made a condition until after the Council granted its conditional approval. Accordingly, the claim of refusal concerning the lease negotiations seems to be just so much bluster. I would also note that MRE's development of the tract doesn't necessarily require that Baker Street be annexed. It just so happens that THIS particular plan relies upon it. which is MRE's doing, not the Borough's. I would be curious to know the legal basis for MRE's assertion that by merely proposing a development plan that encroaches upon a public street, MRE has a created a legal obligation on the part of the Borough to then have to negotiate in good faith to give MRE what its plan contemplates. This is nonsensical.

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  12. The whole Wawa plan at this site is nonsensical. Rt. 252 and Baltimore Pike will be a parking lot. MRE suing the borough? It should be the other way around.

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  13. One cannot ignore the fact that this intersection as it stands now, is already a traffic cluster f***. The proper thing to do is agree on an equitable 50/50 split between MRE and the borough so that the entire intersection can be re-constructed in a fashion that supports future growth. Do it quickly, as we need cheap gas because that Sunoco on the pike is basically raping your wallet with its prices. Now more than ever, as the transportation bill tax has already started and we're feeling it at the pump. Take a page out of Middletown's book - as they are taking the helm of improving the 452/Balt Pike intersection and not waiting for PennDot to do it............

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