There are 44 recommendations in the South District Plan. The recommendations are organized into the three forward-looking themes: THRIVE, CONNECT, and RENEW. These themes reflect the goals and strategies of the Citywide Vision. 9 recommendations have been identified as “Priority Recommendations.”
A number of factors including previous master plans or feasibility studies, strong public support, and availability of resources determined which recommendations were prioritized. Priority recommendations are found on page 85 of the plan and cover a wide range of issues and areas.
Of the 44 recommendations, implementation is in progress for 21.
STH 1 Support the growth and maintenance of existing commercial corridors – IN PROGRESS: Commerce staff is working with 9th Street Market and Washington Avenue East businesses to create a business improvement district (BID). Councilman Johnson’s office is working to jumpstart the Point Breeze Avenue business association and has invested in streetscaping improvements, like garbage bins and banners.
STH 13 Rezone Washington Avenue between Broad Street and 25th Street to encourage appropriate uses – IN PROGRESS: PCPC staff is working in conjunction with Councilman Johnson’s office to draft proposed rezonings for Washington Avenue West.
STH 14 Improve bus service to the Grays Ferry neighborhood to enhance connections to employment centers, particularly between the district and University City – IN PROGRESS: In March 2016, SEPTA proposed a new Route 49 linking, Brewerytown, University City and Grays Ferry.
STH 15 Pursue findings of the DVRPC’s Vehicle Technology Analysis for SEPTA’s Routes 29 and 79 Report to pilot electric bus service to determine whether it would be a cost-effective and sustainable alternative to trackless trolley or diesel-electric hybrid bus service – IN PROGRESS: In April 2016, SEPTA was awarded $2.5 million grant from FTA to begin pilot program on both routes, that will likely to begin in Summer 2017.
COMPLETE STREETS & ROADWAYS
STH 20 Build new or improve existing infrastructure for the safe and efficient movement of truck and rail freight through the district while minimizing the impact on residents – IN PROGRESS: In 2015, CSX, the viaduct owners, announced in conjunction with Councilman Johnson’s office, that they would be undertaking a significant improvement project to restore the structure to its original appearance. Phase I will wrap the underside of the viaduct in netting and remove the five-foot parapet walls from the east and west sides of the deck. This phase is expected to be completed in spring 2016. Phase II, will also take place in 2016, and involves the repair and replacement of the decking’s drainage system, and the repair and waterproofing of the decking. Phase III will see CSX install new concrete panels to replace the removed parapet walls, sometime in 2017. Lastly, Phase IV, between 2018 – 2020, will resurface the exposed concrete of the viaduct’s underside, thereby restoring the appearance of the structure.
WATERSHED PARKS & TRAILS
STH 31 Establish selected Parks & Recreation facilities as priorities for investment to bring them to a state of good repair – IN PROGRESS: PPR staff, PWD staff, Trust for Public Land and Councilman Johnson’s office have collaborated on a new greening master plan for Lanier Playground in the Grays Ferry neighborhood. Work is currently on-going. Funding for the new Columbus Square Park was secured in September 2015, and work has begun as of 2016. Tolentine Recreation Center is now under the management of PPR. Updates to Wharton Square, Smith Playground and Stinger Square have begun as of 2016.
STH 32 Establish selected neighborhood parks and schools as priorities for greening to fill in service gaps for access to green space – IN PROGRESS: Updated Ralph Brooks Park officially opened in September 2015. South Philadelphia High School and Lower Moyamensing Civic Association were awarded a PWD SMIP grant for greening. Community Design Collaborative completed a comprehensive greening plan for Southwark Elementary School.
CULTURAL, HISTORICAL & ARCHITECTURAL RESOURCES
STH 43 Preserve and market abandoned art deco and moderne industrial buildings for reuse – IN PROGRESS: Bok Vocational School has been bought by Scout LTD and is currently being reused and marketed as unique space for artists, small businesses and entrepreneurs. They were also awarded a Knight Cities grant to transform the vacant space along the perimeter of the west side of the former school.