City Avenue Special Services District Announces Start of 63rd Street Streetscape Project
The second phase of the City Avenue Special Services District's 2012 Capital Improvement Program is underway, as the 63rd Street Streetscape Project has begun construction. The project will improve pedestrian safety along a portion of 63rd Street that is home to a variety of residential and commercial uses, as well as SEPTA's Overbrook Station, one of the 25 busiest stations in SEPTA's Regional Rail System. Encouraging walkability has long been a staple of a strong economic revitalization strategy, and the hope is that the 63rd Street corridor will benefit as a result of the coming improvements.
The streetscape project will run along 63rd Street from City Avenue to Lancaster Avenue (U.S. 30). One of the most noticeable features of the project will be at the intersection of Overbrook Avenue and 63rd Street, where a curb extension, along the north side of Overbrook Avenue will create a shorter, safer crossing for pedestrian at the intersection, while also allowing the sidewalk to be reconstructed and widened to six feet in the immediate area. This curb extension, combined with new painted pedestrian crosswalks, will serve to calm traffic through the area as well, further encouraging pedestrian safety. The other major element of the project is the installation of ornamental, village-style lighting which will illuminate the corridor during evening/late-night hours for residents, restaurant patrons, and transit riders.
This streetscape project will supplement the work performed by the Overbrook Farms Club, the oldest civic association in the country, to maintain the historic fabric of Overbrook Farms. A commercial district redevelopment plan and subsequent traffic study performed several years ago by the civic association provided the recommendations to improve pedestrian connectivity which led to the development of the 63rd Street Streetscape.
"The decorative lighting will make the 63rd Street corridor more walkable, while the curb extensions will help with traffic calming and make it safer for pedestrians to access the commercial district," noted Kevin Maurer, President of the Overbrook Farms Club.
The roughly $1.1 million project is financed by a mix of funds from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, City of Philadelphia, and CASSD. Funding from the Commonwealth and City of Philadelphia was procured through the efforts of State Senator Vincent Hughes and City Councilman Curtis Jones Jr., respectively. Any further questions about the project can be directed to Terrence Foley of the City Avenue Special Services District at 610-747-0311 or tfoley@CityAve.org.
The City Avenue Special Services District is a collaboration between the City of Philadelphia and the Township of Lower Merion to enhance the public and private sectors of the region extending west on City Avenue from the Schuylkill Expressway to 63rd Street and Wynnewood Road. From the creation of public-safety initiatives to new strategies for development, the City Avenue Special Services District is the go-to organization for any individual or business interested in becoming a part of what this exciting region has to offer.