IMAGINE you are a father who walks along Spring Garden Street every day on the way to work. Your child’s day care is on the way, so each morning you walk with your child – and a stroller. What makes walking with a stroller in the city more comfortable? What can we bring to Spring Garden Street to make sure that everyone who walks along or across Spring Garden Street feels comfortable and safe?
This was just one of the exercises that members of the public completed at the Community Design Workshop held December 6th at the German Society of Pennsylvania.
One hundred fifteen community members reviewed concepts for transforming the street into a safer, more enjoyable place for all users – walkers, bikers, transit users, and drivers. Participants worked in small groups with a facilitator to imagine how different people might use the street and evaluate how two design ideas might function.
The first idea is to swap the parking lane and the existing bike lane to create an additional buffer for bicyclists from moving traffic. In addition, intersection improvements and brand new, better-timed traffic signals would make Spring Garden safer for pedestrians and motorists, respectively. The second idea was to consolidate the bike lanes and expand the median to create a path down the center of the roadway for walkers, joggers, and bicyclists. Traffic improvements would also accompany this option.
Both ideas included new opportunities for landscaping, trees, stormwater management technology, lighting, and other amenities. Participants evaluated the strengths and weaknesses of both ideas as it related to each of five scenarios: walking, living, owning a business, and bicycling on Spring Garden Street. The final scenario asked each participant to discuss their own individual interest in the street.
At the end of the night participants reported back to the larger group on key points in their discussion and meeting facilitators called out common topics based on a real-time computer compilation of all the ideas received.
The Pennsylvania Environmental Council will now incorporate the comments from the participants into the design process and continue to work with stakeholders and public agencies to select a preferred greenway option – one that is cost effective, meets the goals of the project, and reflects the opinions of those involved in the design process.
If you did not have a chance to attend the Community Design Workshop, but would like to provide your input and stay involved, please click here. The next public meeting will be scheduled in late April.
To examine the greenway options in detail and read more about the scenario exercises, click on the links below: