SOSNA has been managing the Triangle Plaza for a decade as a gathering space for neighbors. However, the Triangle Plaza is still considered a "temporary" space by the City. For years, we have been planning on making it a permanent space with raised sidewalks, increased greenery, and better furniture. We also envision more public space, and safer pedestrian and vehicle circulation, at Bainbridge Street. Both improvement plans to the streetscape would reinforce our small neighborhood commercial corridor and provide permanent public places for the entire community to gather at a scale that serves the neighborhood. This is all part of a large project we are calling the
Grays Ferry Triangles Gateway.
We can't do this without community support. The City has committed to making this project happen but we need neighbors to help raise funds for the design phase of the project. Though the total cost of the project is $3 million, which will be funded by state and local sources, we still need to raise $30,000 from the community to begin the design phase.
Your commitment will help make the dream of an incredible new pedestrian-oriented commercial corridor become a reality for our neighborhood.
After the design phase, the construction of the project will be funded by a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED).
If you are interested in a business or foundation sponsorship with potential naming opportunities within the Triangle, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In 2022, SOSNA drafted plans to:
- Make the Triangle permanent with updated landscaping, features, and amenities.
- Redesign 23rd Street and Grays Ferry Ave, Bainbridge, and 24th street to make the area more pedestrian-friendly, reduce the number of crossings, and improve traffic flow.
SOSNA held a community meeting on February 1st, 2023 to share the plans with the community and gather feedback.
In March, the City released details of the traffic study which showed the project is viable with minimal impact on traffic. See more here.
A key part of this project is reducing pedestrian crossings. In the draft plan on the left, the number of times pedestrians have to cross the street is reduced by eliminating two "slip lanes" on Grays Ferry Avenue. In addition, we envision curb bump-outs to slow traffic and reduce the crossing distance for pedestrians at all major intersections in the area.
We have also heard from neighbors that the bottleneck created at the intersection of Grays Ferry Avenue and Bainbridge results in significant backups and traffic issues further down Bainbridge and on 22nd street. We plan to alleviate this issue by reversing 24th street, which will allow northbound traffic on Grays Ferry Avenue to go up to South Street rather than be forced to turn right and down Bainbridge Street.
All of these plans are subject to change based on neighborhood feedback. Please reach out to us with any feedback on these draft plans and stay tuned for community meetings.
When will construction take place?
If awarded, there would be an extensive design phase to gather as much public feedback and input as possible. Construction would begin in 2025 or later.
What about reversing 24th street?
Our draft plans involve reversing 24th street between Bainbridge and Lombard. This would better ease traffic flow in the area and allow us to eliminate a pedestrian crossing, making the area safer. Traffic study results conducted by the City of Philadelphia Streets department show no negative impact on traffic by this reversal. Traffic flow would be reduced on 24th street during PM rush and decreased on the 2200-2300 blocks of Lombard street. If awarded the grant, we will work with neighbors to ease any concerns about this aspect of the project, which could include curb bumpouts on 24th street and Lombard, speed cushions, or other traffic calming that neighbors would like to see.
Tell me more about the traffic flow with the street reversal.
A large amount of traffic, buses and trucks travel up the 2200 block of Bainbridge, which is a residential street. One goal is to alleviate the amount of traffic on this residential street by providing multiple optional routes to divert traffic. One option includes reversing 24th Street up to Lombard which splits traffic heading to Center City from traffic heading westbound to the South Street bridge (to 76 and West Philly). These are some of the impacts:
This simplifies the two triangle intersections at Bainbridge, making it safer for motor vehicles, cyclists, and pedestrians.
To address concerns about northbound 24th Street traffic cutting down Naudain, Naudain could be reversed in the 2400 block.
Reversing 24th Street would make it easy to circle the block, if necessary.
This reversal also restores the pattern everywhere else of our numbered streets, with even numbers traveling north and odd numbers traveling south. Traffic heading south from South Street would turn on 23rd Street rather than 24th.
What are some ideas you have about permanency at the Triangle?
Maintain the intimacy of the fountain and the corner, provide multiple seating options such as tables with chairs and garden-wall seating, and leave the rest of the area open for a range of program uses. Use durable materials. Garden walls would be built from stone to match the Naval Square site wall. Cobblestones on the pavement pattern would soften the angularity of the site and would slow pedestrian movement. Rain gardens would have short railings around them. Shade would be provided by canopy trees and hardy, sustainable native plants. Seating would be attached to the planters to provide strong edges to the central area and the perimeter. Use the stone walls and rain gardens to create small-scale seating groups around the perimeter without losing the flexible center area. Keep the fountain area as a small intimate seating area around the water. The plaza celebrates an element of community history at the site including Odunde and Catherine Thorne, W.E.B. Dubois, and Calder.
How will it impact businesses?
We expect that brand-new and permanent public spaces will make the area an even more attractive place to do business, encouraging more public gatherings, events, and making it more of a destination.