Community Reacts Very Positively to “Reviving Vine” Open House
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Chinatown community members shared their opinions and feedback on the future planning of Vine Street Local at the Open House co-hosted by DVRPC, PCDC and Philadelphia oTIS. On April 12, 2018, over 60 local residents, business owners and organization members gathered at Holy Redeemer, where they listened to the study presentation, learned about the 15 proposed recommendations and provided input into the project.
The Reviving Vine Initiative is a planning study conducted by Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC), which aims to increase neighborhood connections through multimodal, inclusive mobility improvements in and along the Vine Street corridor from 8th Street to Broad Street. The Vine Street Expressway is an important corridor in the Philadelphia transportation network, but it also serves as a major commute for many residents in Chinatown. Community members share the concerns for road safety, speeding and difficult crossing along Vine and many feel that the Expressway has divided the community. It is vital to listen to the community feedback, as they bear the brunt of the traffic issues and changes.
The Open House commenced and culminated with the demonstration of 15 existing planning recommendations for the Vine Street study area, which includes the Chinatown north, south and the Callowhill neighborhoods. After signing in, attendees were directed to a poster summarizing all recommendations, then they freely roamed around the room to read these measures in more detail. The event officially kicked off with a bilingual presentation by DVRPC’s transportation planner Al Beatty, who laid out the mission, the study methods, analysis, and results of the project. Then participants were asked to rank their top five recommendations and voted on their favorite choices.
The project proposed a series of traffic taming strategies, including lane reconfiguration, transit, sidewalk improvements, and partial cap over the expressway. A good many community members showed great interest in these proposals and were avidly engaged in the conversation. They walked around the room, asked questions and made suggestions.
The corridor brings both opportunities and challenges to the surrounding neighborhoods. With upcoming developments like the Eastern Tower Community Center, Chinatown yearns for a safer and more connected corridor now more than ever. Vine Street has great potential to transform into a vibrant and vital community hub for Chinatown residents and visitors.
PCDC is very grateful for the community’s enthusiasm and participation at the Open House. The project is currently in the phase of data evaluation and proposal revision, with a final report to be released later in the summer. Community members are encouraged to follow DVRPC’s website https://www.dvrpc.org/Corridors/Vine/ for project updates and progress.