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  1. #1
    eldondre is online now Moderator
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    Default Redesigning the Parkway

    To steal from a thread on some other board because I thought it was interesting.

    Logan Circle is beautiful but it's still cut off by a traffic circle. I propose making it back into a square by eliminating the traffic circle and relegating all cars to teh square bounded by vine, 18th, 20th, and race. take a look at it with google maps and see what I mean. This park could be even better than rittenhouse (or at least just as good)it's near offices, institutions, city hall, and there's potential for more development nearby development on vine, parkway22, cherry st, etc.

    edit: to further that idea, geometric lines woudl be retained by a path within logan square rather than a road. westbound traffic would be fed onto the parkway both by vine st and 20th St. 20th St woudl be made two way between the parkway and market. The long term goal would be to cap 676 at least between 18th and 20th, and restore race st.
    Last edited by eldondre; 12-11-2008 at 01:55 PM.

  2. #2
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    Unless I'm very much mistaken, 20th Street is already two-way from Market Street north to the Parkway. Westbound JFK traffic wishing to travel west on Market -- which becomes one-way eastbound at 20th -- uses 20th to get to Market.

    Otherwise, 20th is one-way northbound south of Market and north of the Parkway. If you restored Logan Square as a square, you would end up rebuilding the streets on its west and north sides too.
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  3. #3
    eldondre is online now Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarketStEl View Post
    Unless I'm very much mistaken, 20th Street is already two-way from Market Street north to the Parkway. Westbound JFK traffic wishing to travel west on Market -- which becomes one-way eastbound at 20th -- uses 20th to get to Market.

    Otherwise, 20th is one-way northbound south of Market and north of the Parkway. If you restored Logan Square as a square, you would end up rebuilding the streets on its west and north sides too.
    you know, I think you're right about 20th. Also, I think you would only have to rebuild race st, vine st already exists (or enough of it). I think it would really improve that area and give the city a nice play to play in front of all those attractions...as well as the people who live in LSMSA. It certainly would be the square with the nicest fountain.

  4. #4
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    (Likewise with stealing the thread) for my money, halving the lanes on the Pkwy north of Logan and turning the route into a mall (like the National Mall sort of mall) south of it, restoring the grid, would not be a bad idea. As that Congress for the New Urbanism guy said, "A grid is like a traffic swamp," so instead of funneling all the traffic right down to City Hall we should spread it out all across the grid.

  5. #5
    desolate's Avatar
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    What thread.

    Anyways here's an idea for you.


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    niel is offline PB transplant
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    While we're redesignating area streets, if the former Barnes tower ("Parkway22" in its most recent incarnation, I believe) ever gets built, you're going to have a major bottleneck problem at 21st & Hamilton get much, much worse, so my thought was to make the blocks of 22nd between the Parkway and Spring Garden two-way - you could have 2 lanes in each direction, though you'd probably have to get rid of the street parking on at least one side. But in return you could channel inbound traffic down two streets instead of just one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by niel View Post
    While we're redesignating area streets, if the former Barnes tower ("Parkway22" in its most recent incarnation, I believe) ever gets built, you're going to have a major bottleneck problem at 21st & Hamilton get much, much worse, so my thought was to make the blocks of 22nd between the Parkway and Spring Garden two-way - you could have 2 lanes in each direction, though you'd probably have to get rid of the street parking on at least one side. But in return you could channel inbound traffic down two streets instead of just one.
    That's Wawa's corner right?

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    raider.adam is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by niel View Post
    though you'd probably have to get rid of the street parking on at least one side.
    Have fun managing that riot.

  9. #9
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    Why?

    Get rid of the parking for the towers and put in slanted or perpendicular to the curb parking. (HaMILTON)

    for the PKRY

    It really wouldn't cost that much to do this compared to a lot of other city projects.

    You're just removing asphalt. You'd retain the roadbase for paths and events with say gravel or pavers.

    You could just push all the traffic from Kelly down the middle of the Parkway to Logan and force all the Spring Garden Traffic down the river side of Eakins and the tunnel.

    Point is to make smaller intersections and remove the "looping" in front of the Art Museum.

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    rojnish is offline Senior Member
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    Default Barnes museum

    Hi All,
    The last word I heard was there was to be a rendering reveal for the new Barnes Museum in Spring 09. Well, we're in mid-August 09 and so far I have seen nothing on it. Does anyone have any information about what they are planning to build on what is quickly becoming a cow pasture where the old YSC used to was.

