Article originally published in July 2020 by Chester County Planning Commission.

Official construction to create the new multi-use path connecting the Exton Train Station to the Chester Valley Trail, located along Route 100 in West Whiteland Township, is well underway!

The new asphalt path will accommodate both pedestrian and bicycle traffic and allow a safe passageway for pedestrians to get from the Exton Train Station (on Walkertown Road) to the entrance of the Chester Valley Trail on Commerce Drive (Main Street at Exton).

The project will be completed in two phases, with the first phase connecting Exton Train Station to Bartlett Avenue, and the second phase connecting Bartlett Avenue to the Chester Valley Trail.

Currently, the first section of the trail has been paved. Next the contractor will begin the installation of the ADA ramps and pedestrian lighting along the southern half of the trail (phase one); then work on the northern half (phase two) will begin. The trail is expected to be complete by the end of July.

Once finished, the path will feature eight ADA compliant curb ramps, as well as pedestrian lighting, drainage modifications, signing and restriping, and traffic signal modifications.

Bob Dredge, local resident and Chair of Bike Chester County, is incredibly excited about the new trail. “As we continue to build out our trail network throughout the county, it will become increasingly important to connect our main trail arteries, such as the Chester Valley Trail, to where people live, shop, work, and link up with mass transit for ease of use,” explains Bob. “This project is an excellent example of building those critical tributaries.”

In addition to the new trail, Chester County and West Whiteland Township plan to make improvements to the Chester Valley Trail crossing of Route 100 at Commerce Drive as part of the project. The new crosswalk will allow pedestrians to safely cross the busy Route 100 via one crosswalk, rather than the three crosswalks they must currently take.

“This connection is going to be a game changer for the area,” explains Leonard Bonarek from the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia. Bonarek learned of the difficulties of traveling by bicycle to the Exton Train Station (via Route 100) back in 2017 when he assumed he could ride the short distance after an event at the Whiteland Township Center. He was quickly offered a ride by others who knew the route, and soon understood why they advised against it.

“In addition to connecting a major commercial development with a regional rail station, this side path will safely stitch together at least six ‘low-stress islands’ that pedestrians and bicyclists would otherwise have to navigate, and will dramatically improve access to the CVT,” said Bonarek.

Funding for this project has been provided by a Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Multimodal Transportation Fund grant, as well as through developer contributions and the West Whiteland Township transportation fund.

The new crossing of Route 100 at Commerce Drive is being funded by the DVRPC Regional Trails Program/William Penn Foundation, PennDOT’s Automated Red Light Enforcement (ARLE) program, and Chester County.

See a map of the new trail here: https://www.westwhiteland.org/DocumentCenter/View/809/CVT-to-Exton-Train-Station-Connector-map-PDF.

For the most up-to-date information on the project, visit https://www.westwhiteland.org/300/Trail-Improvements. Questions can be directed to the West Whiteland Township Public Works Department at 484-875-6020 or by emailing [email protected].