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Hey Philly: Let’s cover up I-95

March 6, 2007

waterfront.jpg
Big props to PennPraxis, a group organized by the University of Penn’s School of Design and the Phila. Inquirer.
They’ve been holding community forums for years now, organizing groups to get involved in designing a master plan for the Delaware River waterfront.

But the city and state politicians (except maybe Councilman Frank DiCicco) don’t seem to want to join the dialogue, hence the TREMENDOUS mistake of awarding not one, but TWO slots parlors on the water. The longer the plan is put off, the more big box stores and parking lots will pop up on the waterfront.

The mayoral candidates haven’t even touched the issue yet, but according to
the Plan Philly website, the first DAG Mayoral candidates forum is April 9, 5:30-7:30 @ the library main branch. (BTW, if your confused by all the group monikers & acronyms [PennPraxis, PlanPhilly, DAG] so am I).

The big hindrance to a successful design is I-95 and Delaware Ave. It’s elevation and width make for both a moat and wall that isolates the waterfront from the rest of the city. One design calls for burying I-95 only, and the other for burying both the highway AND Delaware Ave.

I say go for it. Now. I don’t think we’re allowed to use the phrase “the next great city” without actually DOING something to make us a great city.

More:

Inga Saffron’s Sunday Inquirer column (condensed without the drawings)
Today’s Inquirer editorial
PennPraxis
Plan Philly
and PhillySkyline.com, right after the *cough* great summary of the the Philly Craft Brewfest– Glad I didn’t go this year!

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