Move out of the way, way. Now is the time for more park, and less way along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

Various improvements have been made to the Parkway in recent years and more are coming. The Action Plan for the Parkway will be unveiled during a public meeting tonight at 5:30pm at the Academy of Natural Sciences.

The Academy, photo credit

The plan, rooted in the “More Park, Less Way” theme, is the result of a year long process overseen by the Department of Parks and Recreation, with the help of PennPRAXIS, aimed at collecting public input to inform design upgrades. Four meetings were held this past summer in the neighborhoods surrounding and connected to the Parkway: Fairmount, Logan Square, Brewerytown and Francisville. The project will connect past improvements, like streetscaping (although those parking spots are terribly in the way), renovations at the Rodin Museum, and the opening of the Barnes Foundation (which was enabled by breaking a dead man’s will — well, at least we’re closer to Matisse now).

Looking down the parkway

“That’s not just the name of the plan, that’s a call to action based on what we heard from the public,” said Patrick Morgan, chief of staff for the Office of the Deputy Mayor.

PlanPhilly has been compiling and uploading public comments offered at the meetings. Some of those ideas include outdoor art, a skywalk, bus loop, dances, a relocated Christmas Village, game tables, and more. According to Morgan, the goal is to execute a number of short-term projects that can be completed within the time frame of Mayor Nutter’s current term, of which three years remain.

“This is an action plan in every sense of the word,” said Morgan.

–Lou Mancinelli