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  1. #421
    kidphilly is offline Senior Member
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  2. #422
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    Quote Originally Posted by kidphilly View Post
    I agree with a lot of what she says, although I wish she would have mentioned some of the improvements that were made over the last couple years. Maybe it's a good sign that Inga is looking at relatively successful public spaces to critique. Sure, it could be exponentially better, especially at Eakin's Oval, but I love hanging out along the Parkway in the summer time, even as it is.

  3. #423
    kidphilly is offline Senior Member
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    Why not just do away with the outside lanes, get rid of the road in front of the Art Museum steps. Have two way traffic on either side of the parking lot that extends in the middle from the Museum and a light where it meets.

    You could probably leave one lane in front of the steps for tourists that loops the Art Museum


    One pedestrian bridge close to the parkway split and the entrance to 676. Presto huge pedestrian benefit. Or even a eart mond with road underpasses that is an elevated pedestrian bridge to the middle and links to either outer parkway lanes that become pedestrian, bike lanes.

    Then add real stuff along the outer lanes to fill. Also add some apts/townhouses in front of the hideous looking residential buildings at 22nd and bring them to interface with the parkway.

    Add a cafe or stage or something in the rectagular parking lot in the that middle stretch eminating from the steps, bury parking there
    Last edited by kidphilly; 02-04-2013 at 12:29 PM.

  4. #424
    Naveen is offline Senior Member
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    I think a lot of the incremental steps are helping. Obviously the Barnes and Sister Cities, which have been huge successes.

    I didn't realize they are capping 676 in front of the library. That's great.

    Still, to make the area a bigger pedestrian draw, something has to be developed at the baseball field, around the Rodin Museum, and the empty strip in front of Park Towne.
    Last edited by Naveen; 02-04-2013 at 03:57 PM.

  5. #425
    NickFromGtown is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Naveen View Post
    I think a lot of the incremental steps are helping. Obviously the Barnes and Sister Cities, which have been huge successes.

    I didn't realize they are capping 676 in front of the library. That's great.

    Still, to make the area a bigger pedestrian draw, something has to be developed at the baseball stadium, around the Rodin Museum, and the empty strip in front of Park Towne.
    Some good points here. I feel like everything from 22nd to 16th should be capped. Also, the Parkway is so wide open right now. It needs to be consolidated to feel more alive instead of just a high speed thoroughfare.

  6. #426
    Naveen is offline Senior Member
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    Yeah, I agree that everything should be capped. It would make things much more conducive to bring pedestrian traffic from the nearby neighborhood to the parkway.

  7. #427
    Titus is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by NickFromGtown View Post
    Some good points here. I feel like everything from 22nd to 16th should be capped. Also, the Parkway is so wide open right now. It needs to be consolidated to feel more alive instead of just a high speed thoroughfare.
    Don't expect them to cap all the sections anytime soon. It apparently costs a mint and they are only capping the western most section in front of the library not both sections even thought they know people want it done.

  8. #428
    OffenseTaken is offline Junior Dilettante
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    Quote Originally Posted by Naveen View Post
    Yeah, I agree that everything should be capped. It would make things much more conducive to bring pedestrian traffic from the nearby neighborhood to the parkway.
    I don't disagree but it seems silly to put a dumb lawn on top of the Vine, after the enormous expense of capping even a small portion of it. If there's an overabundance of anything on the Parkway besides bums and speeding cars, it's flat expanses of grass.

    Quote Originally Posted by kidphilly View Post
    Why not just do away with the outside lanes, get rid of the road in front of the Art Museum steps. Have two way traffic on either side of the parking lot that extends in the middle from the Museum and a light where it meets.

    You could probably leave one lane in front of the steps for tourists that loops the Art Museum


    One pedestrian bridge close to the parkway split and the entrance to 676. Presto huge pedestrian benefit. Or even a eart mond with road underpasses that is an elevated pedestrian bridge to the middle and links to either outer parkway lanes that become pedestrian, bike lanes.

    Then add real stuff along the outer lanes to fill. Also add some apts/townhouses in front of the hideous looking residential buildings at 22nd and bring them to interface with the parkway.

    Add a cafe or stage or something in the rectagular parking lot in the that middle stretch eminating from the steps, bury parking there
    You don't even need to get rid of the outside lanes. Local access for cars and buses will be increasingly useful when there's more commerce and activity along the Parkway. Just slow down the traffic with speed bumps, or some other kind of hindrance, and it won't be such a nuisance.

