Street cleaning program, another gateway planned for West Passyunk

The Newbold Community Development Corporation is planning to start a street-cleaning program in March on Passyunk and Snyder avenues west of Broad, one of several initiatives planned for 2014 to tame what some people have referred to as the “Wild West of Passyunk Avenue.”

Horizon House, a local service provider for individuals with intellectual disabilities, will provide a two-person workforce to clean four hours a day, four days a week, said Newbold CDC President Tim Lidiak.

“Our major goal for 2014 is to address the litter problem along our two ‘main’ streets of West Passyunk and Snyder, from Broad to 18th streets,” Lidiak said. “Doing this while at the same time providing employment for individuals in need is a win-win for all of us.”

But then there’s also this:

Sweet dreams are made of this.

Also on tap for 2014 is the proposed development of a Newbold Gateway project, which would provide a nice counterpoint to the coming redevelopment of the other Passyunk gateway project across the street that we just told you about this week.

Unlike the gateway on the east side, funding for upgrades to the west side has not yet been secured. But the CDC has been collaborating with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society via their “Civic Landscapes” program to transform the intersection of Broad, West Passyunk and Snyder.

The Newbold CDC also plans to continue its “FlashMeal” program in 2014. The concept, based on the “flashmob” idea (the spontaneous, fun kind, not that other, violent kind) was the brainchild of CDC board member Levana Layendecker. She sends out a social media invite to a large number of Newbold and West Passyunk residents to convene on a local eatery at a designated date and time to show their support for the restaurant.

The concept has proven to be a highly successful one, providing a quick income infusion to fledgling eateries that are vulnerable in their first few years as they struggle to attract new customers. The program provides them with free marketing support by literally bringing those new customers in the door. If you want to be included on the FlashMeal social medial Evite list, go to

In 2014, the CDC also plans to maintain all the planting/green space work they’ve already begun at their five garden spaces spread throughout the Newbold neighborhood.

“It’s practically a second full-time job to coordinate everything, but it’s also very fulfilling to see the community reaction to our efforts to beautify the area,” Lidiak said.

One of five, this one near 16th and Passyunk
One of five, this one near 16th and Passyunk

When asked about the biggest challenge the Newbold CDC faces in 2014, Lidiak replied that the funding for the street cleaning program is, by far, the largest hurdle they are facing. While several area businesses and residents have already donated toward the cause, more funding is still needed to make the program fully sustainable.

“We are grateful to those who have already donated, and we are still seeking much needed additional donations from area businesses and residents to reach our funding goal,” he said. If you would like to donate, please contact him at

Stay tuned for future updates on what the Newbold CDC is doing to continue improving Newbold – a Redfin-designated “hot neighborhood” in 2014.

– Francine Mulligan