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Old 08-07-2012, 11:56 AM
 
735 posts, read 1,129,125 times
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Originally Posted by jm02 View Post
Interesting article on improving the Parkway: Looking for ways to make the Parkway more inviting to all

From what I see, the area really doesn't need the outer lanes and could turn those into green space, maintaining only the core inner lanes.
I completely disagree with this emboldened part. That would ruin what the parkway is, and it would also ruin every event that is held on the Parkway, especially the Philadelphia Cycling Championship, which is the premier US cycling event. It's a grand, wide boulevard, not a few lanes and "green space".

The problem is that it's way to integral a part of the state system of roads instead of being the strolling and cycling paradise it should be. If it were up to me, there'd be no vehicular traffic allowed on the Parkway between 5PM. That way, people can use the Parkway to get to and home from work during morning and afternoon rush hours and in between people can stroll and bike along the Parkway, the way they're supposed to. That is a much, much better fix than "traffic calming".

Patrick Kerkstra is the perfect example of why I have a problem with the "urban planners" in this city. They're so unimaginative and always do everything "one-size-fits-all". "Traffic calming" is BS and does nothing but make the city look suburban. "Greening" and "street trees" are not the answer everywhere, and there are many more important things to consider. Also, no offense to Sister Cities Park but it is not the best public space in the city and it's definitely not on par with Paris. It's a really cool idea to basically create an oasis in the city but it's Sister Cities Park so it's supposed to be a space to honor our sister cities, not a space to build a park that could've been put anywhere and where the emphasis is not on honoring our sister cities. The suburban looking cafe building doesn't help things either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by phillies2011 View Post
Phila.'s aerial act a good sign

Hopefully there will be another tower crane soon, talk of a skyscraper going up next to the blue cross building. Good news this morning.

1919 Market Street Moving A Little Closer | NakedPhilly
I completely agree with the last part of that Inquirer piece. The most important aspect of any progress in real estate in Philadelphia is market-rate office space.

Speaking of office space, the blog entry kidphilly posted earlier said that the smaller of the two Cira South towers would be possibly as big or bigger than the current Cira Centre and that the taller of the two would be 50 stories yet other pieces written about it elsewhere state that Cira South would be 25 stories on Chestnut and 27 on Walnut if I remember correctly, so does philadelphiarealestate know something we don't or are they going by the original specs from when the renders showed a much taller, slightly different Walnut st building? I'd be absolutely thrilled if Cira Walnut was indeed 50 stories.

Also, I may be the only one excited about the 1919 Market proposal as is but the IBX tower is a unique building and 300-450 ft is the perfect height for something next to it in my opinion, especially when that something is a fairly regular, boxy building. Do we really want something like that to be a part of our skyline?
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Old 08-07-2012, 12:15 PM
 
Location: back in Philadelphia!
3,264 posts, read 5,649,418 times
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I think that eliminating the outer lanes of the parkway is a great idea. There would still be six lanes of traffic in the center, so it wouldn't substantially impede auto commuters. But it would give the parkway a configuration a lot more like the western, very green and park-like part of the Champs Elysees that connects to the Place de la Concorde.
IMO It would make for an improved connection between Center City and Fairmount Park that way, and would make a more beautiful setting for strolling to and between all the museums.
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Old 08-07-2012, 12:25 PM
 
Location: The City
22,378 posts, read 38,888,203 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rotodome View Post
I think that eliminating the outer lanes of the parkway is a great idea. There would still be six lanes of traffic in the center, so it wouldn't substantially impede auto commuters. But it would give the parkway a configuration a lot more like the western, very green and park-like part of the Champs Elysees that connects to the Place de la Concorde.
IMO It would make for an improved connection between Center City and Fairmount Park that way, and would make a more beautiful setting for strolling to and between all the museums.
Agree and opportunities for many other things, including potentiall expanded residential on the Center city side (maybe like some 3-6 story apartments/condos) and some other attractions such as amusements, even a ferris wheel as an example

For events I dont think it would have a drastic impact either
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Old 08-07-2012, 12:33 PM
 
Location: back in Philadelphia!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kidphilly View Post
Agree and opportunities for many other things, including potentiall expanded residential on the Center city side (maybe like some 3-6 story apartments/condos) and some other attractions such as amusements, even a ferris wheel as an example

For events I dont think it would have a drastic impact either
I think it could even be better for events.
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Old 08-07-2012, 12:42 PM
 
Location: The City
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The Philadelphia Junto: Camden, New Jersey
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Old 08-07-2012, 01:07 PM
 
