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Lower Venice Island

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TABLE OF CONTENTS Acknowledgments

Introduction

J

Watershed Context The River and the Canal

Si

Timeline of the Manayunk Canal, 1761 - 1996

:0

Lower Venice Island

)3

Environmental Structure

i5

Flooding Events

17

Regulatory Agencies

!8

Lower Venice Island Underground Storage Tank Project

21

Summary of Site Constraints & Opportunities

Li

Environmental Recommendations

25

The Manayunk Community

27

Existing Parks, Recreation and Open Space

29

Project Design Principles

31

Site Program Evolution

32

Description of Plan Options Option One Option Two

34

Option Three Summary of Public Discussion

Appendix

50


This project was funded by the Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund Grant Program administered by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR). Bureau of Recreation and Conservation (Bureau).


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The efforts of all who contributed to this document are greatly appreciated: :\d\

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C,ll1\lninc,_' Alice; Bai!21-d,

- Schuylkill River Greenway and Heritage Park

Sob S'v'V;;.rb!-ic.i.(, Pn2sidc!)[ - Manayunk Development Corporation DZll"l

i'~(:ducs:n

D2ni}i~ ~'LnQi

vy - Manayunk Development Corporation , Acting Executive Director Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education

Hil Lev',nsQn - Manayunk Development Corporation

Jane G!en~! - Manayunk Neighborhood Council L.

Gel zda

Esq. - North Light Community Center

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D12p.}nn,r; 1[ or Co -,$12rV2.t:o" ;:-,,-,c NZfcura\ Resources Victor Banks, PA DCNR Rivers Conservation Grants Coordinator h iends of n~rl2.yunk Can:t!

Philadelphia \/'iac2(

D;,or;:,rUlhonr

Joanne Dahme. Watershed Program Manager Mike Lavery, Assistant Chief Water and Sewer

Nicole Galdieri, President Prl\\ade\p'rlia Deprtrw'<ent of RE;:uc:at.ion Carpol ;ltion

Robert Swarbrick, President Dan Neducsin, Vice President Kay Sykora, Executive Director

William Carapucci. Deputy Commissioner Programs Tom Fox. Acting Deputy Commissioner Maintenance Steve Vesotsky, District 4 Manager Phibdeipi:la Pi3n "ling CorrHnisslon

MaoJ./uni< i"~2igi,borhood Council

Kevin Smith. President Jane Glen, Corresponding Secretary

Richard L. Lombardo, Deputy Executive Director Martin H. Soffer, Director, Development Planning and Zoning Paul Curran, Community Planner

M;!nJyuni(

Schuyikiii I/J.iiey :',btUi"e: Center'

2nd Soc::\! Club

Eliot Sokalsky Joseph Jowett Joseph Abruzzo

Dennis Burton, Acting Executive Director

Nonh Light Cornrnunity CC!HU-

PA

Irene Madrak. Executive Director Art Verbrugghe, Assistant Director L. Gerald Rigby, Esq.uire

SC<lce Represen"(2[iVe

VViss"hickon CZUloe Club D20:ln:!Ylell

of COlnmun

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CITY

OF

PHILAD E LPHIA THOMAS A CHAPMAN,ESC

Philadelphia City Planning Commission

Act ing EK.culiv. Director ,nd Acting S.cr.ury 01 SH".g lc PI,nnlng

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13th floor ~PA19102

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Tlcccmbcr R. 7005 Kay Sykora Executive Director Manayunk Devclopment Corporation 111 Gmpe Street Philadelphia PA 19127

Re: Lower Venice Island Master Plan

Dear Ms. Sykora: The Ptuladelpilia City Plannmg Commission supportS the recommendations of the draft Master

The Planning Commission staff is pleased to indicate its support for the Lower Venice

Plan for Lower Venice Island. The overarching goal of this master plan, to reclaim open space and provide public access to the waterfront recreational activIties. has been a goal of previous plans lor Venicc Island. The environmental recommendations arc sound and have been included in the residcntial developments planned and underway on Venice Island.

Island Mastcr Plan

Th~ n!!·.... r:'!;!:;:e=- j:ll:lr: :$ c:>nsi::!:nt ·..:ith the : m P::-:.r.ir:g Co:nmis:.ic-•• Pia" I~:' "/cni,;;..-: l~: &.fIu that was the result ofthc dcsign charelle sponsored by thc Planning Commission and Manayunk Dl!velopml:nt Corporation. The purposc of the charette was to create visions as to how this critical sitc could be developed over thc long term . Community and business representativcs participated in this planning process.

Tht.' Water Department selection of lower Venice Island to construct the federally mandated underground stOr:lgc tank for improved storm water control requires the demolition and replac,eOlent of the Venice Island Playground and Manayunk Business District parkmg 101. Thc option selected by the master plan advisory commiuee for a PcrformanceIVisual Arts Center. replacement of outdoor recreational facilities and construction ofa ('hildren' s water spray park is supportable. It is·our understanding that funding for the new recreational uses and replacement of the existing parking lot will come from the Water Dcpanment and fund ing for additional improvements recommended in the master plan will be sought from State funding sourccs.

