Philly’s “Main Line” Bans “Aesthetically Counterintuitive” Towers in Public Parks

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The Radnor Board of Commissioners (BOC) voted against cell towers in town parks to preserve the scenic landscapes of the township’s greenswards and woodlands, in this affluent area of suburban Philadelphia, reported Main Line Suburban Life.

Besides aesthetics, there are real concerns over lack of cell phone and emergency radio coverage in the area. Commissioner Jake Abel, who requested the vote on the new cell tower resolution, said the service issue and the first responder issue have merged and “the path we’re on has gotten us nowhere.”

Commissioner Matt Marshall spoke out, noting, “Aesthetically, I think it’s counterintuitive that we want cell towers in our parks. We’ve all come to the conclusion that what’s really coveted in Radnor is this open space, what’s left of it. What I’d like to pursue is the new technology…micro cells.”  

Commissioner John Nagle, who was the sole vote against the resolution, discussed why micro cells are not the answer. “They’re [micro cells] a gap filler, but not when you have a large area that’s without coverage because they still need to get [signals] back to a tower,” said Nagle.

The cost for an antenna is estimated at $1 million, which will be the responsibility of the township. Abel questioned whether this is the real reason for the objections. “I have an issue with the points…that it’s about first responders, that it’s not about the money and you say it’s $1 million to put an antenna up, so it is about the money,” Abel said.

April 30, 2018

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