By Steve Tawa
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Plans are in the works to turn Spring Garden Street into a greenway that is a hub of activity for drivers, cyclists and others, connecting the Art Museum area to neighborhoods around the Delaware River.
Pennsylvania Environmental Council Executive Vice President Patrick Starr says right now, Spring Garden acts as a barrier that cuts off the energy from center city and from the neighborhoods on the north side.
“It could be a great connector, but today, it’s a divider,” Starr says.
He says Spring Garden has a bit more width and capacity to handle multiple uses, and it’s a straight 2.2 mile shot between the Art Museum and the Delaware River waterfront.
“We’re leading the process of engaging the public to imagine a completely remade Spring Garden Street.”
Planners, including Starr, say it has the potential to become Philadelphia’s most user-friendly street for those traveling on foot, bicycle, car, bus or rail.
Albert Girard is active with the Spring Garden Civic Association, which covers the stretch from the Art Museum to Broad Street.
“There are destinations in this neighborhood, so having a really beautiful street, which will kind of connect with the parkway, is really nice.”
Reporter: “How would you describe Spring Garden Street in its present state?”
Girard: “Utilitarian. It just gets you from ‘a’ to ‘b’.”
“I’m quite impressed with the thought that’s gone into this,” Girard says. “I went on their first street audit, where we walked the street, and they have a computer program to plug data into and give them whatever they need to know.”
Tuesday evening at 6:30, you can learn more about the project at the German Society of Philadelphia, near 7th and Spring Garden Street.