When it comes to the future of Chester County, planning for our trails, bridges, highways, and public transit options is a major component to the county’s success. The Chester County Planning Commission’s Environment and Infrastructure Division focuses their attention on these efforts, and this month, we’re highlighting their Division Director, Brian Styche!
On a typical day, Brian can be found working on various transportation projects throughout the county. “I have the opportunity to work with a lot of great people at the Planning Commission, as well as with other agencies, counties, and municipalities to plan for the future and keep things moving forward in Chester County,” he said.
Prior to joining the Planning Commission staff in 2012, Brian worked as a landscape architect for about 16 years in the private sector. He had coordinated with the Planning Commission through work on some of his previous projects, and was excited to join the transportation division once the opportunity arose, which ultimately led to his current position.
One of Brian’s favorite things to do (and something he’s been doing since graduating from Penn State), is working on trail projects. In fact, he had the opportunity to work on what is now the “Great Allegheny Passage” (Pittsburgh to Washington, DC trail) in western PA right out of college. Since then, he’s been involved with trail planning and design projects on both the municipal and county levels throughout a good portion of Pennsylvania.
When asked what his favorite project at the Planning Commission (so far) has been, he named the proposed Chester Valley Trail extension to Downingtown along the Philadelphia and Thorndale rail corridor. “From what I have seen in trail planning, that project has enormous potential, and due to its location and how the corridor was constructed, it is truly a hidden gem in the heart of Chester County,” Brian said.
Originally from the Greater Pittsburgh area, Brian still bleeds black and gold as his favorite sports teams are the Steelers, Penguins, and Pirates. He moved to the Philadelphia area in 1999, and spent about ten years in West Chester before moving to East Vincent Township where he currently resides with his wife Nicole, stepson Nicholas, and daughter Julianne.
In his spare time, Brian can often be found doing yardwork (tending to his wife’s perennial garden or mowing the lawn), riding bikes with his family, trout fishing, or playing golf.
However, when he’s not doing one of those things (or planning trails), you probably won’t be able to find him, as his favorite place is a log cabin in Elk County that his parents built and retired to over twenty years ago. “Clean air, clear streams, starry night skies, and reuniting with family are the main attractions – plus I get to see a few elk every now and then,” Brian noted.