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Nether Providence Township

Nether Providence Township municipal offices are located at 214 Sykes Lane, Wallingford, PA 19086; phone 610-566-4516.

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Formally established in 1687, Nether Providence [1] lies in the southwestern Philadelphia suburbs. It is a classic bedroom community, as it contains a greater number of residents than jobs, with a population of nearly 14,000 in an area covering approximately five square miles. With a highly residential and wooded character, the Township is punctuated by schools, churches, recreational and cultural facilities, along with modest commercial activity.

The Township's family-oriented character is further reinforced by being the location of four of the five schools in the highly regarded Wallingford-Swarthmore School District. Nether Providence is also a crossroads community, with collector roads linking the surrounding municipalities of Chester, Brookhaven, Media, Rose Valley, Swarthmore, and Upper Providence, Springfield and Ridley Townships. This roadway connectivity took on greater significance with the 1991 opening of Interstate 476 and its Baltimore Pike interchange along the Township's eastern edge.

Lacking a traditional town center, the Township has evolved from its original composition of creekside mill villages, farms and woodlands to an eclectic collection of neighborhoods. By the end of the 20th century, numerous housing developments had effectively "built out" Nether Providence, leading to municipal acquisition of the remaining open spaces and dedicating them for parks and recreation.

Some neighborhoods followed transportation network development during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Such networks included Baltimore Pike, Providence Road, the Philadelphia to West Chester railroad corridor, and the various trolley lines (with today's SEPTA route 101 being the sole survivor). Although theTownship is heavily wooded with low housing density overall, per the above, South Media, Garden City, and Garden City Manor are much denser, and most of the township's Township's multifamily housing is concentrated in Wallingford Valley. Not all neighborhoods have formal names. Incremental infilling by numerous single-family homes on subdivided lots has blurred some neighborhood boundaries and complicated the naming process.

It is important to understand how transportation has influenced neighborhood development over time, as well as their densities and residential character and relationships to key destinations when determining how and where bike and pedestrian infrastructure may be best deployed. The gap closures and facility enhancements addressed in this plan will knit various neighborhoods together, encouraging a greater sense of community.

  1. Temple University Graduate Planning Studio, Nether Providence Master Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan, 2016,, accessed November 2018.
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