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Outdated and deteriorating, near 17th and the Parkway | Photo: Nathaniel Popkin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
Our Elected Officials & The Cheapening Of Public Space

Our Elected Officials & The Cheapening Of Public Space

November 20, 2014  |  Morning Blend

Selling our visual landscape short with urban experiential displays, local government attitudes on display at the "City Hall Parking Lot", a nocturnal urban arts tour, and envisioning a high-speed line through Philly > more

12th Street Gym Is Great But It Used To Be The <em>Shvitz</em>

12th Street Gym Is Great But It Used To Be The Shvitz

November 19, 2014  |  Vantage

Nothing says healthy living like a corned beef sandwich, a lit cigar, and the sauna. Ron Avery gives us an old-world tour of Camac Baths, the former Jewish bathhouse at 12th Street Gym > more

Blatstein Discusses Plans For Southern “Gateway To Center City”

Blatstein Discusses Plans For Southern “Gateway To Center City”

November 19, 2014  |  Morning Blend

Broad & Washington lot discussed at community meeting, development angst in Upper Roxborough, the pragmatism of the Live! Hotel & Casino selection, and The Bourse to cater to N3rd Street > more

Reconsidering The Modern Urban Library

Reconsidering The Modern Urban Library

November 18, 2014  |  Morning Blend

The FLP “builds inspiration,” a rocky revitalization for West Girard, how much stimulus Pope Francis will bring to town, and regarding the legions of sweepers from yesteryear > more

On Spot Zoning

On Spot Zoning

November 17, 2014  |  Morning Blend

Why selective re-zoning is here to stay, Wells Fargo finishes removal of PNB letters, and vandals cause five figures in damages to newly unveiled Manayunk public space > more

Lost In The Shuffle: When Registered Buildings Go Down

Lost In The Shuffle: When Registered Buildings Go Down

November 17, 2014  |  The Shadow Knows

Why are some buildings on the National Register of Historic Places preserved while others are casually destroyed? The Shadow gives an example of this phenomena through the Wagner Free Institute of Science and the John F. Kennedy Vocational Center > more