On Wednesdays – or, during holiday season, when we can get to it – we challenge Philadelphians to DEFINE THAT PLANNING TERM, an esoteric game where the prize is…knowledge. If addition to being able to throw a a super-geeky planning term around correctly, this week you can also learn a non-English word (hint, hint). Also the plural of woonerf is woonerven. Now you know that’s going to come in handy when you’re on Jeopardy! some day.
So, quiz time. A woonerf is:
1) A foam projectile toy that makes you go “Woo!”
2) The Farsi word for a small yappy dog.
3) A Dutch word for a street where pedestrians and cyclists are given priority over cars and have access to the entire street.
4) A classic Belgian beer style.
This woonerf sign isn’t much of a hint at all…
And the Answer Is:
Here at the PCPC, we’re all about your health. Not in the personal training way, but in the built environment way. That’s why we’re going to end the week – or at least some weeks – with Fitness Fridays! This is our chance to highlight physical activity, recreation, healthy food opportunities brought to you by the current and evolving landscape of Philadelphia. So without further ado and with a nod to the upcoming University/Southwest District Plan, in today’s Fitness Friday, we bring you:
“The Old Dusty”
North 46th Street in the University/Southwest District
That ginormous swath of pavement is the unit block of North 46th Street, affectionately known locally as “The Old Dusty”. Why you may ask, well, because the lack of buildings that meet the street plus luxuriously wide lanes equals the perfect ground for a windswept mess of streetscape. You wouldn’t be surprised to see tumbleweeds or their Philly cousin, the tumbleweave, slowly ambling from the Aldi to Haverford Avenue when you disembark from the El at the 46th Street Station. There are 49 feet of roadway from curb to curb and all that is contained within are two parking lanes and two very wide driving lanes. We can do better with this location as it is surrounded by institutions, it’s very transit accessible, and underneath lies the diverted Mill Creek. READ MORE
Today’s Wonky Wednesday describes a seldom used term we hope will grow in popularity over the coming years: Sidepath. A sidepath is a multi-use sidewalk/trail facility adjacent to a roadway. As you know from previous posts, bicycling on the sidewalk is illegal in Philadelphia unless you are under 12 years of age. On some busy roads, a cyclist must be brave and take the travel lane for safe passage. A sidepath allows some respite from traffic and a more leisurely ride, as well as a wider pedestrian area for dog walking, stroller-pushing, and roller blading.
A rendering of the 58th Street Greenway – now under construction. It’s the perfect sidepath illustration.
We’ve posted about bicycles and the new code and now we’re covering personal vehicles (you know, cars). As part of our “Countdown to the Code” series, Philadelphia Planeto is highlighting changes in the city’s new Zoning Code, which will replace the current code on August 22nd. Today’s Q&A topic: Parking and the New Code.
If only the signage was more clear. . .
Q: As a militant bike messenger and I SEPTA Philly spokesperson, I hope you’ve banned all personal vehicles from Philadelphia, forced all attached garages to become rumpus rooms, and required surface parking lots to become spraygrounds and dog runs. Oh yeah, and streets are now giant green bike lanes with some Bus Rapid Transit. Tell me my self-published manifesto has come true.
A: Whoa there, cowboy. Or girl. Personal vehicles, delivery trucks, and other motorized transportation are a necessary and vital part of a healthy city. Off-street parking regulations help make sure that there is a safe and adequate flow of traffic, encourage development of land, and ensure that parking areas are designed to be safe and efficient. So, no, we are not banning all personal vehicles in the new code. And, sadly, there are no rumpus room regulations either.
However, the new code does acknowledge and encourage multi-modal transportation such as bicycles through new regulations and mass transit with the Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Overlay and new density bonuses for connections to transit concourses in CMX-4 and CMX-5 (high-rise development). And we’ve also removed the residential parking requirements for our densest residential zoning districts.
One week ’til the new code! Hope you’ve been enjoying the countdown thus far. Today’s Q&A focuses on ways the new zoning code addresses bike parking, and by extension, transportation alternatives. We’ve also got some handy tips towards the end about bike parking outside of buildings (and therefore outside of the zoning code’s influence), so stay with us to the end, k? Here we go.
It makes for a nice picture, compositionally speaking, but really we’d like to see less of this. Zoning can help build up the number of off-street spaces.
Q: So how does a code about building form and design address bike parking, anyway?