Final Improvements Coming To Parkway

 

Outdated and deteriorating, near 17th and the Parkway | Photo: Nathaniel Popkin

The final phase of streetscape improvements for the Ben Franklin Parkway will commence in Spring, 2013, according to Fairmount Park officials. The project, designed by the architecture firm Cope Linder Architects in conjunction with the park’s design staff, will include improvements to landscaping, street trees, street furniture, bike lanes, and curbs from 16th and Arch Streets to the south side of Logan Square. The project will be complete in 2014, in advance of the Parkway’s centennial in 2017.

This phase, funded by PennDOT, brings almost a decade of continuous rebuilding of the Parkway’s civic spaces–meant to enhance the experience of the pedestrian and cyclist–to a close. “It took determination and consistency of focus to make it happen,” says Mark Focht, Fairmount Park executive director.

The only signature Parkway space to remain essentially unchanged will be Eakins Oval; Focht says despite a half dozen plans, given the complicated nature of the space a path forward has been elusive.

However, design work toward a $15-20 million rebuilding of JFK Plaza–Love Park–will begin in 2013; the new park will open in 2015.

About the author

Hidden City co-editor Nathaniel Popkin’s latest book is the novel Lion and Leopard (The Head and The Hand Press). He is also the author of Song of the City (Four Walls Eight Windows/Basic Books) and The Possible City (Camino Books). He is also senior writer and script editor of the Emmy-winning documentary series “Philadelphia: The Great Experiment” and the fiction review editor of Cleaver Magazine.



4 Comments


  1. Work really needs to be done on Eakins Oval. As a cyclist that uses this path every day to work, I believe it’s one of the most dangerous intersections in the city. Trying to merge as a bicyclist from Kelly Dr onto the BF Parkway is a task reserved for the lunatics and risk takers, with cars cutting off cyclists as they merge, illegal parking in the bicycle lane forcing cyclists into 30+mph traffic, and cars swerving in unpredictable manners. The BF Parkway bicycle lanes are wonderful, especially with the enhanced lanes, but to get to them from Fairmount and Brewerytown requires putting yourself at significant risk. If there is any section of the BF Parkway that needs improvement of traffic flow, it is this one.

    • I myself nearly bought it a couple of weeks ago coming off Kelly Drive. So naturally this issue was at the top of my agenda when I went to speak to park officials. Happily, almost literally as I write this, Fairmount Park officials and planners are working on a solution to this, essentially to keep cyclists away from Eakins Oval. I don’t have the exact route because they’re still analyzing it, but it will I believe involve using Pennsylvania Ave and perhaps Spring Garden Street–which will be all worked out with directional signage.

      We’ll follow up with a story as this develops–

      –ed.

  2. Is there somewhere we can find an overview of all the changes that’ve happened and have yet to happen?

Recent Posts
A Place Called The Plateau Is Where Everybody Goes

A Place Called The Plateau Is Where Everybody Goes

July 24, 2014  |  Last Light

With yesterday's dedication of the John K. Binswanger Grove of Park Champions, the Fairmount Park Conservancy ushered in a new era of growth at the Belmont Plateau. It's always been Brad Maule's favorite place to survey the growth of the Philly skyline > more

Plan To Revitalize Kensington North Of Lehigh Approved

Plan To Revitalize Kensington North Of Lehigh Approved

July 24, 2014  |  Morning Blend

Planning Commission likes what it sees from New Kensington CDC, Philadelphia’s building boom as complimentary across varying sectors, renovating affordable commercial properties in North Philly, and INHP and the economic multiplier effect > more

Landmarks, Reinterpreted

Landmarks, Reinterpreted

July 24, 2014  |  Buzz

To help celebrate its 200th anniversary, the Athenaeum asked artists to reinterpret architectural landmark's on the National Register of Historic Places. The exhibition of the work is on display until August 8 > more

Remembering The City’s Last Potter’s Field

Remembering The City’s Last Potter’s Field

July 23, 2014  |  Vantage

Reporter Michael Buozis finds himself in the Far Northeast hunting down the city's last potter's field, its only marker spray painted on a utility pole > more

Beury Building Coming To A Sheriff's Sale Near You

Beury Building Coming To A Sheriff’s Sale Near You

July 23, 2014  |  Morning Blend

Neglected North Broad tower up for sale next month, John K. Binswanger Grove of Park Champions dedication, Rina Cutler on the PPA, perhaps a 7th victim in Market Street building collapse, and SEPTA seeking service suggestions > more

With Pop-Up Beer Gardens Under Threat, Here's Why They Matter

With Pop-Up Beer Gardens Under Threat, Here’s Why They Matter

July 22, 2014  |  Vantage

With pop-up beer gardens seemingly everywhere (and now under threat), Nathaniel Popkin talks with the designer of most of them, David Fierabend of Groundswell Design Group, about the ideas behind the installations > more