    Otherwise, I agree: all this talk of bringing people to the Parkway is immaterial unless there it becomes more of an address, and not just a bunch of landscaping. We could make the BFP every bit as gorgeous in all its details as the Champs-Elysées, and it's still going to be a dead zone if there aren't more active uses to draw the public to it.

    The PennPraxis study makes this pretty evident (if it wasn't enough already). However, I don't think puppet shows are going to do the trick.

  9. #429
    eldondre is offline Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by OffenseTaken View Post
    I don't disagree but it seems silly to put a dumb lawn on top of the Vine, after the enormous expense of capping even a small portion of it. If there's an overabundance of anything on the Parkway besides bums and speeding cars, it's flat expanses of grass.You don't even need to get rid of the outside lanes. Local access for cars and buses will be increasingly useful when there's more commerce and activity along the Parkway. Just slow down the traffic with speed bumps, or some other kind of hindrance, and it won't be such a nuisance. Otherwise, I agree: all this talk of bringing people to the Parkway is immaterial unless there it becomes more of an address, and not just a bunch of landscaping. We could make the BFP every bit as gorgeous in all its details as the Champs-Elysées, and it's still going to be a dead zone if there aren't more active uses to draw the public to it.
    the champs elysee suffers from many of the same problems. like the parkway, it works better in pictures. one thing they did do while we were there is have events in the center lanes on weekends. they do have a section that is lined with buildings but that isn't happening here, though new buildings are being built nearby (granary, proposed whole foods, etc). they've correctly identified that eakins oval is the easiest place to change, just block off the cars. I hope they have some cojones and allow a landscaped beer garden to open there.


    van coln is going nowhere so deal with it.
    Last edited by eldondre; 02-04-2013 at 08:55 PM.
    "It has shown me that everything is illuminated in the light of the past"
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  10. #430
    Naveen is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by OffenseTaken View Post
    I don't disagree but it seems silly to put a dumb lawn on top of the Vine, after the enormous expense of capping even a small portion of it. If there's an overabundance of anything on the Parkway besides bums and speeding cars, it's flat expanses of grass.
    It is kinda dumb to put a lawn there, but once it's capped, you can put other things there down the road. It's gotta be capped first.

    You don't even need to get rid of the outside lanes. Local access for cars and buses will be increasingly useful when there's more commerce and activity along the Parkway. Just slow down the traffic with speed bumps, or some other kind of hindrance, and it won't be such a nuisance.

    Otherwise, I agree: all this talk of bringing people to the Parkway is immaterial unless there it becomes more of an address, and not just a bunch of landscaping. We could make the BFP every bit as gorgeous in all its details as the Champs-Elysées, and it's still going to be a dead zone if there aren't more active uses to draw the public to it.

    The PennPraxis study makes this pretty evident (if it wasn't enough already). However, I don't think puppet shows are going to do the trick.
    Totally agree. I thought that puppet theater idea was hilarious, except that they're serious.

    Like I said, those baseball fields need to be replaced with something that brings consistent activity (and should be level with the street), and the area around the Rodin museum needs...stuff. Not sure what, but again, something that creates regular activity. Those two blocks seem like the dead zone between the eastern section of the parkway and the Art Museum.

  11. #431
    rojnish is offline Senior Member
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    Hello All,
    Sadly I was unable to make it to the presentation last night. I was interested in hearing the plans, and I was hoping that some of you who went would be willing to outline the plans for those of us who could not go. Oddly I live just a couple blocks south of the BFP and I never go over there except when there is a festival of some sort. In fact, I'll go a step further and say that it tends to prohibit me from walking north altogether, even to use such great things as the Barnes or some of the fun spots in Fairmount because I don't want to have to deal with the BFP on foot. It's about as appealing as crossing the highways to get to Penns Landing. I feel like I'm the frog in Frogger (80s reference).

