In December we told you about a proposal for a velodrome to be built on the parkland at FDR Park. The project was hoping to gain approval to build a facility for bike racing and community use within the bounds of the park with the use of the open lands protection ordinance.
The decision from the Philadelphia Commission on Parks and Recreations stated that using this parkland for a velodrome would disturb a large portion of the park’s offerings.
The portion that would be eliminated for the facility includes picnic areas and a large area that is critical to the population of migratory birds and other wildlife in the park.
It was stated in the determination letter that the improvements promised for the park by the project’s supporters would not outweigh the negative impact the facility would have on the park. Also stated in the determination is that, “The applicants freely concede that the only reason they desire to locate the Velodrome in FDR Park is because a large lighted sign would be at that location and thus potentially attractive to sponsors who would purchase naming rights to help fund the project.”
Plans for the facility had included the 6,000 seat cycling racing track, community programming, clinics, as well as uses beyond the cycling community, such as concerts.
We have yet to hear if Project 250 is planning to find a different location for this facility, but from a previous conversation with Phil Senechal, who is involved with the project, this location, for now at least, was an all or nothing type deal. So it could be quite a while before we see a velodrome within city limits.
What do you think of the ruling on the project?