Banking on improvements to Delaware riverfront

Lack of access to Philadelphia’s stretch of the Delaware River has long been a source of ire for those who love the water. On Monday politicians and planners will unveil plans for area along the six miles of the Delaware flowing between Oregon and Allegheny avenues.

Marilyn Taylor, the dean of the School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania, said right now the stretch of waterfront “is an enormously beautiful place that is mostly inhabited by obsolete industrial buildings and a few spots of access and activity that aren’t well tied together.”

Taylor said the Central Delaware River Master Plan aims to transform the waterfront.

“One of the important principles of the master plan is that there will be an important public park roughly every half mile along the water,” she said. “And people will come to those (parks) across improved intersections and underpasses or overpasses across I-95. In addition, those parks will be tied by a multi-use waterfront trail.”

Tom Corcoran, president of the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation, said every great American city strives to have a wonderful waterfront.

“The great cities like Chicago, where I’m from, or San Francisco or New York have done amazing things. Philadelphia took a little longer than most,” he said. “We’re going to be ready to systematically and incrementally create that same type of waterfront.”

Corcoran said it makes sense to invest in the waterfront because it will attract people to walk, live and dine there.

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