Market Street to receive facelift
February 5, 2010, 7:04 am · Updated February 5, 2010, 12:00 am·
After remaining unchanged for years, Market Street will soon become more pedestrian- and vehicle-friendly.
The Market Street Revitalization Project — which runs from 34th to 41st streets on Market Street — will improve sidewalks, traffic lights, pedestrian lighting, roads and bikeways.
Trees will also adorn the amenities strip, the space between the sidewalk and the street, University City Science Center spokeswoman Jeanne Mell said.
The intersection of 40th and Market streets will feature “bump-outs,” which means sidewalk corners will extend further into the intersection, creating a shorter distance for pedestrians to cross the street.
This new design to the sidewalks is an effort to promote “traffic calming,” according to Curtis Hess, senior vice president of real estate at the University City Science Center.
Construction began in November and will finish late spring of this year.
The project, which is a partnership between the University City Science Center and the City of Philadelphia Streets Department’s consultant Johnson, Mirmiran & Thompson is an effort to connect the Science Center, University City and West Philadelphia with Center City and 30th Street Station.
“Our overall goal is to improve the vitality and safety of the neighborhood. We want to provide an environment that is safe and attractive for our residents and those who live, work and play in University City,” Hess wrote in a press release.
The project is funded with money from local property owners and landlords, $80,000 from the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission and a $2-million grant from the City of Philadelphia’s ReStore Philadelphia Corridors program, according to the release.
Part of the project’s initiative is to contribute to the revitalization of streets that were once central shopping areas and places of work.
City Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell also contributed to the development of the project. Blackwell has been part of the planning process and community involvement and approved the city funding for the project, according to Hess.
“We could not have gotten this project off the ground without her strong support,” Hess said.
Hess added that residents are very positive about the project and are looking forward to enjoying the finished product.
The project is expected to help business on the Market Street area, known as the Avenue of Technology.
“We believe the streetscape should go hand in hand with the cutting-edge companies that are located here,” Hess said, citing new business openings in the area. “We want the streetscape to match and support the vitality of the neighborhood and its residents.”