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Released: 8/3/2010 

DRPA Responds To WHYY FM Listener Questions

On Monday, August 2, DRPA Chairman John H. Estey was a guest on the WHYY Radio Program "Radio Times."  Listeners asked two questions which Mr. Estey said would be answered and placed on the DRPA website.  The Questions and Answers can be found below.

Why does the Ben Franklin Bridge walkway close at dusk? Why not keep it open longer to accommodate concerts or other events?

 The Ben Franklin walkway is open seven days a week, weather permitting, and is open to both pedestrians and cyclists. We do not close at dusk. Rather, we operate on two schedules and extend the closing hour for the Spring and Summer. This enables our walkway customers the opportunity to take advantage of favorable weather conditions and extended sunlight. We currently are open 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. for our Spring/Summer schedule, May 1 through September 30. On October 1, we will begin our Fall/Winter schedule and our hours are 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
For security reasons, at this time, we do not keep the walkway open 24/7. We do, however, work closely with the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia. At the organization's request, we extended walkway hours to accommodate special concerts, like Farm Aid, in annual observance of National Bike Week in May, and for other special events such as the Phillies World Series parade. 
Why doesn't PATCO have a Citizens Advisory Committee?
The DRPA/PATCO Compact does not identify in its Committee structure a Citizens Advisory Committee, however, DRPA/PATCO has had "project related" citizen advisory committees for projects such as renovating the PATCO stations and addressing ADA needs and requirements. In addition, all of the DRPA/PATCO Board meetings are open to the public and citizens are welcome to comment during the Board Meetings and have access to Board Minutes. Recent projects such as the Glassboro to Camden Line and the Philadelphia Waterfront Line have had on an on-going basis public outreach and citizen participation in the various stages of project planning and development. 
 DRPA/PATCO welcomes the idea of the Board giving consideration to the appointment of a Citizens Advisory Committee which could act as an independent representative and advocate on behalf of the customers in the region served by PATCO.

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