traffic on Route 422 East snakes its way toward the Trooper PA exit.

A scene that's all too familiar: a line of traffic on Route 422 East snakes its way toward Trooper during a morning commute.

POTTSTOWN PA – For some drivers, the weekday morning crawl through the commute that can be U.S. Route 422 east from Limerick to King of Prussia is never a problem. They read the newspaper, folded into quarters for easy handling, atop their steering wheel. They drink coffee. They chat on the phone or text to friends. Those who are grooming-challenged even shave with an electric razor or fix their make-up.

The rest of us just sit and steam, but maybe that can change beginning Wednesday (Feb. 18, 2009).

The 25-mile corridor.

The 25-mile corridor.

The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC), which thinks about how we’ll be living 20 years from now, is asking for a drivers’ point of view on the future of Route 422. It will hold the second of two local input meetings Wednesday from 6:30-9 p.m. in the community room of the West campus of Montgomery County Community College, 101 College Dr. The public’s invited to see what DVRPC thinks could happen, and to offer its own solutions.

  • The commission will hold a similar meeting tonight (Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2009) at the same times in the Oaks Elementary School cafeteria, 325 Oaks School Dr., Oaks PA.

The commission characterizes 422 as “possibly the single most important and fastest growing suburban expressway in the Philadelphia region, and an integral part of the inter-regional highway network.” It’s created a master plan for the future needs of the 25-mile-long corridor that includes roadway (lane) capacity, interchange design, connecting roadway improvements, transit alternatives and connections, and future land use plans.

Some of the plan’s ideas are familiar to Limerick residents. They’ve heard for several years about the need to re-design the highway’s Sanatoga interchange, at the township’s western border with Lower Pottsgrove. They’ve been encouraged by, and then disappointed by, see-saw speculation of whether commuter train service west from Norristown PA will ever return as a transit alternative.

Land use planning also is part of the DVRPC mandate.

Land use planning also is part of the DVRPC mandate. This parcel is on the north side of Route 422 at Limerick.

For people who aren’t familiar with those and other proposals, however, the DVRPC meeting will provide an introduction. Think of it as a sort of transportation fair. Booths in MCCC’s community room – the commission refers to them as “stations” – will display maps and renderings of land use and transportation conditions along the 422 corridor. Commission staff members will be available to answer questions.

DVRPC is the official metropolitan planning organization for the Greater Philadelphia region, consisting of nine counties: Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia in Pennsylvania; and Burlington, Camden, Gloucester and Mercer in New Jersey.

The input meetings are co-sponsored by an organization known as the U.S. 422 Corridor Coalition, which consists of the DVRPC and other planning organizations, a handful of municipalities (Limerick township is a member), elected state legislators (including Limerick Rep. Tom Quigley), and corporate members (including Exelon Nuclear, the Philadelphia Premium Oulets, the college, Traffic Planning and Design, and the TriCounty Area Chamber of Commerce).