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University Southwest Implementation

There are 42 recommendations in the University Southwest 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. Ten 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 67 of the plan and cover a wide range of issues and areas. The ten priority recommendations are: 



USW 3: Create transit-oriented development overlays along Market St and in vicinity of stations at 30th Street, 40th Street, and 46th Street to enable higher density, mixed-use development. PROGRESS: This idea is to promote and encourage economic development around highly used transit nodes to encourage increased transit use. The concept will be explored further for each area through specific studies, with an enhanced focus around the 30th Street Station area. The 30th Street Station Masterplan is currently underway with an anticipated completion date in the spring of 2016. 40th Street was recently selected for a complete streets study funded through a Transportation and Community Development Initiative (TCDI) grant to determine how the intersection can best accommodate multiple modes of travel, and will also be completed in 2016. 46th Street is the site of the future Police Administration Headquarters, and will require further study once the new demands on traffic are more thoroughly understood.


USW 6: Preserve single-family building stock in portions of West Powelton, Saunders Park, Powelton Village, Walnut Hill, Garden Court, Cedar Park, Spruce Hill, and Kingsessing by rezoning these areas to single- or two-family zoning classifications and directing multi-family growth to commercial corridors and transit nodes. PROGRESS: Please see Zoning Remapping.


USW 13: Create a Request for Proposals and subsidize the development of scattered site affordable housing in a section of Kingsessing bounded by Chester Avenue, Woodland Avenue, 58th Street, and 57th Street.


USW 15: Re-certify for blighted conditions and update the Redevelopment Area Plans for the following redevelopment areas:

  • South 51st Street and Baltimore Avenue
  • 4800 Block of Woodland Avenue

PROGRESS: The Philadelphia City Planning Commission adopted a redevelopment area plan for 51st and Baltimore Avenue at its meeting of September 16, 2014.


USW 17: Rezone the Lower Schuylkill Industrial properties to better attract research and development, advanced and artisanal manufacturing, and institutional uses as put forth in the Lower Schuylkill Master Plan.



USW 19: Reorganize bus routes through University City to advance the expansion of transit service within the Metro Center that will connect Center City residential growth areas with University City employment centers:

  • Improve connections between activity centers in Center City and University City
  • Provide better service to growing employment centers

PROGRESS: The 30th Street Masterplan will recommend alternatives to create better connections between 30th Street Station and Center City and University City. SEPTA is also examining alternatives to improve service along bus routes.


USW 22: Remove a travel lane on Chestnut Street west of 34th Street and replace it with a buffered bike lane or cycle track. This would create an eastbound bike route to work in conjunction with the existing westbound route on Walnut Street, and would also make pedestrian crossings safer. PROGRESS: The Philadelphia Streets Department completed a feasibility study to add a bike lane along Chestnut Street between 34th Street and 45th Street in May of 2015.



USW 27: Complete the extension and/or creation of the following trails as prioritized by the Philadelphia Trail Master Plan:

  • Bartram’s Mile – the “Bartram’s North” section is highest priority
  • Schuylkill River swing-bridge connection from Bartram’s Mile to Grays Ferry Crescent
  • West Bank Greenway

PROGRESS:  This year, the Bartram’s Mile Trail project advanced from conceptual to final design and the project will be bid and constructed once all of the final approvals are received. SRT Grays Swing Bridge is funded on the PA Transportation Improvement Program.


USW 32: Construct stormwater management and passive open space along the north side of Market Street from 46th Street to 48th Street. PROGRESS: The Capital Program Office is currently working on a design for the new Police Administration Building at this location.


USW 40: Preserve the Paul Robeson House (4951 Walnut Street) as a place of cultural and ethnic traditions and resources by adding it to the historic register.



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