West Park Implementation
There are 88 recommendations in the West Park 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 73 of the plan and cover a wide range of issues and areas. The ten priority recommendations are:
WP 3: Rezone the noncommercial sections of the commercial corridors on 40th Street, Girard Avenue and North 52nd Street to consolidate commercial land uses to transit nodes. PROGRESS: PCPC has researched affected properties in order to write a zoning remapping bill.
WP 8: Relocate the Streets Department’s facility at 48th Street and Parkside Avenue further south in the Parkside business park to facilitate development along the park that is appropriate to surrounding uses and populations. PROGRESS: The City has identified a new site on the 4900 block of Jefferson Street.
WP 36: Consolidate publicly owned vacant parcels and sell for redevelopment. Prioritize:
- 4900 block of Girard Avenue
PROGRESS: The Office of Housing and Community Development will issue an RFP for this site. PCPC is working on design guidelines for the proposed redevelopment.
WP 52: Utilize traffic calming measures including new medians, curb bump-outs, trolley pull-out, and trolley signal prioritization to improve pedestrian safety along the 52nd Street corridor from Girard Avenue to Parkside Avenue, especially at the Lancaster Avenue intersection. PROGRESS: Kittleson & Associates, Inc., the on-call transportation planners for the Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities, are developed an action plan for short-term intersection improvements and a long-term feasibility study for more comprehensive improvements. The funding for this $18,000 study comes from the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission’s (DVRPC) Transportation and Community Development Initiative (TCDI) program. PCPC is currently planning the scope for a study which looks at the Amtrak overpass as well as the streetscape of 52nd Street north to Parkside Avenue.
WP 53: Improve Parkside Avenue with new medians, crosswalks, and traffic lights as recommended in the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission’s Parkside Traffic Taming Plan in order to facilitate better connections between East and West Parkside and Fairmount Park. PROGRESS: A Community Design Collaborative neighborhood plan for East Parkside is in progress that includes these recommendations.
WP 54: Enhance gateway at the 52nd Street Amtrak Bridge and improve pedestrian safety through improved lighting, gateway signage, and sidewalk maintenance. PROGRESS: PCPC is currently planning the scope for a study which looks at the Amtrak overpass as well as the streetscape of 52nd Street north to Parkside Avenue.
WP 63: Enhance bicycle and pedestrian connections to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive Trail by improving bike lanes and sidewalks on Lansdowne Drive, Sweetbriar Drive, Black Road, and Montgomery Drive as well as the crossings of Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive at these locations. PROGRESS: PCPC is studying the feasibility of creating a guide to biking and exercise in West and East Fairmount Park. There is also the possibility of studying the connections to MLK drive.
WP 77: Locally designate the Japanese House and Gardens. PROGRESS: PCPC has met with the Friends of the Japanese House and Gardens, researched the building and grounds, and has written the nomination. The nomination will be presented to the Historic Preservation Commission in 2013 for acceptance.
WP 83: Create a memorial baseball field for the Philadelphia Stars near the original location at Belmont and Parkside Avenues. PROGRESS: A study has commenced which will recommend a location and design for the proposed memorial field.
WP 86: Link the public space proposed at 52nd Street and Lancaster Avenue with the Centennial District section of West Fairmount Park with a well-planted amenity strip along 52nd Street.