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PennDOT to Reclaim Land Along New Falls Road

As part of a quest to add sidewalks along New Falls Road, PennDOT will be reclaiming its right-of-way land in Bristol and Middletown townships.

It’s not sidewalks, yet, but it’s a step closer.

Officials from Bristol Township, Middletown, and state met Thursday at the Bucks County Redevelopment Authority headquarters off Green Lane to talk about adding sidewalks to New Falls Road in Levittown.

Officials agreed to begin work to reclaim PennDOT owned right-of-ways and clear brush from the sides of the roadway from Veterans Highway (Route 413) to Bristol-Oxford Valley Road.

The cleared brush will allow pedestrians a clear path to walk on the embankment that sits on both sides of the road. Local officials hope that the clearing will eventually lead to the installation of sidewalks.

PennDOT will begin surveys in the coming weeks to confirm its right-of-way along the busy road.

Click here to see the Sidewalks for New Falls Road Facebook page

Homeowners whose fences and sheds have been placed on the state right-of-way will receive letters and will be given a period of time to remove or relocate their items. If not, crews will remove them, PennDOT’s county maintenance manager Cal Morrison said.

While government could not pledge the funds to building sidewalks, fundraising was suggested. Middletown manager Stephanie Teoli and Bristol Township councilman Craig Bowen said they would help promote fundraising efforts.

Officials talked about adding a walkway similar to that along New Falls Road near the Red Cedar and Appletree section. State Senator Tommy Tomlinson's district director, Al Sutter said sidewalks or walking paths may be a bit down the line.

Sharon Rearick has been leading the charge to install sidewalks along New Falls Road since her son was killed along the roadway in Middletown last July. Her son, John, was killed across from the Penn Jersey Auto Store last July after a driver struck him and fled the scene.

The driver, Jonathan H. Simmons, 27, of Bristol Township, was sentenced to 15 to 30 months in prison on Wednesday.

Rearick believes her son would still be alive if he had sidewalks to use as he traveled home.

“This isn’t about my son anymore, it’s about the safety of the community, that’s why this needs to get done. I won’t stop till that happens, the communities safety is at risk,” Rearick told Patch in October.

Previous stories:

