Tag Archives: sidewalks

Lower Germantown Streetscape Project Set for June 21

On Saturday, June 21 over two dozen planters and tree pits will be planted with vibrant annuals and perennials on a two-block stretch of Germantown Avenue between Penn Street and Bringhurst Street. The zone was selected by Tree Germantown and the W Rockland Street Project as a corridor greening pilot experiment.

Despite lacking a formal business association, this lesser-known Germantown business district is full of life with the addition of two new businesses, Sandalwood Yoga Studio and the soul food restaurant Tasties.

There are also three building renovations underway including new construction for Around The Clock Home Health Care just before Penn Street, developer Ken Weinstein’s renovation of the 6-story building at 5301 Germantown Avenue, and Stan Smith’s renovation of 5320 Germantown Avenue. Tracy McNeil, owner of the yoga studio at 5310 Germantown Avenue, recently completed a historic renovation of the property which includes the storefront studio on the street-level and apartments on the upper floors (read about the renovation at NewsWorks.org).

Google Maps capture of Germantown Avenue from Penn Street looking towards Bringhurst Street.

Google Maps capture of Germantown Avenue from Penn Street looking towards Bringhurst Street.

 

Aine Doley (that’s me!) and Penn Knox resident Amy Steinbugler went door-to-door to pitch the planting project and discuss the benefits of bringing greenery to Germantown Avenue. Many businesses were eager to join the effort, but some took convincing.

Those who declined to participate raised concerns about the plantings being able to survive the urban environment and the shoppers who frequent businesses along the corridor. Will the planters be stolen? Will passersby put trash in the planters? One business owner believed that people would urinate in the planters and sit on them while waiting for the 23 bus.

The participating businesses and organizations willing to give greenery a chance in the neighborhood include:

  • Sandalwood Yoga Studio at 5310 Germantown Ave
  • The One Less Foundation at 5275 Germantown Ave inside the historic Clarkson-Watson House (circa 1740)
  • Grumblethorpe at 5267 Germantown Ave, John Wister’s historic summer home built in 1744
  • Bargain Thrift at 5245 Germantown Ave
  • Around The Clock Home Health Care at 5226 Germantown Ave (current location)
  • Tasties at 5241 Germantown Ave
  • Kbello Kolors Hair Salon (tentative) at 5237 Germantown Ave
  • 5301 Germantown Ave (building currently being renovated by Ken Weinstein / Philly Office Retail)
  • 5320 Germantown Ave (building currently being renovated Stan Smith / Philly Office Retail)

Each participating business is contributing $25 per planter and has agreed to care for and water the new plants in front of their business. This project was made possible through generous donations from our community partners, who have helped to subsidize the costs of materials: Historic Germantown, Germantown United CDC, G’Town Restoration CDC, and the City of Philadelphia’s PhillyRising initiative, which selected Germantown as a Philly Rising 2.0 neighborhood in early February.

As Germantown continues to grow, Tree Germantown and the W Rockland Street Project will continue to push for greening and tree planting in our neighborhood.

Volunteers needed

Volunteering during the planting day is a great way to meet neighbors and get to know local business owners. Join us on Saturday, June 21 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Email treegermantown@gmail.com to sign-up and visit facebook.com/treegermantown for additional volunteer information.

planting_flyer_june21

Thanks again to our sponsors!

historic germantown phillyrising-logo GUCDC-logo gtownrestoration

Snow On The Block: Sidewalks Are For Everyone (S.A.F.E.)

Photo by @ainedoley

Photo by @ainedoley via Instagram. Monday, February 3, 2014.

Sidewalks are for everyone. 

It doesn’t really matter where you’re going or how you get there, just remember mostly everyone in the city has to step foot on a sidewalk. Whether you’re walking around the corner to the bus stop or 10 feet to your car, a few blocks to school or back and forth all day to the corner store – sidewalks are for everyone and everyone uses sidewalks!

About 60% of the households on West Rockland Street house awesome and/or responsible people who adequately cleared the snow from their sidewalks, so far this winter. The other 40% are f@$k!^g it up for everyone!

West Rockland Street is sloped, which makes navigating icy surfaces extra tricky. We hate seeing kids and adults slipping and sliding along the sidewalk every time they cross a patch of un-shoveled snow, or worse, walking in the middle of the street to play it safe. 

Want to keep people in your neighborhood safe in the snow, or simply avoid being fined when someone reports you? Clear your entire sidewalk. Don’t just create one of those little channels that cuts through the snow, the walls always cave in and you’ll be back where you started. It’s really not that hard. 