  12. #432
    eldondre is offline Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by rojnish View Post
    Hello All,
    Sadly I was unable to make it to the presentation last night. I was interested in hearing the plans, and I was hoping that some of you who went would be willing to outline the plans for those of us who could not go. Oddly I live just a couple blocks south of the BFP and I never go over there except when there is a festival of some sort. In fact, I'll go a step further and say that it tends to prohibit me from walking north altogether, even to use such great things as the Barnes or some of the fun spots in Fairmount because I don't want to have to deal with the BFP on foot. It's about as appealing as crossing the highways to get to Penns Landing. I feel like I'm the frog in Frogger (80s reference).
    More Park, Less Way: An Action Plan to Increase Urban Vibrancy on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway
    it's all there more or less, they're going to continue to improve crosswalks, fix up van coln field, landscape the edges where "multi-use" space is envisionsed. they did propose a puppet theater. the unused section in front of the philadelphia is to be redone perhaps with a water feature, as well as the the area in front of park towne. they intend on closing the parking area of eakins oval (which will probably be the first action). sounds like they initially want tables and chairs and more events with food trucks but will eventually consider more permantent structures. they want to identify a funding source whether it be parking revenue or "profit" from events to support improvements to the parkway.
    "It has shown me that everything is illuminated in the light of the past"
    Jonathan Safran Foer

  13. #433
    Tartan69's Avatar
    Tartan69 is offline Pawn in game of life
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    "Great poetry reading at Shakespeare Park"

    By who? The homeless?

  14. #434
    eldondre is offline Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tartan69 View Post
    "Great poetry reading at Shakespeare Park"

    By who? The homeless?
    you could do worse things for the homeless
    "It has shown me that everything is illuminated in the light of the past"
    Jonathan Safran Foer

  15. #435
    kidphilly is offline Senior Member
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  16. #436
    OffenseTaken is offline Junior Dilettante
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    Quote Originally Posted by eldondre View Post
    they do have a section that is lined with buildings but that isn't happening here, though new buildings are being built nearby (granary, proposed whole foods, etc). they've correctly identified that eakins oval is the easiest place to change, just block off the cars. I hope they have some cojones and allow a landscaped beer garden to open there.
    I wouldn't expect any throngs of pedestrians to show up until it does happen here. I mean, people don't stay away from the BFP because they hate being near all those cars; they stay away because it's boring. The crazy auto traffic just throws a layer of unpleasantness on top of the boredom.

    It is a relief that they're talking about putting an actual destination in Eakins Oval; that would be a small step toward solving this problem. I especially like your beer garden idea, although I imagine it'd be more like a kiosk that sells coffee and stale scones.

    Will I go there anyway? Of course.

    _
    Last edited by OffenseTaken; 02-05-2013 at 03:54 PM.

  17. #437
    OffenseTaken is offline Junior Dilettante
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    Quote Originally Posted by Naveen View Post
    Like I said, those baseball fields need to be replaced with something that brings consistent activity (and should be level with the street), and the area around the Rodin museum needs...stuff. Not sure what, but again, something that creates regular activity. Those two blocks seem like the dead zone between the eastern section of the parkway and the Art Museum.
    Unfortunately, I think eldondre is right. For an elected official to sell off a city-owned baseball diamond would be about as politically adroit as taking a stand against motherhood and apple pie. A few people would absolutely lose their **** if getting rid of it, or even moving it, were seriously discussed.

  18. #438
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    radiocolin is offline Senior Member
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    Someone mentioned capping the Vine in front of the library was mentioned. I don't see the discussion about that in any of the recent-linked articles. All i can find is a PlanPhilly article from 2011.

  19. #439
    OffenseTaken is offline Junior Dilettante
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    It's in the next-to-last paragraph of the Saffron article.

  20. #440
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    Quote Originally Posted by OffenseTaken View Post
    I don't disagree but it seems silly to put a dumb lawn on top of the Vine, after the enormous expense of capping even a small portion of it. If there's an overabundance of anything on the Parkway besides bums and speeding cars, it's flat expanses of grass.
    I fundamentally agree with you, although I think building costs on capped highways are absurdly high for structural reasons. Plenty of other lawn to build on around the parkway that doesn't have a huge, car filled canyon underneath. The trenches in the middle of Logan are an embarrassment, I'll be glad to see them go.

    Also agree with much of the other chatter here and on Inga's column. One question to the oft raised point of population scarcity: where can you feasibly build to actually increase density? The parkland is untouchable a far as large scale development goes, right? The motor lodge is going to be the new toll/whole foods thing. Mormon's are taking the parking lot next to the courthouse Without some serious demolition or auctioning off of parkland, I don't know where you could put much else. Convince the library to drop it's white elephant expansion project?

 

 

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