Lower Venin.' bland MASTER

PLAN

FtNAl REPORT

APRIL

2006

Sincerely,

~GuP~()a~ Thomas A. Chapman, Esquire

cc:

Pedro Ramos, City Solicitor, City ofPbiladelphia Stephanie Naidoff, Commerce Director, City of Philadelphia Richard Redding, Director of Community Planning, PCPC Paul Curran, Community Planner. PCPC


"


INTRODUCTION like many post~jndustrjal cities across the country, Manayunk is faced with the challenge of planning for change and determining new uses for abandoned and underuti!ized waterfront property. This evolution includes a transformation from a working, industrial waterfront to a highly desirable area where parks, greenways and upscale retail and residential development are envisioned. Public access, green open space and environmental protection are all issues that must be addressed in the waterfront planning process. The issues can be daunting and tests our capacity to fund and implement meaningful change and create vibrant. integrated visions for our waterfronts. "It is predicted that by the year 2020, the Philadelphia region wi!! lose 173,000 acres of open space to development--an area more than twice the size of the city of Philadelphia. The loss of open space reduces recreational opportunity, makes the region less attractive to employers and workers, and undermines the region's environment through reduced air and water quality and increased flooding risks_" (Source GreenSpace Alliance GSA) In places like Manayunk, where the urban fabric has little or no open space the definition becomes broader. Urban open space must serve many functions such as improving stormwater management, providing connections, recreation and community gathering spaces. Lower Venice Island has the potential to demonstrate the integration of theses functions, provide public access to the waterfront and extend the life of the town down to the river and canal edge. A series of program initiatives supported by the Manayunk Development Corporation have explored the potential for Lower Venice Island to become a new cultural and recreational resource for Manayunk. The focus of this Master Plan was to build upon those prior studies, consider the program and facility needs of the site and to integrate sustainable design principles to address environmental issues.

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RI.:cclH

Mana/un\( RecreatioG Plan \999

Campbell Thomas & Co. and South Street Design Venice Island CultLwa! ecmer Feasibi!ity Study

Urban Partners and Santos Levy Associates 2002

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f1f\!'.!.. i<.EPOP.T ,;PinL 2006

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Center' remaing Fe:lsibi!ity Sud! Kepon

Edward F. Swenson & Associates, Inc. Management and Fund-raiSing Council Living 'offICi"< (he River: SClluyikiH River NZltion,:.i ilnd St2tC Her-iuge An22 Finai ~-1an"gern2n[ Pbn and Environrnent:>i iri"loact Statement 2003

Schuylkill River Greenway Association National Park Service PA Department of Natural Resources Wallace Roberts & Todd, LLC Economic Research Associates History Now

The planning process for Lower Venice Island explores the difficult questions; How can this new vision actually be implemented? What are the most feasible and realistic solutions? What will it take to realize both the ecological and economic renewal of the riverfront? Perhaps the most difficult and engaging task of this study has been integrating the master plan goals for Lower Venice Island with the Philadelphia Water Department plans to construct an Underground Storage Tank. The tank project is required as part of "a federally regulated program under the Clean Water Act that requires the restoration and protection of our nation's rivers and streams." The project is fully funded and slated for immediate construction. The inevitable construction of this large underground structure brings short-term change to the site - a decrease in parking and recreation opportunities - with long-term possibilities for better community facilities and increased open space_ The community has expressed concern about problems that may arise in the future particularly in regard to funding and phasing strategies. There is also an overall concern on the part of community members - the perception that the short-term decrease in parking and recreation opportunities will be permanent. These are all legitimate concerns. This planning process has been an opportunity for the community to voice their concerns; to anticipate problems that may occur in the future and to develop long range gUidelines, phasing and funding strategies. Positive change for Lower Venice Island demands a shift in focus from "what cannot be done" to "what can be done". This is the task that is now before the community and all of the partners who are collaborators in the process.


COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION Residents. community representatives and public officials were invited to participate in a series of open discussions about the site and to share their ideas and concerns for Lower Venice Island. Andropogon Associates, Ltd. with Brown and Keener Bressi facilitated the community design process. As in previous studies for the site. the community put forth the ideas for the plan. In addition. collaboration with the Advisory Board provided input at key points in

the planning process. All improvements to Lower Venice Island suggest a shift in thinking supported by the commitment to create a plan that seeks to improve the living and the working environment for the community by integrating both economic and ecological renewal. The master planning process is a complex task that generates much information and discussion. The challenge and the outcome are to achieve clarity that will shape the future form and function of Lower Venice Island. Alternative Master Plan concepts for Lower Venice Island were developed with the community in response to a number of key issues and concerns that were identified through this process: allow both neighborhood and regional users to experience the unique integration of natural and cultural resources in Manayunk: provide riverfront activity. public access to the river and recreational opportunities and activities for both neighborhood and regional users: increase recreational and cultural programming activities through new partnerships and facilities; develop incremental design strategies for phased development of the site and associated opinion of cost for phased capitol improvements; understand and make the most of the opportunity for beneficial change. Fi nal decisions will be based on what is enVironmentally beneficial. on what is necessary and what is economically practical: balance commercial needs with quality of place - need for parking spaces vs. green space and recreation; accommodate change - integrate a plan for the island with the Philadelphia Water Department Underground Storage Tank Project.