PS: You can make a lot of money shoveling snow, even in Germantown! So sick of hearing lazy people talk about how they used to go to other neighborhoods and shovel and make a mint but “people in the ghetto don’t want to pay.” I would pay you if you STFU and got to work!

PSS: Coincidentally, “Sidewalks Are For Everyone” also stands for S.A.F.E. 

W Rockland Street on Monday, February 3, 2014. Photo by @ainedoley via Instragram.

W Rockland Street on Monday, February 3, 2014. Photo by @ainedoley via Instragram.

Report a sidewalk that has not been cleared

To report a sidewalk or curb cut that has not been cleared, residents may call the Streets Department Customer Affairs Unit at (215) 686-5560. For all City services dial, 3-1-1 (or 215-686-8686).

The official rules for snow removal in Philadelphia are included below. If you have any other questions about snow in the city, the Philadelphia Streets Department has all sorts of fascinating information posted at philastreets.com

Slow melt. This is the sidewalk in front of a single-unit rental property on W Rockland Street that has not shoveled once this year. This photo was taken on Friday, January 31, 2014, nearly a month after the first significant snowstorm hit Philadelphia on January 3. The sidewalk has been a slippery slope since then.

Slow melt. This is the sidewalk in front of a single-unit rental property on W Rockland Street that has not shoveled once this year. This photo was taken on Friday, January 31, 2014, nearly a month after the first significant snowstorm hit Philadelphia on January 3. The sidewalk has been a slippery slope since then.

Close-up of the above pictured un-shoveled rental property on W Rockland Street.

Close-up of the above pictured un-shoveled rental property on W Rockland Street.

This is what the sidewalk on W Rockland Street looks like when you shovel. Photo taken on Friday, January 31, the same day as the above. Responsible people, to the left, irresponsible people to the right.

This is what the rest of the sidewalk on W Rockland Street looks like when you shovel. Photo taken on Friday, January 31, the same day as the above. Responsible people, to the left, irresponsible people to the right.

Philadelphia Code 10-720 Regarding Snow Removal From Sidewalks

According to Philadelphia Code (10-720),

“(1) the owner, agent, and tenants of any building or premise shall clear a path of not less than 36″ in width on all sidewalks, including curb cuts, abutting the building or premises within 6 (six) hours after the snow has ceased to fall. The path shall be thoroughly cleared of snow and ice. Where the width of any pavement measured from the property line to the curb is less than 3 (three) feet, the path cleared may be only 12 inches in width. When the building in question is a multifamily dwelling the owner or his agent shall be responsible for compliance with the requirements of this section.”

(2) Snow or ice removed from sidewalks, driveways, or other areas shall not be placed or piled in the street.

(3) Any person who violates this Section shall be subject to the provisions and penalties set forth in 10-718 and 10-719.

The penalty for violating this provision can range from “a minimum fine of fifty dollars ($50) to no more than three hundred dollars ($300) for each violation.”

Private plows piling snow in the street after city teams have cleared the road is illegal as well as a hazard to drivers and pedestrians.

via philastreet.com

There’s a hole in the sidewalk, dear Liza, dear Liza

What’s with the mine shaft, err I mean hole, really big hole, that swallowed the sidewalk in front of 4805 Greene St in the little village of Germantown many months ago? Set between W Rockland and Wyneva streets, situated on the formerly-safest-route to the neighborhood corner store, this sidewalk has seen better days. It’s looking a little like a sinkhole (but not) and is extremely dangerous to pedestrians. And it’s been like this for at minimum 4 months. Lots of people have seen it. Luckily, no one has fallen in it yet – at least we don’t think. Has anyone been reported missing? Seriously, I wouldn’t be surprised if a coal miner clambered out.

the hellmouth gets pretty deep in the back

The hole is the stuff of legend and it’s become a fun topic over on that thing called Twitter. Brian Hickey at WHYY’s NewsWorks encountered the abyss back on June 15, citing The Hellmouth Has Opened Up On A Germantown Sidewalk. Later he tweeted, “At least tomatoes grow from it.” That’s true and we actually pulled a few out and replanted them in the community garden on W Rockland. Resourceful! Read more

A wish for new sidewalks and trees

The curbs and sidewalks on all of W Rockland Street are in extreme disrepair. In many places, the curb and/or sidewalk no longer exist. The damaged areas continue to crack and crumble overtime. Sidewalks in this condition harbor litter and become a haven for weeds, in addition to being dangerous for pedestrians. Sidewalks like these continue to shed small rocks all over the block. The rocks are litter debris. Children also like to throw these rocks, causing property damage. Another big project for our block is to get new sidewalks and curbs throughout the entire length of the block and have street trees planted along the entire length of the street.

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