The Reimagined Spring Garden Street Greenway

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 in 2010 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. This study, The Reimagined Spring Garden Street Greenway, was completed in the summer of 2013. Since its 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.

Today, the Spring Garden Street Greenway is integrated into the City of Philadelphia’s Trail Plan, and the Office of Transportation Infrastructure and Systems is actively working to design, engineer, and construct the greenway. PEC is working hand-in-hand with the City to continue building support for the project within the local community and provide feedback from residents and businesses as the project progresses towards completion.

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.

PEC’s initial work conceptualizing the new greenway has set the stage for the City to take over and move forward with the project. As that work proceeds, the concept will continue to evolve. PEC will continue to guide and support the process by facilitating public education, community engagement, and other activities.

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