Ben Franklin Parkway redesign proposals unveiled

A few style corporations are pitching visions for a additional walkable, obtainable, and inclusive Benjamin

A few style corporations are pitching visions for a additional walkable, obtainable, and inclusive Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

The proposals — unveiled through a town-sponsored Parkway Ideas Workshop charette held Wednesday — mark the culmination of a additional than decade-old “More Park, Significantly less Way” initiative.

At some point, just one will be picked to manual redesign initiatives to remake the triumphalist boulevard prolonged criticized as also automobile-centric.

“This is about a eyesight and a framework,” reported Harris Steinberg, executive director of Drexel University’s Lindy Institute for City Innovation, which worked with the city’s Department of Parks & Recreation and the Office environment of Transportation, Infrastructure, and Sustainability on the ask for for proposal system. “It is intended to encourage a sustained community dialogue.”

Every single proposal supplied a various emphasis, but they shared a goal of generating the space more pedestrian-welcoming and various. Steinberg reported the aim was to make a “cosmopolitan canopy” — an allusion to Yale sociologist Elijah Anderson’s principle of really welcoming, multi-ethnic public spaces.

“We want a persons-centric park that also handles site visitors, occasions, heritage, and modernity,” he explained.

Just about every team also targeted greatly on everlasting pedestrian advancements — with all 3 strategies named for website traffic lane closures and the removing of vehicles from Logan Circle.

The Design Workshop, dependent in North Carolina, pitched their idea as reversing successive decades of auto-centered redevelopment, like the set up of highway ramps. Their 10-12 months prepare proposes “disconnecting the Parkway from close by interstates.” It includes a cap about I-676, elimination of nearby onramps, and overall pedestrianization of the Parkway alone. Present area traffic would be routed onto close by Pennsylvania Avenue, powering the city’s famed Artwork Museum, the widening of an existing tunnel below Eakins Oval, and a proposed extension of Martin Luther King Boulevard to Sector Street.

Structure Workshop’s rendering reimagines the parkway with a sequence of gardens. (Design Workshop)

“All about the planet folks are rejecting the thought of vehicles as a supplied,” claimed CEO Kurt Culbertson “We want to remodel the Parkway from a significant roadway back to Philadelphia’s backyard.”

The boulevard’s central lanes would be converted into a pedestrianized region that would element artwork installations and Logan Circle would be transformed from a roundabout again into a community sq.. The strategy also emphasizes a lot more connectivity with the close by Schuylkill riverfront and a disused rail tunnel some have eyed for use as a subterranean park.

Although far more radical alterations the program would appear down the street, it also calls for instant “tactical urbanism” — measures like putting in site visitors calming at the famed Art Museum techniques and closing velocity lanes around Eakins Oval.