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Philly freeway plan circa 1974

jresta

Cyburbian
Messages
1,474
Points
23
Wow. I can only imagine what this place would look like had this plan succeeded.

http://www.phillyroads.com/history/expwy-map_1974/

What got finished was the loop around Trenton and the connection to the Turnpike but not the two freeways inside the loop. Down in Gloucester Co., NJ the freeway labeled as "31" was finished with a slightly different alignment and is now NJ55.

In Delaware Co., PA 476 or "the Blue Route" was finished and in Philly 95 was finished along the river. Thankfully, none of those other dotted lines were built.

Up in Bucks Co., PA the Rt. 1 Freeway was finished between Langhorne and Trenton.
 

boilerplater

Cyburbian
Messages
916
Points
21
There are still people in Cape May County, the Chamber of Commerce among them, who believe that extending 55 south to the shore will be the salvation of the shore resorts like Wildwood. It would have to cross so many wetlands that the costs for structures and mitigation would be huge. But I recall reading that the plan is being considered. Heard anything?

Was one of those dotted lines on the map an expressway that would have obliterated the beloved, grime-soaked South street?
 

jresta

Cyburbian
Messages
1,474
Points
23
South St. actually is what it is b/c PennDOT bought up all of the properties between I-95 & Broad St.but the property owners west of Broad St. hired big lawyers to hold off the condemnations.

This dragged on for years so PennDOT starting giving short term leases on some of the buildings so the people interested were naturally those that could move their businesses quickly and easily. Artists, bars, record shops, book stores, etc.

The Southern New Jersey Development Council is still pushing for the Rt. 55 extension - surprise, surprise. They want to open up eastern Cumberland Co. and western Cape May to development and that's what's best for them.
 

ChevyChaseDC

Cyburbian
Messages
190
Points
7
destroy I-95!

I was just in Philly and noticed how disruptive to the city fabric I-95 is where it skirts the edge of Old City...

How about finally re-naming the portion of the NJ TPike between the Del. Mem. Bridge and I-195 as "I-95," call the portion of I-95 that separates Center City from the Delaware waterfront something else, and then bury it or dismantle the thing a-la Boston's Big Dig.

Has anyone ever suggested that? Or would such a thing never be politically feasible in Philly?
 

jresta

Cyburbian
Messages
1,474
Points
23
let me start off by saying that a new interchange (should be done by 2011) will be built where 95 and 276 intersect (the PA Turnpike). 276 east of 95 will be re-numbered 95. In effect I-95 will continue through Philly and merge with 276 and cross the Delaware on the existing PA Turnpike Bridge. This portion of the PA Turnpike already merges seamlessly with the NJ Turnpike at exit 6.

Now, as recently as 6 months ago, tearing down 95 (or rather filling it in) between 676 and Washington Ave. was on the table. drivers on 95 wishing to continue on 95 would have the options of using Delaware Ave. or 676 to the Schuylkill Expwy to the Platt Bridge.

It's being discussed b/c Penn's Landing is impossible to develop with the existing 95 chasm. The option that's risen to the top is decking over the freeway (it's already been done in bits and pieces) in one continuous segment from Market St. to Pine St.

Personally i think Delaware Ave. is wide enough and poses its own problems. Simply covering 95 doesn't deal with the 30 ft. drop in elevation from Front St. to Delaware Ave.
 

ChevyChaseDC

Cyburbian
Messages
190
Points
7
Personally i think Delaware Ave. is wide enough and poses its own problems. Simply covering 95 doesn't deal with the 30 ft. drop in elevation from Front St. to Delaware Ave.
How about buildings that would span the drop, with steep sideways drives every block or so, such as is done in Savannah along River Street?
 

jresta

Cyburbian
Messages
1,474
Points
23
ChevyChaseDC said:
How about buildings that would span the drop, with steep sideways drives every block or so, such as is done in Savannah along River Street?
This makes sense, although, the proposals thus far include building on the 95 decks and over Delaware Ave. so that the experience for a pedestrian walking down Walnut St. would be one of a contiguous street grid that connects with the great plaza that already makes up the 32' drop.


and here were the 4 proposals that got a cold reception from the public and took the whole thing back to the drawing board.

http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/slideshow.htm?content_id=6804084&pub_name=inquirer&language=
 

boilerplater

Cyburbian
Messages
916
Points
21
The 3rd proposal looks like they took the London Eye wheel and Baltimore's Inner Harbor market and dropped them unchanged onto Penn's landing. The 2nd one looks like something John Jerde would do for a big Japanese city. Its so dense and futuristic. I guess anybody who simply suggested bringing brick loft warehouse looking buildings to the waterfront would have been laughed out of the room. There's such a clamor for a big spectacle there, but they can't seem to find developers with the will and deep pockets, as I understand it.

What do you think of the Penn's landing schemes?
 

jresta

Cyburbian
Messages
1,474
Points
23
like i said, the public wasn't very happy with any of the plans. I get the feeling, and i mostly agree, that people think that Penn's Landing is fine the way it is. That's not to say it doesn't need a lot of improving in regards to how it connects to the rest of the city but that the plaza concept should remain without a lot of distractions.

The first proposal, the one that's the most difficult to make out, is probably the best. It's just condos and offices with street level restaurant/retail and a grand piazza with a big archway through the middle of the building for Chestnut St.
It brings the city to Penn's Landing. I don't think anyone here wants an amusement Park on the river. That's what Camden is for.

As far as warehouses are concerned - This has already happened to a certain extent with the conversion of some of the old piers into condos and apartments

Dockside, pictured above, is a bit much. The piers to the north were done a lot more tastefully and sit at 4 floors. Dave & Busters is pretty nice looking too, although you can't really tell from this picture that is, in fact, a pier.

 
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