Opinion | Our proposed plan for a better riverfront and downtown connection in Conshohocken

In 2009, in one of our very first posts, MoreThanTheCurve.com shared a link to the “Conshohocken Train Station Vision Plan.” We can’t find the exact date the concept plan was published, but the data within the vision plan is all from the mid-2000s. So it is more than a decade old.

The plan appears to be no longer available on the Borough of Conshohocken’s website but does continue to live on the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission website.

The vision plan shows the opportunity to build a parking garage with retail on the property surrounding The Outbound Station. This is the same property that the Borough of Conshohocken’s Borough Council is set to vote on purchasing at its February 16th meeting.

As MoreThanTheCurve.com recently reported, SEPTA has committed to construct a surface parking lot and parking garage further up the river beyond the under-construction parking Matson Mill apartment community. The lot and garage would have 534 spots.

If the Borough of Conshohocken is able to purchase this property, it should work with SEPTA to rethink the location of the current parking garage plan and consider moving it to be adjacent to The Outbound Station.

There are a few good reasons.

First, this location is closer to downtown and a parking garage would be able to provide elevator access for the public from the riverfront to Fayette Street. If you currently work along the riverfront, having lunch in downtown Conshohocken currently involves wasting time trying to find a parking space or a walk up a steep hill. It will also improve access to and from the riverfront for those who require a wheelchair or have difficulty up or down steeper hills.

Second, commuters parking closer to downtown with an elevator to Fayette Street are more likely to consider enjoying dinner in Conshohocken after work. This will ease rush-hour traffic and support the local business community.

Third, the space where SEPTA is planning its surface lot and garage is on the riverfront and is currently undeveloped. It is a much better location for open space and/or a park.

Fourth, the original vision plan anticipated adding some retail near the Fayette and East Elm Street intersection at the top of the garage. This could create the space and parking for the smaller-size market people seem to want in downtown Conshohocken (a reader gave us this suggestion).

So that is it.

Let us know what you think in the comments.