The Reimagined Spring Garden Street Greenway

Spring Garden Street is reimagined as a “complete street” featuring a median trail, stormwater management, and pedestrian improvements.

PEC is working towards design and community engagement projects for Spring Garden Street, a vital link in the East Coast Greenway and Circuit system of trails that holds the key to regional connectivity.


PEC’s involvement along Spring Garden Street started five years ago with two key questions: how can we best connect our region’s growing trail networks, and what is the best way to connect Philadelphia’s two riverfronts? We completed the Center City Greenway Feasibility Study to answer these questions. The study identified Spring Garden Street as the preferred option for a new greenway traversing Philadelphia, thereby jump-starting the process of discovering Spring Garden’s true potential to become a more complete street that better serves pedestrians and motorists alike.

We then commissioned a planning and design study to invite public input and expert opinion on how to improve Spring Garden Street and create a new hub of activity for the city with added opportunities for recreation, commuting, living, and shopping. This study, The Reimagined Spring Garden Street Greenway, was completed in the summer of 2013. Since that release, efforts to engage the community around Spring Garden Street have been actively increasing, while PEC works with municipal stakeholders to identify a pathway forward to construction.

In the summer of 2014 we organized a volunteer-led community event, the Spring Garden Pop-Up Greenway, which showcased a “model” greenway and was a magnet for area residents, who enjoyed food, live music, and activities. Simultaneously, PEC conducted a traffic study to assess the impacts of the proposed plan. This data will be used by the City of Philadelphia to help determine final design, ultimately leading to the construction of the Greenway.

In general, the Spring Garden Street Greenway (SGSG) design follows a context-sensitive, complete street approach. A complete street design accommodates all potential users and serves multiple functions, consistent with adjacent land uses. In the case of SGSG, pedestrians will feel safer and more comfortable walking, the bikeway design will attract a wider range of bicyclists, stormwater will be managed in a more sustainable manner, bus access and operations will be improved, and vehicle access and connectivity will be maintained for motorists.

April 6, 2015

PEC to Present Spring Garden Street Greenway Project at Ignite Philly

On April 16, PEC will participate in Ignite Philly, a bi-annual event at which presenters are invited to inspire audience members by giving a brief, high-energy presentation on a project intended to have a positive impact on the city. This year’s event will be held at Johnny Brenda’s on North Frankford Avenue from 6-10 p.m.

The event organizers describe the event as, “part of a worldwide network that entertains and educates people in short five-minute bursts…and is our way to highlight great ideas coming to life here in Philadelphia.”

Trails & Recreation Program Managers Lizzie Hessek and Tony Spagnoli will be presenting on the Spring Garden Street Greenway, PEC’s proposed project that will create a separated cycle track down the median of Spring Garden Street in Philadelphia.

Sticking to the Ignite Philly format, we will be on stage for five minutes, presenting a total of 20 slides at a clip of 15 seconds each in the hopes that our message will leave the audience talking about our project long after they leave the venue.

The Greenway will connect two major regional trails, close a gap in the East Coast Greenway, and provide a safe place for cyclists to ride on the street with the heaviest bicycle traffic in Philadelphia. The Spring Garden Street Greenway has had tremendous community support over the course of its development, while its design was significantly influenced by community input at design charrettes around the corridor. Since the concept was released in 2012, a dedicated group of volunteers have continued to spread the word about the project’s potential.

In September 2014, PEC hosted a Pop-Up Greenway with the support of our volunteers that attracted nearly 1,000 people to Spring Garden Street for a day of music, food trucks, and community tours. The Pop-up Greenway was highlighted in 15 important media outlets, in an attempt to make the Greenway concept more well known.

Ignite Philly is another opportunity to inspire Philadelphians to support a project that will improve the bicycle and pedestrian experience in the city and support Philadelphia’s distinction as one of the best bicycle cities in the country. PEC is dedicated to building bicycle infrastructure that is attractive to all Pennsylvanians interested in getting out and exploring our environment, no matter what their skill level.

“The fundamental takeaway from Ignite Philly is that the ability to change the world is more real than ever,” noted Brian James Kirk, Business Director and cofounder of Technical.ly, a local technology news network.

We agree, and are excited to continue our mission of creating bike infrastructure for everyone by participating in this great event.

January 14, 2015

A New Year for Spring Garden Street

We started 2014 with a clear vision: reenergize the conversation about the Spring Garden Street Greenway and propel the project from concept to reality. When we began that conversation, you had a lot to say! What we heard from local stakeholders is that you believe in this project. You wanted us to get in front of the public and tell the story. So we did exactly that.

Spring Garden Street factsTogether, we hosted multiple public bike tours and explained the huge impact the Greenway will have. In the fall, you made the Pop-Up Greenway a reality. The Pop-up was a day-long experiment to build one block of Greenway, talk directly to the community, and have fun. Sixty volunteers and 1000 participants from the community came together to plan, build, and enjoy the event. The result was a hugely successful exercise that generated news articles, social media buzz and additional support. Thank you!

Finally, PEC continued to work with leaders in the City of Philadelphia to make critical decisions on how to move the Greenway project forward. Our primary goal was to get a green light from the City to start the preliminary design phase. Conversations with key City officials continued through the week before Christmas. PEC presented the City with safety data from separated cycle tracks in other cities, and we made new auto, bike, and pedestrian traffic counts for every intersection along the corridor available to the City in order to create a traffic model that will determine the safest way to implement a Greenway with the least traffic impact. It was a great way to end the year!

A Look Ahead to 2015Spring Garden Street 2015
-Complete traffic model
-Continue civic engagement
– USDOT Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Assessment
– Increase resident and stakeholder engagement

Thank you for all of the hard work which made 2014 an important year in the ongoing story of the Spring Garden Street Greenway. We are optimistic that 2015 will be a turning point in which the ball starts rolling and doesn’t stop until the Greenway is built. Stay in touch and have a Happy New Year!

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