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Northwood Civic February Meeting

There was a good crowd at the meeting on February 17th to hear about the Water Department (PWD) project on Adams Avenue.  John DiGiulio represented the PWD and came prepared to discuss all the projects in the area that had been put out to bid.  Unfortunately, Adams Avenue was not on the list.  He did not disappoint the group since he explained in general what would be happening when the project get going.  Residents of the 4600 block of Adams Avenue talked about prompted the PWD to plan work on the block.

The problem is that sewers on that block regularly back up into some residents basements.  The bigger problem is that the sewer is a private sewer not part of the PWD system.  I never heard about that one before but DiGiulio said that there are a good number of private sewer and water systems in the city when something goes wrong with them it is the homeowners responsibility to repair it.

Residents of the block have been trying to get PWD to install sewer system on the block for a long time and they have finally decided to do it this summer.  The upside is that the sewer system will be installed but the downside is that each homeowner will have to pay to connect their house to the system.  That could easily cost over $10,000 per home.  PWD offers a zero interest loan over 10 years to help with the expense but it is still a hefty bill.

Since this block is at the back of the Northwood Academy Charter school that adds another element to the construction problems since the street is heavily used during school time.  For that reason construction should take place during the summer.

Further details of the project will be announced when it is finalized and scheduled.  Each homeowner in the area affected by the construction will get a written notice by mail.

You can go the the PWD website and see what notices have been sent out for any zip code in the city just to keep informed.  That is available at this link.  Click on notifications by zip code to see what is current in this area.

DiGiulio did give us a heads up on some new projects recently put out for bid which means construction could start in a few months.  Water mains will be replaced on the following streets.

  • Arrott Street between Oakland and Leiper
  • Foulkrod Street between Duffield and Tackawanna
  • Ruan Street between Tackawanna and Torresdale

Also at the meeting was Jim Kennedy for Congressman Brendan Boyle.  He said Brendan wants to keep in touch with what is going on the neighborhoods and will occassionally be attending the meeting.  Rep. Boyle’s local office is at Woodward and the Boulevard.  The phone number is 215-335-3355.  There will also be an office opening in Olney in a few months.

The Ad Hoc used car business on the 900 block of Foulkrod continues to shuffle their cars throughout Northwood.  Keep reporting them to 311.  They will have not license tag

No word on the day care on Oxford Avenue.  The No Parking Any Time signs are moving forward.  No date for installation yet available.  There was a Treasurers report but there have been additions or withdrawls since last month.

Councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez will be at next months meeting.  Residents are urged to attend and bring your concerns.  Northwood is now entirely in the 7th Councilmatic district so Maria is your representative.

The next meeting of the Northwood Civic Association will be on March 17th at 7PM at St. James Lutheran Church at Castor Avenue and Pratt Street.

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Frankford Creek Greenway Trail Gets High Priority

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.

phltrailmasterplan-prioritymap-draft

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.

 

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Rain Garden at Womrath Park

I went to the “neighborhood meeting” at the Community Academy of Philadelphia on Erie Avenue to find out about the proposed changes to Womrath Park.  I thought I had heard enough about it but I wanted to see if there was anything else to be discovered.  Yes the Community Academy of Philadelphia is not in the community but the folks who sponsored the meeting were not aware of the many venues they could have used instead.  We will forgive them that one slip up.

Note the title of this post refers to a rain garden and the meeting made a good case that this is an apt description of what will be done to the park.  The video below is a good primer on the problem facing Philadelphia in regard to the rain water issue.  Rain comes and can overwhelm the sewage treatment facility.  That leads to pollution of the rivers and streams where raw sewage can be dumped in such a situation.  The solution is to clean the storm water outside of the sewage treatment system, sort of the way nature does if left to its own devices. Have a look at the video below.

Green City, Clean Waters from GreenTreks Network on Vimeo.

Philadelphia has chosen this path and Womrath park is a natural place to implement a small scale project due to its proximity to the Frankford Creek.

Here is a site plan of the park.  You can see the major changes will be to the south end.

And here you can see the details of what will be happening down at that end. We’ll post more news when it comes along.

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Catching Rainwater at Womrath Park

Big meeting coming up to find out about this plan which is the first of its kind in the city.  The idea is that the city wants to divert rainwater which now flows into the sewer system back to the earth where it belongs.  Nature has been thwarted in the city because of the paving over of the ground.  This idea would redirect the flow back into the ground and save the water treatment system from handling what is really clean water already.

Come to the meeting and get the details.