ASOVE IMPROVEMENTS TO THE MANYUNK CANAL TOWPATH HAVE MADE IT POPULAR WITH JOGGERS. WALKERS AND CYCLISTS BELOW VIEW OF THE SCHUYLKilL RIVER LOOKING EAST FROM LOWER VENICE ISLAND

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WATERSHED CONTEXT "Few places in America can claim the Schuylkill River Valley's impo rtance in history." living wit h the Rive r. July 2003

For t housands of years. the abundant natural resources of the Schuylkill River Valley have sustained human populations. Many important chapters in American history from the Revolutionary War to the Industrial Revolution have occurred in the Schuylkill River Valley. Manayunk played a large role in this history especially in the 19th Century when, the .... Schuylkill River and the canal system were one of the major arteries of the Industrial Revolution, transporting coal. manufactured goods. and crops to the port of Philadelphia." In 1995. the Schuylkill River was designated a Heritage Corridor by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Five years later, ..... the U.S. Congress acknowledged the River Valley's national significance by designating the Schuylkill River Valley National Heritage Area in Berks, Chester, Montgomery, Philadelphia and Schuylkill counties. As established by Congress, the mission of the heritage area is: " To conserve, interpre t and develop the historical , cultural, natural and r ecreational resources related to the industrial and cultural herit age if the Schuylkill River Valley." living with t he River, July 2003 The Schuylkill River is the largest tributary of the Delaware River, traveling 130 miles and includes parts of II counties. The river has been an important source of drinking water for over two centuries and today over 1.5 million people receive their drinking water from the Schuylkill River and its tributaries. This fact poses a concern, as the 2,000 square mile watershed encompasses a diversity of land uses from agricultural to urban. Recent assessments of the biological health of the watershed's aquatic community revealed that one-half of the study sites are presently impaired. (Source: Philadelphia Water Department) Decades of development, industrial, agricultural and mining activities have all contributed to the growth and economic success stories of the area. It has also left a legacy of environmental decline. It is reported that at the turn of the 20th Century, waste from the coal operations were contributing 3 million tons of silt to the river annually. By the 1930's, navigation was impeded, flooding increased and the river's role as a water supply was threatened. In 1945, the City was forced to launch a massive effort to protect the drinking water supplies and spend millions of dollars to dredge the river and construct twenty-one desilting basins to mitigate the problem.

Lower \'c.:nice bland

MASTER PLAN

FINAL REPORT APRIL 2006

lItustntion by Ted Walker

Another example of the biological health of the river is the story of the American Shad, Alosa sapidissim. Before the construction of the Fairmount dam in 1818, large schools of the fish migrated up the Schuylkill to find ancestral spawning grounds. Shad spend most of their life in the ocean, but depend on river systems to spawn. Dams on the river blocked the fish and caused the migrations to decline. In addition, pollutants from mills, factories, mines and domestic sewage led to low levels of dissolved oxygen and poor water quality that also contributed to habitat decline. Improper timber harvest and farming practices led to excess ive erosion; further degrading the river and its tributary streams. Today, the only major waterway completely accessible to the natural shad migration in Pennsylvania is the Delaware River. There are a few fish ways that allow the shad migration over dam obstacles on sections of the Schuylkill River. Recovery efforts , like the creation of a fish passage along Lower Merion's Flat Rock Dam, are being planned to restore migratory shad back to the Schuylkill River. Growing concern for the entire watershed at every level and an understanding that land use affects water quality is slowly reversing the negative environmental impacts to the river. The legacy of the 21st Century will be judged by the success of measures that restore the biological health of the river and how we develop and manage our waterfront areas .

