CDAG completes second Progress Report on the Central Delaware

The Central Delaware Advocacy Group’s 2011 Progress Report on how far the city has come toward realizing its goals for the Central Delaware is finished.

The report measures goals set by the Action Plan for the Central Delaware, 2008-2018, which CDAG established in 2008 as the 10 benchmarks the city must achieve to successfully improve the Central Delaware waterfront, from Allegheny to Oregon avenues.

As was clear from an earlier work session on the Progress Report, CDAG members – who represent civic groups and other waterfront organizations – are largely pleased. It awarded 10 points out of 10 for the appointment of “an open, accountable, effective waterfront manager” and gave the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation praise for operating “in a transparent manner inclusive of public input,” forming key partnerships, securing funding, implementing projects and creating a Central Delaware Master Plan that is “exemplary in all respects.”

Near-perfect marks were given for steps taken toward the creation and improvement of parks and the creation of a greenway along the waters edge.

The lowest progress marks given – six out of 10 – were awarded for building a continuous, 7-mile trail along the waterfront, extending key streets to the river, and managing traffic and parking on the central Delaware.

CDAG urges the city to commission a survey to determine the boundary between the fast land and the publicly owned submerged, or riparian lands, and to develop a liability policy for the recreational trail.

The city was tagged for failing “to call for the opening of Shackamaxon on the SugarHouse site as a real street for public access and as control against further sprawl by the casino,” the report states.

SugarHouse’s proposed parking garage was cited as a reason for the 6 given on managing traffic and parking. “The proposed casino parking garage would be a gargantuan structure walling off the riverfront…” the report states.

CDAG members received copies of the report at Thursday’s meeting. Outgoing CDAG Chairman Steve Weixler urged them not to share the report just yet. He is soon meeting with some “policy makers,” including Delaware River Waterfront Corporation President Tom Corcoran and Planning Director Sarah Thorp, and copies of the report, along with a cover letter, will be mailed to others.

Weixler said CDAG does not want to blindside anyone directly involved in the riverfront work by making the report public before they have reviewed it.

Because copies were passed out at a public meeting, PlanPhilly determined the report was already public and appropriate to post.

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