Philadelphia takes 1st step to transforming old urban highway

Note from Storm: The city of Philadelphia has taken the first official step towards a project I’ve been following for years: turning their badly-planned, long-derelict urban highway (the Reading Viaduct) into a “High Line”-style linear park. This will help heal and revitalize places—and better-connect them to downtown—that were damaged decades ago by yet another highway that was insensitively rammed through poor, mostly-ethnic neighborhoods (the default strategy of transportation engineers in the 20th Century).

From the article: The city is moving to purchase a portion of the Reading Viaduct in anticipation of the development of an elevated park there.

Last week, Councilman Mark Squilla introduced a bill that would authorize the purchase of the portion of the viaduct curving from 13th Street southeast to Callowhill between 11th and 12th. The 0.8-acre property is currently owned by SEPTA. It rises from ground-level up to the elevated portion of the viaduct to the east, a former rail line that’s been out of use for thirty years.

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