Picture the Frankford Creek being used for recreation. That’s just one of the changes city planners have outlined for the Lower Northeast.
Included in the planners’ vision are solar panels on the Frankford Transportation Center and its parking garage as well as improvements, more parking and investments to the Frankford Avenue and Castor Avenue business corridors.
Planners have pitched these ideas, which they hope will develop in the next 20 years or so, in three public meetings over the past several months. The last of those sessions was conducted last week at the Globe Dye Works on Worth Street in Frankford.
During that Aug. 7 meeting, 14 staffers from the City Planning Commission explained the long-range plans for the Lower Northeast — Frankford, Northwood, Summerdale, Oxford Circle, Castor Gardens and Lawndale/Crescentville.
Seventy-six people turned out for the session, said community planner Ian Litwin.
“We haven’t reviewed all of the feedback yet,” Litwin stated in an e-mail to the Northeast Times on Aug. 8, “but it seems that the overwhelming majority of the feedback was positive.”
Among the ideas for Frankford:
• Extend Womrath Park, which sits at the intersection of Frankford and Kensington avenues, to the Frankford Creek by joining adjacent underused property. Right now, a water garden is being constructed in Womrath Park. Murals are planned for several sites in the immediate area.
• Transform Church Street into a pedestrian corridor by making streetscape improvements, creating corner pocket parks and promoting redevelopment.
• Improve the Frankford Avenue streetscape and reduce bus circulation in front of the Frankford Transportation Center.
For Castor Avenue:
• More commercial development, helped by signage standards, street trees and better lighting to heighten awareness of existing international restaurants.
• More mixed-use housing.
Throughout the Lower Northeast:
• Rezone portions of Oxford Circle and Lawndale/Crescentville to reduce conversions to multifamily housing.
• More enforcement of rental license violations and more checking on illegal conversions of single-family properties to multifamily dwellings.
• Consider increasing transit options along the Roosevelt Boulevard.
• Realign the intersection of Oxford and Frankford avenues to simplify pedestrian and vehicle circulation. Right now, it’s not legal to make a left onto Oxford from northbound Frankford Avenue.
• Create a greenway along both sides of the Frankford Creek from Castor Avenue to Torresdale Avenue that includes a recreational trail.
Litwin said the Planning Commission will finalize its Philadelphia 2035 plan for the Lower Northeast this month. City legislation will be needed to implement parts of the plan, and that would require bills being introduced by City Council members. The Lower Northeast has pieces of six of the city’s 10 councilmanic districts, he said. ••