5


6

VIEW OF THE MANA'fUNK CANAL AT THE COTTON STREET 8RIDGE NOTE THE STORMWATER DRAIN WHICH DISCHARGES DIRECTLY INTO THE CANAL

THE SCHUYLKILL RIVER CRESTING AFTER A STORM EVENT THAT BROUGHT S • 10"' OF RAIN ACROSS THE REGION IN OCTOBER 2005. THE RIVER ROSE APPROXIMATELY 20 FEET IN THIS STORM

THE END OF THE MANA'fUNK CANAL AT LOCI( STREET WHERE LOCK t:t70 ALLOWED THE BOATS TO REENTER THE RIVER

VIEW OF THE MANAYUNK CANAl. THE TOW PATH AND THE RAIL LINE ON LOWER VENICE ISLAND THE CANAL IS A FAVORITE FISHING SITE FOR THIS GREAT SLUE HERON


WATERSHED CONTEXT The following facts highlight the massive scale of the challenges that must be met to improve environmental conditions and water quality: (Source: Assessment Report developed by the Philadelphia Warer Department,

EPA, Phi/adelphia Suburban Water Company and the Pennsylvania American Water Company! Major tributaries of the Schuylkill, in downstream order, include Mill Creek, the West Branch of the Schuylkill, little Schuylkill, Maiden Creek, Tulpehocken Creek, Manatawny Creek, French Creek. Perkiomen Creek. and Wissahickon Creek. The Schuylkill watershed provides habitats for a variety of warm water, cold water, and migratory fish. Numerous dams block fish passage throughout the watershed. Approximately one -third of the river's assessed waters are impaired. Primary causes of impairment are flow variability and nutrients. Urban and suburban storm water runoff is the source of over half of the impaired stream lengths within the watershed, posing particular threats in sub watersheds experiencing development. There are over 3,500 regulated sources in the watershed, including 78 large sewage treatment plants and many septic systems. These sources discharge effluent into the river and its tributaries, posing threats to water quality. Contaminants such as PCBs have triggered advisories on fish consumption. Acid mine drainage is a Significant contributor of pollutants. Since the 1970s, dissolved oxygen has increased due largely to the Clean Water Act. However, over the past decade, levels of many contaminants have increased throughout the watershed due to unregulated activity such as urban sprawl. If current trends continue, drinking water supplies may require additional treatment and costs to ensure that the water is potable. Additionally, some contaminants present a public health risk if they become too concentrated in the source water and a breakdown occurs in the drinking water treatment processes. Water and aquatic habitat quality varies dramatically in the tributaries that supply the Schuylkill River. Degradation of biological conditions has been measured at 8 of 19 studied areas, as evidenced by studies of bottomdwelling macro invertebrates.

Lowe r \ 'enicc bland

MASTER PLAN

FINAL REPORT APRIL 2006

Stream sites with the best water quality are the West Branch of the Perkiomen and the Manatawny, both predominantly forested and rural. Among the poorest quality are the Wissahickon, which runs through Philadelphia and its suburbs; the Tulpehocken above Reading; and the headwaters of the main stem of the Schuylkill, little Schuylkill, and West Branch of the Schuylkill.

7


THIS OLDEST KNOWN PRINT OF THE MANAYUNK CANAL DATES TO 1825. PHILADELPHIA'S STORY BY JOHN JOHNSTONE

MILL TOWN' VIEW OF MANAYUNK BY ARTIST J.C. WILD, C.1830

LOWER VENICE ISLAND FROM LOCK STREET TO COTTON STREET

8


THE RIVER AND THE CANAL The word "Manayunk," which has its origins in the language of the lenni Lenape, means "where we go to drink." The history of Manayunk on the Schuylkill River is the story of a community that has been formed in response to its unique geographic location on the river. This rich heritage encompasses many different sodal and cultural groups within the larger community and is reflected in the spatial patterns and physical fabrics that extend beyond roday's successful downtown area. As we study an aerial photograph of 21st Century Manayunk, it is hard to imagine the landscape of the early 1800's, dotted with a few farms and a population of about sixty people engaged primarily in farming and fishing. The present day settlement patterns of Manayunk are the legacy of rapid 19th Century industrial growth, trade and transportation of goods made possible on the Schuylkill River and the Manayunk Canal. Built in 1819, by the Schuylkill Navigation Company, the canal system once completed, allowed for the transportation of goods and people from Pottsville to Philadelphia. "The system would include; 108 miles of canals, 114 locks, a tunnel and 32 dams ranging in height of 3 to 23 feet, overcoming a total fall of 610 feet." (source: Philadelphia's Story, John Johnstone) The Manayunk Canal, which was a part of the system, performed the dual purpose of providing a safe transportation route as well as providing water power to the mills on Venice Island. Because the canal is 20' above the elevation of the river, water dropping in elevation through a series of pipes turned turbines that powered the mills. The National Register of Historic Places lists Main Street in Manayunk as an Historic District and a major attraction along the Schuylkill River Heritage Corridor. This status includes the Manayunk Canal and the Lower Venice Island site. The canal and towpath are a physical reminder of Manayunk's industrial heritage, although few ofthe old mills remain. Lower Venice Island was once the site of several mill structureS. As industry has departed, the historic structures that do remain. have been converted to apartments, restaurants, retail shops and other businesses that support the present day economy. The industrial heritage includes the residential neighborhoods that climb the steep hills up to Ridge Avenue and once housed thousands of immigrants who came to Manayunk to work in the textile m路llls. It is also easy to recognize the number of prominent churches in the neighborhood patterns. What is conspicuously absent by today's standards and needs is green open space. The Manayunk Canal. although non~functjoning, is the only completely intact section of the Schuylkill Navigation System that remains today. New uses for the canal and towpath are being realized overtime.

