This past Wednesday was the Parkway Ideas Workshop. Three design teams presented their proposals for the more walkable, accessible, and inclusive Benjamin Franklin Parkway, each of which had distinct ideas on major improvements to the area. As time progresses, only one team will be selected to lead the effort of transforming the parkway into a people-focused public space.
Capping I-95 at Penn’s Landing is leading to discussions about a similar approach for the Vine Street Expressway in Chinatown. The Reconnecting Communities Bill, the funding act passed as part of INVEST in America Act, seeks to provide federal support for highway removal or capping and improvement projects. With an allotted $3 billion, projects like these may soon get developed to put “people before pavement and communities before cars.”
After South Philadelphia residents campaigned for a redesign of Washington Avenue for the safety of drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists, city transportation officials chose a plan to shrink the street down from 5 lanes to 3. The new design would add parking lanes on either side of the street and bicycle lanes protected by the parked cars. Work was scheduled to begin this month, but is now being delayed another year. Residents want to know why.
There have been several articles over the past couple of months addressing the closing of Philadelphia’s only recreational facility for people with disabilites, one of which explained why the city made this decision. They explained the building had fallen under much neglect and would have to undergo major repairs and renovations. Parks and Rec also felt that the Carousel House supported segregating disabled individuals rather than inclusion. Because of these decisions, the public has taken to the streets protesting that the Carousel House remain open and operational!
While beginning excavations at a construction site in Northern Liberties, a passerby photographed coffin-shaped indentations in the ground. The developers of the project at 5th and Spring Garden confirmed that 19th century graves were discovered during groundwork. They plan to go to Orphans’ Court to find the proper home for the remains; however, neighbors just want answers.