Hard at work

If you’ve been to 30th Street Station lately, you may have noticed the serious construction activity taking place in the parking area on the southern side of the station. It’s been going on for months, and we didn’t have a clue what was going on there… until now. Turns out that a host of people and organizations are behind an effort to reclaim the southern parking lane for a new forty foot wide public space, with an eye toward improving walkability at this meeting of West Philadelphia and Center City. Stakeholders include City Council, the Planning Commission, the Streets Department, Amtrak, Brandywine Realty Trust, the Schuylkill River Development Corporation, University City District, and several other organizations. Yes, everyone and their mother has something to do with this thing! This is part of a larger PennDOT project and should be finished in a week or so. Eh, maybe a little more than that.

Looking west and into the past. Blurry image from Google.

Still looking west. Lots of work going on.

The current effort is the first phase of a larger plan to make this space more welcoming to pedestrians. The goal of this phase is to create a welcoming space with comfortable seating, some green space, and shade. Additional phases down the road could involve food kiosks, more green space, and a more complete buffer from Market St. traffic. Events are also planned for the space, to help increase its use.

At the moment, the focus for UCD is coming up with a name. Want to help? You could win a $500 Amtrak gift certificate.

Submit this info by midnight EST on September 30th to newpublicspace@universitycity.org

  • Suggested Name for Public Space:
  • Reasons for the suggested name (no more than 150 words):
  • Your Name:
  • Phone Number:
  • Email:
  • Ohbytheway, we’ve got some renderings. Kind of looks like a giant parklet, no?



While we see this as a wonderful idea in theory, we are concerned about 1) how tough it’s going to be to keep it clean, 2) how creating a welcoming space for commuters and pedestrians also creates a welcoming space for the homeless population, which might make the space less welcoming for commuters and pedestrians 3) the difficulty of finding peace in this setting with cars whizzing by on Market St. We don’t want to be a Debbie Downer here- these are all challenges that can be overcome, and we’re eager to see what happens. We’re gonna stay positive and optimistic. For now.