735 posts, read 1,129,125 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rotodome View Post
I think that eliminating the outer lanes of the parkway is a great idea. There would still be six lanes of traffic in the center, so it wouldn't substantially impede auto commuters. But it would give the parkway a configuration a lot more like the western, very green and park-like part of the Champs Elysees that connects to the Place de la Concorde.
IMO It would make for an improved connection between Center City and Fairmount Park that way, and would make a more beautiful setting for strolling to and between all the museums.
The problem is that you have to cross the street, and eliminating this lane or that lane or traffic instead of eliminating all of it wouldn't make it pedestrian friendly or as much a place to stroll as it should be. Also, I really don't get how there needs to be "greening" when the Parkway and Upper Schuykill area is the greenest part of the entire city. There's trees or landscaping all along it as is.
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Old 08-07-2012, 01:36 PM
 
Location: back in Philadelphia!
3,264 posts, read 5,649,418 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UDResident View Post
The problem is that you have to cross the street, and eliminating this lane or that lane or traffic instead of eliminating all of it wouldn't make it pedestrian friendly or as much a place to stroll as it should be. Also, I really don't get how there needs to be "greening" when the Parkway and Upper Schuykill area is the greenest part of the entire city. There's trees or landscaping all along it as is.
But you'd have to cross one street, instead of the present three. That's an improvement. And on either side of that one street would be larger contiguous spaces with some combination of pedestrian/recreation-friendly hardscape and landscaping. I think that if done well, this could have exponentially more use potential than the existing linear strips of sidewalk with grass to either side that are sandwiched between traffic lanes, and wouldn't lose anything in terms of aesthetics or curent functionality, but would be a much more attractive place for pedestrians, and less of a barrier.
The western Champs Elysees (which was an inspiration for the parkway in the first place) is a nice example of this.

The problem I see currently is that Center City really can use a better connection to Fairmount Park. That was one of the original intents of the Parkway, and this is a way that it can better live up to its potential, and accomplish the goal of bringing the park to the city/the city to the park more effectively.
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Old 08-07-2012, 02:21 PM
 
735 posts, read 1,129,125 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rotodome View Post
But you'd have to cross one street, instead of the present three. That's an improvement. And on either side of that one street would be larger contiguous spaces with some combination of pedestrian/recreation-friendly hardscape and landscaping. I think that if done well, this could have exponentially more use potential than the existing linear strips of sidewalk with grass to either side that are sandwiched between traffic lanes, and wouldn't lose anything in terms of aesthetics or curent functionality, but would be a much more attractive place for pedestrians, and less of a barrier.
The western Champs Elysees (which was an inspiration for the parkway in the first place) is a nice example of this.

The problem I see currently is that Center City really can use a better connection to Fairmount Park. That was one of the original intents of the Parkway, and this is a way that it can better live up to its potential, and accomplish the goal of bringing the park to the city/the city to the park more effectively.
I just realized that I read your post wrong. I thought you were talking about eliminating everything but the outer lanes, not the other way around. Personally when it comes to the sidewalks, I would rather see them install sidewalks worthy of such a grand boulevard instead of "greening" things. Some fine material and an exquisite design would make it truly European and easily one of the most world class boulevards in the country. There's already plenty of green. We are in complete agreement about getting rid of the outer traffic lanes though.


I think a combination of that and eliminating traffic from 9AM to 5PM would make the Parkway the premier boulevard in the country and one of the most world class anywhere. Imagine strolling along in the middle of the street from the Art Museum all the way to City Hall with wide, world-class sidewalks lined with cafes, kiosks, and pop-up shops on either side of you. That is by far the best way to experience the Parkway. Then, you could have bike lanes behind the cafe, kiosk, and pop-up shop lined sidewalks. That way there would be no danger whatsoever posed towards pedestrians by wheeled transportation.
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Old 08-07-2012, 02:37 PM
 
Location: The City
22,378 posts, read 38,888,203 times
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https://www.city-data.com/forum/phila...ps-elysee.html
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Old 08-07-2012, 03:14 PM
 
Location: Center City
7,528 posts, read 10,250,389 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UDResident View Post
I completely disagree with this emboldened part. That would ruin what the parkway is, and it would also ruin every event that is held on the Parkway, especially the Philadelphia Cycling Championship, which is the premier US cycling event. It's a grand, wide boulevard, not a few lanes and "green space".
I'm a bit confused, as you actually seem to agree this is a good idea now. Regardless, I have trouble seeing how this championship couldn't be run on the inside lanes. I'd love to see the outermost sidewalks and traffic lanes converted into a combination of attractive residential development with commercial fronting at street level (including outdoor dining) with several pocket parks woven in. I would ensure there are some stately trees planted all along the pedestrian route to provide shade and ambience. It would make the stroll from City Hall to the museum a much more urban experience - perhaps even a destination. It would also spur even more development into Fairmont and then beyond.

I used to hold the view that the parkway should be preserved as is. Now that I've lived here a bit longer, I see a great opportunity if it transformed into a more vibrant corridor. I think this comes from having traversed the parkway several times by foot - alone and with friends visiting from out of town. This has caused my thinking to evolve.

Last edited by Pine to Vine; 08-07-2012 at 04:01 PM..
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