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    We're still waiting around here. If the render's out it's the biggest best-kept secret both here and in NYC.
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  12. #12
    rojnish is offline Senior Member
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    Default Barnes museum

    Where oh where oh where is the rendering for the new Barnes Museum? And why were they in such a rush to level the YSC and leave a grass lot? I am dying to see, and visit the new Barnes.

  13. #13
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    the new museum wll suck and be right up on the parkway.

    Old, Majestic.... and then add a "in colors" with Glass" mess.

    AKA Skirkanich.

  14. #14
    Colin P. Varga is offline Senior Member
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    I don't know if the Barnes will add much traffic to the area, but restoring the park would help make the city a better place to live.

    But it will have to be balanced with a commuter's alternative to the BFPkwy.
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    PHLxVGN is offline Senior Member
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    I don't know if I quite understand the issues people are having with the BF Parkway; what are the major grievances? I lucked out finding an affordable apartment a few blocks away, and can easily say its my favorite part of Philly. In fact, years ago when I first "moved" to Philly (living in my car), I would park alongside the parkway at night, taking walks up and down it before turning in for the night.

  16. #16
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    It's a traffic funnel. It's hell to cross any time of the day because commuters treat it like an expressway extension south to Logan Square and it takes two lights for a pedestrian to cross--even a pedestrian like me, experienced in dodging traffic on Broad and on 309 even before that.

    It's also very run-down and is a true parkway insofar that it--more like West Riv...uh...MLK and Kelly Drives is supposed to provide a pleasant drive through a park rather than being pedestrian-friendly in any way. Don't forget that Lincoln Drive functions like an expressway, too, but it does it better since the trail doesn't follow it at all but is rather on the opposite side of the Wissahickon. The BFP, on the other hand, tries to be too much--pleasant drive, pleasant walk, parkway, Parisian boulevard, museum row--and as such it fails in all categories. The answers for the BFP, I think, are to highlight its boulevard role in the more built-up part of the route (if one intends to retain it at all) and its Museum Row role in the less-built-up part of the route. But to do that pedestrian connections have to be better and traffic needs to slow down. One of the issues of the BFP is that north of Logan Square it has double the traffic lanes that it has south of it--what this means is that at Logan about half the traffic has to slough off, usually onto Vine or 20th and really accentuates its funnel role where it should be most pedestrian-and-tourist friendly. I like the idea of converting the middle lanes into a pedestrian mall since I actually think the Parkway functions better (as far as role intermingling is concerned, since the traffic is forced to slow down due to congestion) when the middle is blockaded off for festivals anyway. Having this mall would allow festivals to take place without needing the barricades on either side--i.e., without demanding the police presence currently required. And even when such things are not going on open-air flea markets and such can be held: the mall becomes a programmable linear park, possibly one tied in with functionality at the (yet-to-be-built) skate park and/or Logan Square itself.

    Don't forget, too, that Pennsylvania Avenue is also quite wide and can handle a lot of traffic, too; much of the traffic that currently uses the Parkway can--and really ought to--use that street instead.

    Desolate: I agree with your concerns in this case since none of the museums on the upper Parkway hug the road and a major element of the upper Parkway is its parklike setting. The new museum, in other words, really ought to be placed more or less exclusively on the old juvi center's site, but with its entrance facing towards the Parkway rather than away from it. I have yet to see a Williams/Tsien project that has blown me away, though, and this is not a setting that calls for an urban design the way that, say, the Comcast Center or Hancock Square called for an urban architectural design.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin P. Varga View Post
    I don't know if the Barnes will add much traffic to the area, but restoring the park would help make the city a better place to live.

    But it will have to be balanced with a commuter's alternative to the BFPkwy.
    "Restoring the park"?

    The Ben Franklin Parkway is the early-20th-century City Beautiful Movement's contribution to Philadelphia's streetscape -- the road was bulldozed through the street grid, taking out a bunch of existing structures, between 1913 and 1920. Before then, there was no direct connection between Center City and Fairmount Park - the road's original name, Fairmount Parkway, describes its purpose, which was to extend the park into the city center and provide easy access to the park from said center.