Lu'X<..'t" \'<:nicc l.,:>hnd

r'lASTER. ?LAN

fiNP.,L ;:;,EPOP-T ,':",PR:L 2006

The Manayunk Towpath runs along the northern edge of the canal on Venice Island on land owned by the Fairmount Park Commission. (The canal is owned by the Philadelphia Water Department.) The Towpath has become a recreation corridor for pedestrians and cyclists with recent improvements for pedestrians and cyclists that include new lighting from Lock Street to Leverington Street. plantings, new guard rail and trail resurfacing. Other plans have been developed, most recently by Brown & Keener Bressi, that explore how to animate the Manayunk Canal Towpath. Design guidelines were developed for the backs of the buildings on the Main Street commercial district that line the towpath by treating it as a public right-of way similar to a sidewalk. This idea would allow the retail establishments on Main Street the option of opening their doors directly onto the towpath. These measures represent the initial stages to create new uses for the canal. Much more work will need to be done if the canal is to be stabilized and restored as a recreational waterway including water control, stormwater inlet replacement and retrofit, bridge replacement and lock restoration. The water quality of the canal remains very poor, due to the fact that the upper lock is closed and only allows flow into the canal during high stages of flooding. The canal suffers from a lack of water movement and poor oxygenation. The only appreciable flow 'lnto the canal is from a system of storm drains and sewer lines. These storm systems captured the historic streams that once drained to the Schuylkill prior to development. Sedimentation of the canal also impedes the flow and impairs the aquatiC habitat. Fish kills in the canal are not uncommon due to low dissolved oxygen levels. Lack of vegetation contributes to sedimentation and high water temperatures in the canal which are also an impairment to the aquatic habitat. The canal has not been dredged since 1978. Despite improvements along the towpath and the historic and recreational significance of the waterway, the canal and the lock structures have not been restored to a functional capacity. Restoration plans have been suggested that include: Dredging of sedimentation Creation of temporary channel. piping and water flow through the upper locks to address to lack of water movement in the canal (lock #68). This work will respect the historic Significance for the locks and allow for a more permanent solution and lock restoration later when there is funding. Creation of temporary water flow through the lower locks. removal of the large rocks and debris in lock #69 and reconstruction of the stone walls of both locks #69 and #70.

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ON OCTOBER 18. Tf:lE - _I, - MANAYUNK SECTION

ASSEMBLY RECOMMENDS

IMPROVEMENTS ~'2"T.tlE_----\ SCHUYLKill RIVER CHANNEL TO ACCOMMODATE UP-RIVER

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SCHUYLKill RIVER AND DESTROYS

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DEClINE~~§' J:ANAL USAGE AND PROFITABILITY.

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MASTER PLAN

FINAL REPORT APRIL 2006

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REDEVElOPMEN] REKINDLES INTEREsT IN THE CANALV

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BASKETBALL COURTS ON LOWER VENICE ISLAND

11

LOWER VENICE ISLAND RECREATION CENTER


LOWER VENiCE ISLAND Venice Island is a long, narrow strip of land about 1.8 miles long, located between the Schuylkill River and the Manayunk Canal from Flat Rock Road to the tip of the island just below Lock Street. The five acre portion of the island, know as Lower Venice Island, is located between Cotton Street and Lock Street at the eastern tip. Although connected physically, the upper end of Venice Island has a very different character than Lower Venice Island. The upper end from Leverington Avenue to the Shawmont tip sits at a higher elevation, has a more diverse plant community including wetlands and meadows supporting wildlife habitat and is generally less urban than Lower Venice Island. Lower Venice is presently owned by the City of Philadelphia. The Manayunk Development Corporation leases the land from the City and manages the 195 space parking lot. This parking lot was built on the site of several demolished mill structures. One half of the island is the site for the Lower Venice Island Recreation facilities managed by the Philadelphia Recreation Department that includes a Community Center, children's playground, hockey court, basketball court and swimming pool.

