Review begins on ADA ramp work in historic Philadelphia neighborhoods

    A historical review has begun in Society Hill where residents are hoping to find an acceptable alternative to the bright white sidewalks, orange ramps and new foundation supports needed to bring the neighborhood’s ADA curb cuts up to code.

    Neighborhoods between Front and Broad and Market and South streets are having new ramps installed at the curbs to meet ADA accessibility standards, but when work began this spring, Society Hill residents noticed the measures to update the ramps don’t mesh with the neighborhood’s historical designation.

    NewsWorks partner PlanPhilly has been following the story, and spoke with representatives from the Society Hill Civic, PennDOT and the Greater Philadelphia Preservation Alliance about possible alternatives.

    At issue are two main things: the cheek walls some corner properties will need to support their foundations when the sidewalk is lowered to meet the grade requirements, and the color of the sidewalk and ramps, which clashes with the original brickwork.

    A review will help determine if there’s a happy medium between the ADA standards and the neighborhood’s historic look.

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