Appeal from order of Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, No. C. 18140, in case of Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission v. Borough of Souderton et al.
James E. Frick, with him H. Merle Mulloy, for appellant.
Dominic J. Ferraro, Assistant Counsel, with him Joseph C. Bruno, Chief Counsel, for Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, appellee.
John R. Rezzola, Chief Counsel, for Department of Highways, appellee.
Peter Platten, with him John R. McCarron, Alonzo R. Horsey, and Ballard, Spahr, Andrews & Ingersoll, and Souder and Rosenberger, for intervening appellees.
Ervin, P. J., Wright, Watkins, Montgomery, Jacobs, Hoffman, and Spaulding, JJ. Opinion by Ervin, P. J.
[ 210 Pa. Super. Page 24]
This is an appeal by the Reading Company from the order of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, dated October 24, 1966, directing the establishment of a temporary grade crossing of appellant's tracks at Broad Street in the Borough of Souderton (borough), Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, and apportioning
[ 210 Pa. Super. Page 25]
the costs thereof, and ordering the borough to make a comprehensive engineering study to determine (a) the most economical means of alleviating traffic congestion in the borough, including construction of additional crossings, if necessary and (b) to consider the feasibility of eliminating 13 highway-rail crossings in and adjoining the borough, by relocating six miles of appellant's right of way so as to by-pass the borough entirely, and apportioning the costs of this study.
On April 13, 1926, at C.6546, the Public Service Commission abolished as dangerous a grade crossing of appellant's tracks at Broad Street in Souderton and approved the construction of an underpass for vehicular traffic at Chestnut Street, some 500 feet west of the abolished crossing. The 1926 order also provided for a pedestrian underpass to be constructed at the site of the closed Broad Street crossing. On July 9, 1964 the borough filed a complaint (C.17998) against Reading Co., the Department of Highways and Montgomery County, seeking relief from traffic congestion at the Chestnut Street underpass, and suggesting re-establishment of the grade crossing at Broad Street, abolished by the Public Service Commission in 1926. After hearings, the commission dismissed this complaint April 26, 1965 for lack of jurisdiction, on the basis the question should be raised by application rather than complaint. An appeal to this Court was quashed. Later, on May 13, 1965, Souderton filed an application (A.92329) seeking reopening of the Broad Street crossing. Subsequently, October 18, 1965, the commission filed a complaint on its own motion against Souderton, the Department of Highways, Reading Co. and Montgomery County to inquire fully into the public safety at the Chestnut Street and the Broad Street crossings simultaneously. The proceedings at C.6546, C.17998 and A.92329 were incorporated by reference into the record at C.18140. Following hearings, the commission issued
[ 210 Pa. Super. Page 26]
the order of October 24, 1966, which is now here on appeal. Appellant's petition for "rehearing," filed November 9, 1966, was denied by the commission January 30, 1967. Reading Co. appealed and sought a supersedeas. Souderton and Montgomery County were allowed to intervene as appellees. Souderton filed a motion to quash the appeal, on the ground that ...