Exi"tlllg Lower \\::nl'.."C R<.."<..'l'("'-ltlon Facilirie:i Community Center (existing bldg I story) 85' x 22' 1,870 s.f. Basketball court 85' x 45' with lights for night time play Hockey Rink 120' x 65' Playground Equipment

Two vehicular bridges allow access to the site and cross the canal at Cotton Street on the western end and Lock Street on the eastern tip. Neither of these bridges has an elevation high enough to allow boats to pass underneath on the canal. An active rail right of way directly adjacent to the canal on the southern side runs the entire length of Venice Island and crosses the Schuylkill River at the end of Lower Venice Island to Lower Merion. Norfolk Southern currently has ownership of the line. This rail line must also be crossed to access Lower Venice Island. The rail line currently services one plant. the Smurfitt Stone Container Corporation. The future of the rail line is uncertain. The City has right of first refusal to purchase the right~of way should the ra"1I line be terminated. This rail line could then be converted to a trail along the canal opposite the towpath. The site is bounded on the west by a three-acre private property that is slated for development of luxury condomin"lums and parking structures. The only access to this new development will be the Cotton Street bridge. On the north east side. the site is bounded by the former Robert Krook Mill, which currently houses retail and restaurant businesses. Access to the site on this end is from Lock Street, across a bridge and the Conrail right of way. The Lower Venice Island site suggests a need for redevelopment and is a Significant site for redevelopment for several important reasons: Designation of site for recreation and commercial uses in the Venice Island Zoning Overlay Proximity to cultural heritage resources of the Manayunk Canal and Locks 69 & 70, slated for future restoration Location of improved bicycle and pedestrian trail along towpath Located on the river, the site offers access for riverfront recreation where currently there is none and open views to the river

Swimming Pool 90' x 65' It is generally agreed that the recreation facility built in the 1960's is in poor condition although well used by the Manayunk community. Long time residents of Manayunk hold fond childhood memories of the recreation center as "the place to go"

Potential for railway along Canal bank to be converted for recreation use upon abandonment Location of an existing recreational facility. inclusive of basketball courts, hockey rink. swimming pool, playground and facility building Proposed site for the Philadelphia Water Department Underground Storage Tank Location of large public parking - 195 parking spaces

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LEGEND The soils on Venice

Island belong to the Urban Land category and have been manipulated to the extent that they have lost their natural structure and have poor drainage

capabilities.

SLOPE PERCENTAGES

0-2%slope

2 - 5 % slope

5 - 8 % slope

8 - 12 % slope

20+ % slope

BOUNDARIES Of FLOOD PLAIN

SOilS. SLOPES AND FLOODPLAIN

14


ENVIRONMENTAL STRUCTURE The resources of Venice Island have been well documented in past studies such as "The Unique Environment of Venice Island and its surroundings", Manayunk

Pennsylvania (Willig 1998) and in studies conducted by Andropogon Associates in July of 1998. The entire island lies in the Piedmont Uplands physiographic provin ce. The natural landforms. of rocky cliffs and steep slopes that once swept down to a swampy flood plain, have been dramatically altered by development. Following European settlement. the rocky cliffs were quarried while the flood plains were first timbered. then grazed. then filled with spoils from the canal construction and built upon. Rocky outcroppings of Mica-Schist can still be found along the Manayunk Towpath and the canal edge. Over time, the landscape has become a stepped sequence of near vertical slopes with a narrowly constricted and fast moving river corridor. The narrow steep banks on the river side represent elevations of 30 to 14 feet above the Schuylkill River over the length of the island.

The vegetation on Lower Venice Island reveals the past history of land use and development along the river front. EXisting tree species, primarily on the steep slopes along the river are a combination of hardy remnants of surviving native species mixed with a host of weedy non-native plants. It is characterized by mature species of red maple (Acer rubrum) , american sycamore (Platanus acerifolia) and box elder (Acer negundo). The remaining fragments of natural and semi-natural vegetation along the river and the canal remain vulnerable to the impacts of new construction and disturbance. Wildlife habitat is impaired where clearing for construction comes close to the river's edge. The most serious problem for wildlife and native plants is the continued loss of habitat, especially along the riverfront, which is the most important wildlife corridor in the area. The wildlife on the island is comprised of urban survivors, ranging from native ducks and geese that have adapted to changing conditions, to Eurasian pigeons and carp that have become naturalized species.

All of Lower Venice Island sits at an elevation that is lower than Main Street. Average elevations from north to south range from 8' at the rivers edge to 36' east of Lock Street at the railroad tracks. From east to west the elevations range from 10' at the eastern tip of the island to 32' at Cotton Street Bridge. The buildable area of the site ranges in elevation from 32' to 24' at which point the steeply sloping banks drop 16' to 14' down to the river. The soils found on Lower Venice Island belong to the Urban Land category and have been manipulated to the extent that they have lost their natural structure and have poor drainage capabilities due to compaction. Archeological studies have not been done on the site, but it is believed that Significant historic features related to the canal such as turbines and brick-lined channels may exist. More than half of Lower Venice Island is considered impervious (64%) with an asphalt parking lot, rail line and the Lower Venice Island Recreation Facility. In addition to storm drains that discharge directly to the river and canal, stormwater runoff from the site flows overland, untreated, directly into the river and the canal. The high percentage of impervious surfaces - bUildings, roadways and surface pavements - produces a direct increase in stormwater runoff volume. Stormwater runoff also collects and transports pollutants producing the single greatest water quality problem in the nation - non-point source pollution. Increased flooding levels and river velocities, due to impermeable surfaces contribute to stream banks erosion, especially where vegetation has been cleared or damaged by filling.

