The first piece of the Frankford Creek Greenway was quietly built last year on Aramingo Avenue at Wheatsheaf Lane and hardly anybody noticed including me. At one of the Brownfield meetings recently I ran into Rob Armstrong (Parks and Recreation) and he gave me the tip. When you go into the Wawa over there, you might notice a large, wide strip of asphalt that runs the perimeter of their property. That is the Frankford Greenway, so far.
The encouraging thing about this is that if illustrates what planning does. In this case it made if possible to get this little piece of the project built at very little cost. It was incorporated into the construction of that new shopping area.
Much of the Frankford Creek Greenway is planned to be done the same way as I95 is reconstructed in the area. All the way up to Torresdale Avenue and almost the entire way to connect to the Delaware River trail at Bridesburg.
The most recent proposed route is below. There are sections where it will have to run along city streets and others where it will run along the creek like at the Twins at Powder Mill development.
Below is the proposed routing. This is a link to the feasibility study where the entire plan is laid out.
We will keep you updated when other news develops.
On Tuesday night, at the Juniata Golf Course, the city’s Parks and Recreations Department, in conjunction with the Philadelphia Planning Commission, held the first public meeting on the findings of the feasibility study for the Frankford Creek Greenway. The greenway is meant to allow residents to walk or bike the entire length of the Frankford Creek through Frankford to the Delaware River, and increase recreational space along it. The organizations are seeking feedback from the community about a few options for implementing the path.
This project is a high priority for the city because it sees the area as a “green dessert”, an area severely under served by park space. The point is hit home by calling the project a “greenway” instead of a trail, because there’s not much green space around. While other creeks in the city, namely the Wissahickon and Pennypack, have a lot green nature surrounding them, the Frankford Creek is the only one in the city that doesn’t have parkland adjacent. The purpose of the paths is to connect Frankford’s green spaces together and further enhance alternative options of transportation(ie. bikes). It was noted that the planners are hoping that neighborhood residents will use the greenway to get to shopping down along Aramingo Ave.
Residents of the Twins at Powder Mill have a lot at stake here
Attendees were invited to cast votes for one of three options of how the greenway will run around the residential development at the Twins at Powder Mill near Potter Street. Residents there stand to benefit(or suffer, depending on your point of view) the most from the completion of the Frankford Creek Greenway. The city owns a sizable lot adjacent to the creek at Wingohocking Street, and has several options for building a route through it. It was noted at the meeting that sometimes residents do not like having paths running next to their back yards, as it encourages transients. Three options were presented, a path along the creek, a path nearer the back yards of the Twins with green space to the creek, and a bypass of the back yards altogether with a bike path along Potter Street. Having a trailhead near the development, along with cultivated recreational and alternative transportation options could mean increased value and quality of life for the residents there. Further feedback is encouraged.
The feasibility study comes before any money is spent. This isn’t bulldozer time. No money has been provisioned yet for the project, the planners are hoping for grants from the state and other local governments. Before any grants may be obtained, they’ll need final design and construction documents, which takes time. PennDot is going to be constructing the portion of the trail that runs along their Adams Ave Connector project, making up roughly one third of the entire length. The greenway paths will not be an afterthought, this is a new day for Penndot. The organization is very bullish on alternative means of transportation.
The next meeting of the Frankford Creek Greenway will be at the Globe Dye Works at a yet to be determined time.
This Monday, September 30th at Juniata Golf Course, the Philadelphia Planning Commission and Parks and Recreation will be hosting the first public meeting to discuss the Frankford Creek Greenway. The details for the plan are still getting hashed out, and if the community doesn’t give it’s input, the decisions will be made for us. Half of the Frankford Creek looks like an open sewer, but there’s plenty of potential. And for me personally, I would like to see the Frankford Creek Greenway go down Church Street to continue to contribute to the good development going on at the Globe Dye Works. And that’s not necessarily in the plan yet. So show up and help me out.
The Frankford Creek Greenway trail moved one step forward at a presentation made to the Philadelphia City Planning Commission of the draft recommendation for prioritizing trail construction in the city. The Frankford Greenway met the criteria for moving high up on the list of 75 planned trails.
Click on image for full size view
Open Space Planner Jeannette Brugger noted that “The Frankford Creek Greenway is in an area of low automobile ownership and fills a gap in open space access. Frankford Creek is also a waterway targeted for improvements by the Philadelphia Water Department.”
The factors in prioritization are: Prior commitment (Frankford Greenway plan by the PWD), demand (lack of green space in the lower Northeast), Feasibility (to be started this year), connectivity (would close major gaps in the trail network) and cost.
The Frankford Greenway scored highly because:
- Previous master plan
- In an area of low car ownership
- Fills the gap in walkable access to open space
- PWD waterway restoration priority
- Completes a gap in the trail network
A grant for the feasibility study of the Frankford Creek Greenway has been awarded and the contract should be awarded in the next month. You can review all the details on the planphilly web site at this link.
All this talk about the development of land near the Frankford Creek got me to searching for Frankford Creek Greenway. I found this link to an EPA newsletter from the Fall of 2007.