$30K grant awarded to construct West Oak Lane ‘pedestrian plaza’

Thanks to a $30,000 grant from the city’s Commerce Department, a pedestrian plaza will be built at the intersection of Stenton Avenue and Washington Lane in West Oak Lane.

The Ogontz Avenue Revitalization Corporation (OARC) was awarded the Pedestrian Plaza Program grant with a stated aim of converting underutilized areas into public spaces.

The project will use existing green space in the Stenton Avenue Traffic Island and block traffic access between it and nearby stores. The streets will also be painted and large planters with trees and shrubs will be installed along with seating and chess tables.

Atmospheric change

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John Ungar, chief operating officer of OARC, said the plaza’s proximity to West Oak Lane Charter School, various fast-food restaurants and daycare centers will result in a lot of pedestrian use.

“I think it will create more street life,” said Ungar. “We are really excited to create a space where people and, hopefully, children will just get a chance to relax and have fun.”

The Philadelphia Department of Water will also be doing a stormwater management project in order to capture stormwater more efficiently at the adjacent traffic island.

Construction is expected to begin within the next few weeks as Ungar said he hopes it will be finished in time for kids to use it early in the school year.

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