  • Levittown Man Critically Injured In Hit-And-Run Accident
  • Middletown Hit-and-Run Victim Dies
  • Driver in Fatal Hit-and-Run Turns Himself In
  • Mother of Son Killed on New Falls Road Wants Action
  • Officials Meet to Lay Groundwork for New Falls Road Sidewalks
  • Hit-and-Run Driver That Struck JJ Rearick Pleads Guilty
concerned citizen January 23, 2013 at 12:58 AM
i suport this 100 percent. there are no excuses that needs to be fabricated why there shold be any problems giving sidewalks to anywhere in the levittown area. This isnt the 1950s. It isnt safe and very dangerous for everyone. Whoever is against it needs to be forced to walk down that road or any road with out sidewalks at night and see what its like to dodge cars. This lady needs the nobel peace prize for her hard work and dedication to getting sidewalks at least on new falls rd. We need woodbourne road, bristol oxford valley rd too.
Sharon Rearick January 23, 2013 at 11:12 AM
Concerned citizen. thank you so much for your support. Here is a run down of the meeting: Represented at the meeting was Senator Tomlinson's office, State Representative Tina Davis' office, Middletown Township and Bristol Township officials as well as a spokesperson for PennDOT. The most discussed safety option was in fact the possibility of and the requirements necessary to have sidewalks installed along New Falls Road. Per PennDOT representative, the first step in this process was to determine the amount of land alongside the roadway that belonged to PennDOT as opposed to the Townships or their residents. It was stated that once PennDOT had determined their legal boundary, it would be easy for PennDOT to determine if there was any encroachment by the residents. If so, letters would be sent by PennDOT indicating such and placing a time period in which the encroachment had to be removed. If in fact the encroachment was not rectified within the specified time period, then PennDOT would take the necessary steps to remove whatever items or structures remained on their property. Brush and trees ismall and mature, the Township offered to remove all that was necessary as indicated by the engineering requirements for the installation of sidewalks. Necessary for the preparation and eventual installation of sidewalks.
Sharon Rearick January 23, 2013 at 11:13 AM
The largest hurdle, of course, was the finances necessary to engineer and install the sidewalks which would include in some areas retaining walls, ADA compliance access points, possible road markings and possibly even curbs. There was an estimate to engineer and install a portion of the sidewalks, not running the full length of New Falls Road that came in at $175,000.00. There was further discussion about additional costs for engineering the ADA required access points to the sidewalks and curbs. No dollar amount was given. The Townships have agreed to remove the brush and trees as required by the engineers at no charge. There was also discussion about a possible memorial for all of the individuals who lost their lives on or along New Falls Road. No discussion as to cost. So at this point, it would appear that the bottom line cost to consider starting the project is $175,000.00 and it will potentially rise rapidly depending on several factors that have yet to be determined. It was suggested by a Bristol Township Official that Township fundraisers could generate significant funds that could be applied toward these costs. It was also suggested that the Township itself might help promote these fundraisers and other activities that would support this worthy endeavor.
Sharon Rearick January 23, 2013 at 11:18 AM
Please sign and share this petition. Wouldn't it be great if Ellen, the View , Katie Couric or even BON JOVI showed and interest in this project. That would help alot. The next challange, I will learn how to set up a non profit, tax deductible donations, . if anyone can help please email me ssrearick@aol.com http://www.change.org/petitions/sidewalks-for-new-falls-road-levittown-pa-honoring-john-rearick-by-making-a-difference?fb_action_ids=4521271922596&fb_action_types=change-org%3Arecruit&fb_ref=__YLUWUUXZVr&fb_source=timeline_og&action_object_map=%7B%224521271922596%22%3A216963748436046%7D&action_type_map=%7B%224521271922596%22%3A%22change-org%3Arecruit%22%7D&action_ref_map=%7B%224521271922596%22%3A%22__YLUWUUXZVr%22%7D sign and share this petition: God Bless and thank you for the support
Lynda January 23, 2013 at 03:10 PM
This is a great idea when I first heard about the accident it was very disheartening that someone could do that but me being a mother and sometimes walking along these roads I know what it's like even though my child is only 3 it doesn't make a difference how old you are these sidewalks are needed I agree with Sharon and I have signed the petition
concerned citizen January 24, 2013 at 12:13 AM
There are over 77000 houses in levittown and plenty of buisnesses as well! If each household and buisness donates 10.00 per address then the sidewalks can be paid for in a short amount of time. So if people would consider donating that small amount just one time then we can have those sidewalks by spring. There needs to be a donation location at a bank to make it work and maybe peoe manning collection buckets at various intersections to promote saftey and to raise awereness of how we desperatley needs sidewalks in levittown. Not just new falls but all main roads around the area. This can be done if everyone can please just get together and co operate for once because everyone will benefit from this. It is time to take action and not to forget the lives lost cor no good reason.
Pamela Egan-McAstocker January 27, 2013 at 10:45 PM
too many people die on that street in the 80"s jeff snowden was killed on that rioad also while riding his bike home from mcdonalds where he worked
Sharon Rearick February 03, 2013 at 03:28 PM
Concerned Citizen, I started a corporation call SIDEWALKS ARE FOR EVERYONE (S A F E ) i couldnt use safe already taken as soon as all the documents come in the account will be set up. What is a Peoe manning collection bucket? I need a bunch of people to start there own fundraising events. I have one event set up April 20th from 9:15P to 11:30-12P THE COMEDY WORKS BRISTOL TICKETS ARE $15 drinks and snacks are extra. As soon as I have tickets I will post the information oin my facebook. Sharon soliwoda rearick please find me so you can share the information. Please if you havent signed the petition on Change.org please do look for Sidewalks for new falls road. please sign ansd share. and if you have anyconnections to news media or star power we need theur help.. Thank you for responding

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