Category Archives: Community Happenings

Update on Parkside Avenue Repaving Project

There has been a change in the schedule for full implementation of the Parkside Avenue Corridor Safety Project. 

The milling and pavement operation on Parkside from Girard Avenue – 52nd Street is well underway and the roadway will be restriped by PennDOT crews in early November. There will be a delay on the installation of the parking protected bicycle lane as we enter the winter. The striping will be completed in two phases: Phase 1 in November by PennDOT and Phase 2 in 2018 by the City. Phase 1 retains curbside parking on the both sides of Parkside Avenue and Phase 2 will install a parking protected bicycle lane on the north side of Parkside Avenue.

What you will see in November as part of Phase 1 will be slightly different than what was discussed in the previous blog post and stakeholder meeting. The parking will be at the curb on the northern part of Parkside and a two-way bicycle lane will be between the north parking lane and the westbound motor vehicle lane. This will be done in temporary paint to allow the City to come back in 2018 for Phase 2 and install the parking protected bicycle lane configuration.

Many pedestrian improvements will be completed in Phase 1 of the project, including improved pedestrian crossings at Belmont Avenue and as part of the Parkside Edge project at 41st Street, Marlton Avenue, and 42nd Street. 

The City will reach out with a final project schedule for the completion of the striping project in 2018. In addition, the Parkside Journal will report on this change for the information of the wider community.  With any questions, please reach out to Jeannette Brugger, the Bicycle & Pedestrian Coordinator for the City at





Parkside Avenue Repaving to begin The Week of October 23rd. 2017

Improvements Coming to Parkside Avenue

On 10/13, PennDOT announced in a press release (LINK that Parkside Avenue will be resurfaced this fall between Girard Avenue – 52nd Street. Parkside Avenue in those limits is a state road, which is why the paving is being done by PennDOT.

Resurfacing means that PennDOT crews will mill, or remove, the existing pavement and repave with new asphalt to provide a smooth roadway surface. Work will begin the week of October 23rd and continue for several weeks.

After the repaving is complete, the lines on the road will be restriped. You will notice that the lines will look different that before the repaving and will include pedestrian, motor vehicle, and bicycle safety measures.

Parkside Avenue is identified as part of the Philadelphia High Injury Network, which means that Parkside Avenue is a corridor with a high rate of traffic deaths and severe injuries. The City identified the High Injury Network as part of the Vision Zero Action Plan, which identified goals and actions towards decreasing traffic violence in Philadelphia.

The City focuses particularly on High Injury Network corridors for opportunities to change the design of the roadway to respond to a pattern of past crashes and prevent serious crashes in the future. You can find out more about the High Injury Network and Vision Zero at the Vision Zero Philly website: (LINK:

The new striping on Parkside Avenue will be completed by mid-November. The street will be reorganized to accommodate new safety measures for all users. There will have the same amount of travel lanes for cars, one in each direction, with a center turn lane. There will be new painted pedestrian refuge areas so that people who walk will have a shorter distance to travel across Parkside Avenue. There will be new bus stop areas for westbound busses in the parking lane to enable extra space to discharge passengers with mobility issues.

Finally, the north parking lane adjacent to West Fairmount Park will be offset from the curb to add a parking protected bicycle lane on the north curb. There are existing painted bicycle lanes on Parkside Avenue today. The new striping plan will move those bike lanes to the northern curb.

A parking protected bicycle lane exists in two places already in Philadelphia: Ryan Avenue and Chestnut Street. The bicycle lane is located between the curb and the parking lane to organize the vehicle space together with the travel lanes and increase the distance of people who walk and bicycle from moving cars.

If you have any questions or comments about the new street organization, please contact Jeannette Brugger, the City’s Pedestrian & Bicycle Coordinator at or 686-5521.




Fairmount Park Conservancy’s Annual “GLOW in the Park” Event

For one night only, the reflecting pool at the Horticulture Center in West Fairmount Park will be illuminated by an original light sculpture designed for the site by the artists David Guinn and Robert Goodman. The custom piece will serve as a focal point for the gathering of 400+ young professionals who come out to enjoy food, cocktails, and music in support of Philadelphia’s public parks.

When: Thursday, October 19, 6 – 9 pm

What: Speaking Program, 7:30 pm

WHERE: Reflecting Pool at the Fairmount Park Horticulture Center, 100 N. Horticulture Dr., Philadelphia, PA 19131

WHO: Brief remarks by Fairmount Park Conservancy’s Executive Director Jamie Gauthier and Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell. Entertainment will be provided by globally-recognized guitarist Dai Miyazaki and the dance band Blues Junior.

This year’s GLOW in the Park will feature a menu of party favorites like sliders, fried cheese curds, pulled pork, and cupcakes as well as vegan options, Yards beer, and Tito’s vodka. Proceeds from the event will support creek restoration at nearby Lansdowne and Montgomery Creeks. Ticket prices range from $45 for members of Fairmount Park Conservancy to $75 for non-members and $100 at the door. Purchase tickets online.

Fairmount Park Conservancy exists to champion Philadelphia’s parks. We lead capital projects and historic preservation efforts, foster neighborhood park stewardship, attract and leverage investments, and develop innovative programs throughout the 10,200 acres that include Fairmount Park and more than 100 neighborhood parks around the city. Philadelphia has one of the largest urban park systems in the world, providing residents with extensive health, environmental, social, economic and cultural benefits – including access to some of the region’s most famous attractions.  For more information, please visit, join us at, and follow us on Instagram and Twitter @myphillypark.

