Tuesday, Philadelphia City Planning Commission staffer Ashley Richards walked PCPC commissioners through the Philadelphia2035 River Wards District Plan update. The PCPC is halfway through the 10-month-long River Wards planning process.
The first public meeting for the River Wards was held on January 13, 2015. Over 200 residents of the district provided feedback that will help shape future development and direct public investment. There was a presentation of existing conditions and an interactive mapping exercises. Please click here for the meeting summary and here to view the presentation.
The River Ward neighborhoods include: Fishtown, East Kensington, Olde Richmond, Port Richmond, Kensington and Bridesburg.
After 300 hours of survey work and analysis, the planning commission has identified these key issues:
The River Wards are dense rowhouse neighborhoods located to the east of the Market-Frankford El. Since large factories left the district, many residents have struggled to find new employment. New big-box retail stores along formerly industrial Aramingo Ave. provide entry-level jobs and convenience shopping. However, the shopping on Aramingo Ave. adds to traffic congestion and competes with traditional commercial districts like Kensington Avenue, Girard Avenue and Allegheny Avenue.
Many households do not own a car, reducing access to fresh healthy food. Drug use is a major issue, especially around the Allegheny and Somerset El stops. The quality and location of new development is a concern. The transition of former industrial land to other uses raises questions of compatibility with existing uses, and the desire for better public access to the Delaware River waterfront has been reflected in many recent plans. The district includes a busy port and large public utility properties northeast of the Allegheny Ave. exit of I-95.
Please join us for our second public meeting on Monday, March 30th, from 6 – 7:30pm, at the Horatio B. Hackett Elementary School, 2161 E. York Street. For more information, view the flyer here.
Watch full video of the presentation below.