    The street was modeled after Baron Haussman's Paris boulevards -- a late 1870s intervention in that ancient city's urban fabric designed in part to make it easier for the authorities to put down riots by making it harder to barricade main streets. The section above Logan Circle was supposed to be lined with buildings the way the Parisian boulevards were, but that vision never came to pass, so landscaping was called upon to do the job the buildings were supposed to do.

    The upper Parkway also resembles a number of urban boulevards of similar age and design, including the Grand Concourse in the Bronx, Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, and stretches of Commonwealth Avenue (not the Back Bay section, however) in Boston.
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  18. #18
    eldondre is online now Moderator
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    the lower part of champs elysee is an awful pedestrianexperience
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  19. #19
    desolate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hammersklavier View Post
    It's a traffic funnel. It's hell to cross any time of the day because commuters treat it like an expressway extension south to Logan Square and it takes two lights for a pedestrian to cross--even a pedestrian like me, experienced in dodging traffic on Broad and on 309 even before that.

    It's also very run-down and is a true parkway insofar that it--more like West Riv...uh...MLK and Kelly Drives is supposed to provide a pleasant drive through a park rather than being pedestrian-friendly in any way. Don't forget that Lincoln Drive functions like an expressway, too, but it does it better since the trail doesn't follow it at all but is rather on the opposite side of the Wissahickon. The BFP, on the other hand, tries to be too much--pleasant drive, pleasant walk, parkway, Parisian boulevard, museum row--and as such it fails in all categories. The answers for the BFP, I think, are to highlight its boulevard role in the more built-up part of the route (if one intends to retain it at all) and its Museum Row role in the less-built-up part of the route. But to do that pedestrian connections have to be better and traffic needs to slow down. One of the issues of the BFP is that north of Logan Square it has double the traffic lanes that it has south of it--what this means is that at Logan about half the traffic has to slough off, usually onto Vine or 20th and really accentuates its funnel role where it should be most pedestrian-and-tourist friendly. I like the idea of converting the middle lanes into a pedestrian mall since I actually think the Parkway functions better (as far as role intermingling is concerned, since the traffic is forced to slow down due to congestion) when the middle is blockaded off for festivals anyway. Having this mall would allow festivals to take place without needing the barricades on either side--i.e., without demanding the police presence currently required. And even when such things are not going on open-air flea markets and such can be held: the mall becomes a programmable linear park, possibly one tied in with functionality at the (yet-to-be-built) skate park and/or Logan Square itself.

    Don't forget, too, that Pennsylvania Avenue is also quite wide and can handle a lot of traffic, too; much of the traffic that currently uses the Parkway can--and really ought to--use that street instead.

    Desolate: I agree with your concerns in this case since none of the museums on the upper Parkway hug the road and a major element of the upper Parkway is its parklike setting. The new museum, in other words, really ought to be placed more or less exclusively on the old juvi center's site, but with its entrance facing towards the Parkway rather than away from it. I have yet to see a Williams/Tsien project that has blown me away, though, and this is not a setting that calls for an urban design the way that, say, the Comcast Center or Hancock Square called for an urban architectural design.




    I would rather see the traffic funneled into the middle lanes.

    Logic: One intersection for Peds and cars instead of two. Peds would only have one area to cross. Cars would have simplified intersections.

    You would still close the Parkway to traffic for events as they almost always occur on weekends or holidays.

    Then you could remove the asphalt for the outer lanes. You would still need the "blacktop" for events. Grass can't handle the load of just one 4th of July.


    You'll never get Penny Ave as an alternate because it doesn't line up properly and you'd be putting that heavy traffic at the doorstep of the towers and would cut off Fairmount from the ballfields.


    I still say that you divert the Kelly Drive traffic down the middle lanes of the Parkway and then force it onto VIne St Local and the "grid" at Logan Square.


    There is no need to have all that traffic spin around City Hall. t only does it because it's a tad easier than just turning down a numbered street.



    I'm sure they will propose the opposite and the plan will be 4 minute red lights so sally stroller and walk slowly and make all the lights in one shot.

  20. #20
    phillyaggie is offline Senior Member
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    Is a Parkway redesign being actively considered by the city or by CCD or anyone else with money and brain power? I'm just wondering whether anything is actively being worked on to bring more life to the Parkway. I know the CCD built that new coffee shop and Paul Levy has been eyeing the Parkway to make it more pedestrian-friendly, and the new Barnes Museum is supposed to add another attraction; one of the CCD publications envisioned having several more eateries lining that street. But is it happening?
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