Businesses host 30 free Community Book Depots on Lancaster Avenue

Leroy’s Barber Shop will host the Community Book Depots on Lancaster Avenue launch on Thursday, October 5. The depots are the result of a collaboration between West Philadelphia Action for Early Learning (AFEL), (a partnership between Drexel University and People’s Emergency Center), along with Philadelphia Reads, Read by 4th and West Philadelphia Promise Neighborhood. A modification of the “tiny libraries” that have become a literacy trend, people are encouraged to keep the books they pick up and read together as a family. Thirty neighborhood-oriented stores along Lancaster Avenue have opened space for a crate full of books inside their stores. The launch of the Community Book Depots will include presentation, a book demo, and a celebration of a diverse and committed community coming together to bolster early childhood literacy for all.

When:   Thursday, October 5th, 11:00am

Where: Leroy’s Barber Shop; 4123 Lancaster Ave, Philadelphia PA 19104


  • Invested neighbors of diverse backgrounds excited to encourage literacy for children
  • Autumn decorations and a classic barber shop
  • Short presentations from partner organizations
  • Resources available for neighbors

Contact: Trish Downey, PEC at 267-777-5811; 267-334-5778;

Join Families Forward at the Fifth Annual Jannie L. Blackwell Gala

Philadelphia, PA: Established in 1915, Families Forward Philadelphia has provided information, advice, guidance, protection and shelter to all who have walked through their doors. Originally catered to travelers experiencing our city, Families Forward has continued this legacy 102 years later, catering to the needs of Philadelphia’s homeless community.

We cordially invite you to join the Families Forward Philadelphia community on Wednesday, October 18 2017, from 6-9 PM at the Please Touch Museum to highlight another year of new beginnings for members within our community. This will be an adult and kid friendly event, so we encourage you to bring your family!

The Honorable Jannie L. Blackwell will be in attendance as we enjoy a wonderful evening. Councilwoman Blackwell has made a lifelong commitment to move her community forward, and has always worked to foster an end to homelessness, neighborhood blight and poor public education through the tools of public policy, legislation and public involvement. Her overall vision is to improve her constituents’ quality of life – regardless of race, class, gender, or socio-economic status.  She continues to believe that there is a solution to every problem, and that when we work together, everybody wins.

Alongside our community we’re honored to announce that Nikki Johnson-Huston, Esq will be joining our celebration to speak about her journey transitioning from a homeless youth to an award-winning Attorney, Advocate, and Speaker. We’ll also be presenting the Jannie L. Blackwell Humanitarian Award to a well deserving group or individual committed to vulnerable families within Philadelphia.

This year’s event will feature live performances from Mad Beatz Philly, acclaimed Collegiate street performance group based at Kensington Creative and Performing Arts High School as well as the sultry, smooth and genuine vocal stylings of R&B Soul Singer, Shiena.

In addition, this year’s celebration will align with Homeless Children’s Awareness Week (October 15-21), shining a light on the plight and promise of youth experiencing homelessness. We hope you’ll join us this October as we continue to offer a full range of supportive services to achieve our mission in helping homeless families become healthy, productive, and self-reliant.

Tickets can be purchased at

$175 for adults

$20 for children 11 & older

Free for children under 10

Philadelphia’s “Park Champion” has a New Leader

by Jasmine Bullock

Jamie Gauthier is the new Director of the
Fairmount Park Conservancy

Since 1998, the Fairmount Park Foundation, now the Fairmount Park Conservancy, has invested millions of dollars in the Philadelphia park system. The organization is a “Park Champion” and has been so effective because of its understanding of the importance of parks to our city’s neighborhoods. The Fairmount Park Conservancy takes pride in increasing public awareness of the park’s role in contributing to the health and vibrancy of neighborhoods in the Greater Philadelphia region.

Today the Park Conservancy works very closely with Philadelphia Parks and Recreation to develop and implement projects and programs that support, improve, and enhance Philadelphia’s parks. One of its premier programs is the Oval at the Art Museum that provides not only a play area for children, but also a beer garden and food truck hub for adults over a six week period during the summer. The Conservancy also works closely with community groups and over 115 Friends groups. The Conservancy aids in forming new groups and in sustaining and supporting existing groups dedicated to their neighborhood parks.

As of July 2017, the Fairmount Park Conservancy is under the new leadership of Jamie Gauthier. Gauthier is a native of Philadelphia who began her career at DuPont working in the field of accounting. During that time, she had a desire to do more meaningful work that helped cities and specifically the struggling communities of Philadelphia.

With a growing passion to work intimately with the community, Gauthier embarked on a graduate degree in Urban Studies and Planning from University of Pennsylvania. With a new career focus, Gauthier gave almost ten years of service to the Local Initiative Support Coalition (LISC). LISC is a national non-profit organization that provides capital from private sources to promote and support low income housing projects and community revitalization. Gauthier described LISC as a great place to learn but wished to serve in more of a leadership position.

Gauthier then became the Executive Director of the Sustainable Business network, a “Chamber of Commerce for socially conscious businesses”, as Gauthier describes it. After four years with this group and her recognition of the new potential that the new Philadelphia soda tax would provide, she decided that now was the right time to make a career change.

She made the decision to take the leadership position with the Philadelphia Parks Conservancy in order to take advantage of the Rebuild Initiative that was the direct result of the revenue produced by the soda tax. Rebuild is a $500 million program designed to revitalize neighborhood parks, recreational centers, playgrounds, and libraries across the city.

The funds are acquired from both the soda tax and private donations. Gauthier’s vision is to “connect and partner with the city to see the mission come to pass”.