"Maybe it was the fond memories of New Year’s Day parades past evoked by the brigade banners hung along the Mummer Museum’s walls. But after planners from the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation presented an initial concept for remaking the eastern end of Washington Avenue that could remove as many as 60 on-street parking spaces, not a single heckling voice emerged from the dozens who gathered for a Monday night meeting.
It was the first time in this reporter’s four years of covering planning meetings that a proposal calling for reduced parking wasn’t met by at least some grousing.
“I think it's a good step forward,” said Debi Richter, a Pennsport resident. “We need some beautification of Washington Avenue. It's a great neighborhood — it [just] needs some makeup.”
In conjunction with its efforts to redevelop the Delaware River waterfront, the DRWC has sought to redesign a series of “connector streets” to the river — and Washington Avenue is the latest effort. The Pennsport initiative follows similar projects that improved pedestrian access and lighting under I-95 along Race and Spring Garden streets.
The Washington Avenue project is arguably DRWC’s most ambitious connector project to date, encompassing the five blocks between Fourth Street and Delaware Avenue. Following an initial public outreach meeting and community walkthroughs of the area in the spring, the DRWC design team unveiled a concept to improve public space, pathways for pedestrians and cyclists, and smooth traffic flows..."