The Benjamin Franklin Parkway Action Plan became real Monday night as the first of four community meetings was held with the goal of developing a strategy for the Parkway that is based on civic engagement and, ultimately, leads to a set of projects that can be funded and implemented in the next few years.
Michael DiBerardinis, Commissioner of the Department of Parks and Recreation; Harris Steinberg, of PennPraxis; and Harris Sokoloff, from the Penn Project for Civic Engagement, led a moderated discussion with Francisville neighborhood residents that is designed to develop some initial guiding principles for projects which can be actionable in the next few years and projects that help to improve/enhance connections to neighborhoods. The ideas that are generated out of this project will have a structure and core groups of leaders to help make them happen.
As a result of doing tasks 1-5, each group produced the following products (most common products are in parenthesis):
A list of users, and what’s important to them (skateboarders, museum goers, tourists, students, the homeless, seniors, suburbanites). Folks come for amenities.
A list of non-users and why they don’t use the Parkway (residents, shoppers, folks who fear traffic, dating couples, families, seniors). Too much congestion, boring stretches, no nightlife.
A list of possible uses, or early action items, and a sense of the barriers to different uses (Read, eat lunch, play in the water, feed homeless, picnic, pass through, hang on Rocky steps, bike). Too many cars and lanes of traffic. Too little in way of seating, restrooms.
Dates and Locations of remaining meetings
All Meetings: Registration 6:00 - 6:30PM. Program 6:30 - 8:30PM
July 24th at the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society
100 N. 20th Street - 5th Floor
July 30th at Olivet Convenant Presbyterian Church
22nd and Mt. Vernon Street
July 31st at Next American City Storefront
2816 West Girard Avenue
(see attached flyer for more information about the community meetings)
In addition to being led by Parks & Recreation, City Planning Department, the Art Museum, PA Horticultural Society, and Center City District are also providing their leadership. These partners have proven records of collaboration to get projects done.