Remember back in February 2014 when we reported the city would spend $300,000 on pedestrian improvements at 12th, Passyunk and Morris?
Plans are being finalized to make that a reality, and the even better news is that it is supposed to turn out a lot better than the lipstick-on-a-pig renovation up at 10th Street.
Plans have not been set in stone, but they include adding a traffic island in the middle of the intersection, expanding the curb at most street corners to shrink the distance pedestrians have to cross, extending the peninsula in front of A Man’s Image, adding pedestrian timing lights and of course, adding greenery and improving lighting.
When it’s all said and done, the city Commerce Department and the Passyunk Avenue Revitalization Corporation will pony up the money to cover the tab of about $700,000.
PARC director Sam Sherman said he actually printed out pictures of the “sneckdowns” created by last winter’s repeated snowstorms and took them to a landscape architect to use as a template (Nice job, This Old City).
“Then we started working with the Streets Department,” Sherman said. “The final plan should be ready in the next month or two, but really it’s following the photograph.”
The improvements should beautify the intersection as well as make it safer for pedestrians. “It won’t be such a free for all, and traffic lights will be fixed so cars don’t get stuck n the middle. For a little intersection, its pretty complicated.”
Work is supposed to start in early 2016 and be done by June or July of next year, Sherman said.
The big difference between this and the project at 10th Street, he said, is that this one has had PARC, the Streets and Commerce departments and Councilman Mark Squilla’s office all involved from the beginning.
Three parking spaces will be lost, but in exchange, the neighborhood gets a safer intersection and another place to stop for a second and take it all in.
The extended peninsula at At Man’s Image will include a little seating and greenery, making it the fourth new place to sit for a spell since PARC took over in 2011. That includes the fountain, the Mifflin Triangle and the gateway.