Weekly Press: Penn students offer development ideas for South St. Bridge area

Weekly Press: Penn students offer development ideas for South St. Bridge area

A vital chapter in the protracted saga of the South St. Bridge restoration came to a close last week with a presentation by Penn students of their development ideas for the Grays Ferry neighborhood at the eastern foot of the South. St. bridge.

The redesign project is a collaborative effort of several community groups including South of South St. Neighborhood Association (SOSNA), the Center City Residents Association and the South Street West Business Association students.

With the reopening of the bridge, that area will become a gateway into the city for people coming off of I-76, and residents want to put a fresh face on their community.

SOSNA member Jim Campbell told the gathered neighbors that the community’s engagement of individuals and groups to help plan for the area’s rebirth gives the neighborhood the opportunity to work proactively. 

"Community involvement is a very critical part of the process. it is the responsibility of all of us to think about the neighborhood and what we would like to see and what we don’t want to see," Campbell said.

The City Planning students all thought a development of the area offered the opportunity to add retail space and create more green space. One site for both, they recommended is the triangle of land bounded by Grays Ferry Ave., South St., 24th St. and 23rd St. One student also suggested that as the site for a community pool.

They also suggested increasing both access to the neighborhood by bus, opportunities for bicyclists and pedestrians. Other transportation ideas included installing traffic calming elements to slow down traffic in order to increase retail and pedestrian activity and redirect traffic to make getting around the neighborhood easier.

One specific idea was go make the South Street triangle into a roundabout.

About the author

Andrew Goodman, Community Engagement Director, New Kensington Community Development Corporation

Goodman is currently the Community Engagement Director at the New Kensington Community Development Corporation.

Previously, Goodman worked as a city planner and project manager for PennPraxis. His focus was on projects that combined community engagement and public space design, including the Central Delaware Waterfront Planning Process, the Green2015 initiative for Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, and the Bartram’s Mile project in Southwest Philadelphia.  Goodman was an early contributor to PlanPhilly and helped shape the site in its first iteration.  As PlanPhilly grew, Goodman represented the publisher and provided professional planning input and project management support as the site expanded its beat coverage, went through multiple redesigns, conducted an internal strategic plan, and researched revenue generation opportunities.

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