Lower \ \路 nict路 bland

MASTER PLAN

FINAL REPORT APRI L 200 6

GREAT SLUE HERON ON TOWPATH RAILING

15


16

TOP AND BOTTOM LEFT THE RECREATION FACILITIES ON LOWER VENICE ISLAND ARE FREQUENTLY INUNDATED

DURING THIS STORM EVENT IN 2004. THE RIVER ROSE UP TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS OUTDOOR

WITH FLOOD WATERS THESE PICTURES ARE AFTER A RECENT STORM EVENT IN OCTOBER 2005

DECK WHICH SITS ABOUT 20 FEET ABOVE THE NORMAL ELEVATION OF THE RIVER


FLOODING EVENTS Flooding along the Schuylkill River has always been a factor. Several factors contribute to flooding from storm events like hurricanes and tropical storms to rapid snowmelt known as a freshet, The flooding in the winter of 1996, for example, was caused by rapid snow melt in upstream watersheds. The river also tends to rise where tributaries converge or in constricted areas of the river, like Lower Venice Island.

Floods were recorded in 1757, 1786, and 1822 prior to urbanization. industrialization and the creation of the canal system. little damage was reported due to the fact that the river valley was largely undeveloped. The flood of 1786 was quaintly labeled the "Pumpkin Freshet" because of the large number of pumpkins that were swept into the river from the nearby farms in the river valley. Industrialization and other changes in land use have increased the Significance of flood damage for both public safety and property damage. Flooding occurred in 1841, 1850, 1862, 1869 and 1902. The floods of 1869 and

1902 are reported to have exceeded the 100 year flood level and seriously damaged the canal system requiring massive repairs. All of Lower Venice Island lies in the 100 year floodplain and the floodway. The floodway is defined as "that portion of the available flow cross section that cannot be obstructed without causing an increase in the water-surface elevations resulting from a flood with a IDO -year average return period of more than a given amount." (U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 97-4037) For most waterways. the floodway is where the water is likely to be deepest and fastest. It is the area of the floodplain that should be kept free of obstructions to allow floodwaters to move downstream. Placing fill or buildings in a floodway may block the flow of water and increase flood heights. Floods in recent history have included the blizzard and flood of 1996. Hurricane Floyd in 1999 and Hurricane Jeanne in 2004. Hurricane Floyd spread heavy rainfall throughout the basin producing six to ten -inches of rain over an IS-hour period. Flooding is a factor when planning for Lower Venice Island. Any plans that are developed will be required to comply with local. state and federal regulations governing floodplains.

ABOVE THIS VEHICLE LEFT OVERNIGHT DURING STORM EVENT WAS flOODED TO THE TOP Of ITS TIRES. THIS PORTION OF THE PARKING LOT IS AT ELEVATION 25 THE 100 YEAR fLOOD ELEVATION IS AT ELEVATION 17.6 BELOW THE LAND AT THE TIP OF LOWER VENICE ISLAND UNDER WATER. UNDER 10' OF WATER DURING OCTOBER 2005 STORM EVENT

Lo wer Venin' bland MASTER PLAN

FINAL REPORT APRil 2006

17


REGULATORY AGENCIES The City of Philadelphia enacted ordinances in 1979 in order to participate in the National Flood Insurance Program. These ordinances specifically prohibit certain types of proposed development. Philadelphia's ordinances reflect the National Flood Insurance Program requirements that construction within the IOO -year or regulatory flood zone may not raise the base flood elevation more than one foot. However, another section of the city code prohibits any new construction within the floodway, except that public utilities may be installed if the base flood elevation is not raised at all (0.0 feet). There are a number of regulations affecting flood plain activity and a wide variety of agencies that have jurisdiction or influence over the island due to its location.

The Federal Emergencv Management Ag-ency (FEMA) FEMA is involved in almost all facets of the flooding story. This independent federal agency administers flood disaster aid and also administers the National Flood Insurance Program.

Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection offers protection to the Schuylkill River under several regulatory programs, including: Water Quality Standards Dam Safety and Water Management Floodplain Management Protection of Scenic Rivers

The Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) Lower Venice Island is under ACO E jurisdiction as a tributary to the Delaware River and as contributing to the tidal section of the Schuylkill below the Fairmount Dam. Permits are required for any disruption of water flow. discharges of any materials that could affect water quality, or for filling of wetlands. Discharges include placement of fill dirt in a flood-prone area that could pollute the watercourse. DEP's regulations emulate those ofthe FEMA. but more specifically identify the kinds of analysis and risk assessment will be acceptable within DEP's jurisdiction. Development plans must be submitted to DEP, including: a stormwater management analysis (identifying impacts of the project on the Commonwealth's Stormwater Management Plan), a floodplain management analysis (for projects within a FEMA-identified floodway. identifying the project's impact on the floodway delineation and water elevation), a risk assessment (when runoff rate or flood elevations are increased, effects on property, land uses, and human safety must be described), an alternatives analysis for the proposed project (such as different location, design , or routing to avoid or minimize adverse environmental impacts) ,

Prnnsvlvania Dcparrment of Cnmmunitv and E(':onomic DC\,e!opn'lcnt (DCED) "Regulations concentrate on non -structural floodplain management, including regulations intended to prevent or reduce flood damages. However, other actions include emergency preparedness plans and flood control structures. DCED regulates obstructions to floodwaters and any development that could endanger human life.

