Attention parents: The railing around Race Street Pier has been fixed so that no portion of its lowest rung is more than four inches above the decking.
This is one of the punch list items the contractor is addressing, Delaware River Waterfront Corporation Vice President Joe Forkin told the DRWC board's executive committee at their recent meeting. The entire list will be dealt with by fall, he said, but the railing gap needed to be taken care of right away. Other items include fixing two tree up-lighting fixtures, adjusting the angles of other lights and tweaking the solar block system. The solar blocks are the bricks that light up at night after soaking up the day's sunlight.
Forkin explained that code requires the four-inch maximum to prevent young children from getting their heads stuck. Because the rail was built off-site and the pier's surface has some variation to it, there were some places where the gap was more than four-inches when it was installed, he said. To address the problem, the contractor installed a new bottom rail that goes completely around the pier.
During the meeting, DRWC board members said they had received comments from some parents who were concerned about the gap. Board member Alan Greenberger, the city's deputy mayor for planning and development and the chair of the city planning commission, said he noticed it, too. “After 34 years as an architect, you can eyeball it and say, 'that's not four inches,'” he said.
Board Vice Chairman Jay Goldstein asked about the use of the park. Forkin said that over the July holiday weekend, hundreds of people were walking down Delaware Avenue toward Penn's Landing for the fireworks and doing a loop around the pier. Hundreds also stayed at the pier to watch the fireworks from there.
About 3,000 people visited the park on Memorial Day weekend, he said.
The DRWC doesn't yet have a good handle on the daily use numbers. The board discussed setting up a camera to take still shots at various times each day to try to get a good estimate of use. Another DRWC vice president, Jodi Milkman, said that she believes word is still getting out about the park, which is in its first season.