THE RAILROAD BRIDGE AT LOWER VENICE ISLAND WHERE IT CROSSES THE SCHUYLKILL RIVER

18

The agency mandates that every municipality in Pennsylvania with a IOO-year floodplain (as identified by FEMA) is required to be eligible for participation in FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program.


DCED may inspect communities to investigate complaints and assess compliance within floodplains. DCED will notify the community in writing of its findings, and the community must respond within 60 days regarding actions to correct violations. If there has not been compliance within 180 days, then DCED can notify the State Treasurer can withhold any state funds that would otherwise be due to the community, including road and school funding. DCED may also initiate civil court action to "restrain, prevent. or abate the violation."

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If a community violates its own floodplain regulations, whether or not these are more stringent than the federal minimum requirements, the community is subject to suspension from the NFIP. Upon suspension, a community is considered no longer part ofthe NFIP. Federal flood insurance policies may not be issued or renewed until the community is reinstated. This leads to problems with lenders who might issue loans in the community, because of the federal requirement that flood insurance be in place for any structure within a IOD-year flood zone that serves as collateral on a loan. If insurance is not readily available because the community is suspended from the National Flood Insurance Program. loans will also be restricted."

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"The Delaware River Basin in Pennsylvania is among the specifically protected waters of the Commonwealth. and the Schuylkill River, as a tributary to the Delaware, is likewise regulated."

Cic\' of

iLlddphia IJlannitlg Commissiun

''The federal government has basic requirements for floodplain management that all partiCipating communities must adopt as a minimum. Communities may opt to be more stringent in the floodplain ordinances they adopt locally. and Philadelphia has chosen to enforce controls that are more stringent than the minimum. The city ordinance goes a step further than the federal recommendation, and rather than saying construction in the froodway can't raise the Base Flood Elevation, Philadelphia has banned any new fiJI, construction. or development in the flood way (this does not apply to the rest of the IOO-year floodplain). Only public utilities may be exempt from this requirement, and only then if there is no increase in the IDO-year Base Flood Elevation. Development is defined as including construction, reconstruction, modification. extension, or expansion of a building, placement of fill, dredge or mining material, storage of materials, land improvement, or any construction. Philadelphia has a reqUirement for riverine flood hazard areas (which would include the Schuylkill). so that the PA Department of Environmental Protection. (Dams and Encroachments) must be notified and a permit obtained for any proposed construction in the IDO-year floodplain. Adjoining communities must also be advised of the proposed construction. In this case, both Montgomery County and Lower Merion Township would need to be notified of any plans affecting the Special Flood Hazard Area of the Schuylkill River.

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All site plans and land subdivisions within the City of Philadelphia are reviewed by the Development Planning and Zoning Division. This includes examining site development plans to determine compliance with the Philadelphia Code regarding street layout, topographic and geotechnical conditions, lot sizes, drainage requirements. vehicular and pedestrian circulation, as well as the final landscaping plan. In addition. the Division performs functions required by the National Environmental Policy Act, such as conducting environmental analyses of all City projects utilizing federal funding. These environmental reviews include the analysis of actions taken to conserve energy; preserve historic structures and sites; protect water resources; prevent air, water, and noise pollution; monitor hazardous materials. and implement erosion controls for federally-funded development projects in the City. The Development Division is also responsible for the implementation of the Wissahickon Watershed Ordinance. This ordinance places development controls on environmentallysensitive sites in the Wissahickon Watershed area of Northwest Philadelphia. Plans for construction within designated flood plain areas must also be submitted to the Division for review. This review process is deSigned to help developers better understand and comply with Federal, State, and local environmental regulations." (Sources: Friends of the Manayunk Canal; City of Philadelphia website Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development website, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection webSite)

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MANY DIFFERENT OPTIONS WERE WEIGHED DURING THE STUDY TO COORDINATE THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE UNDERGROUND STORAGE TANK WITH FUTURE PLANS FOR LOWER VENICE ISLAND. INCLUDING THE INVESTIGATION OF A LOCATION OFF THE SITE FOR THE TANK

20


LOWER VENICE ISLAND UNDERGROUND STORAGE TANK PROJECT Almost a century ago, the City of Philadelphia developed a combined sewer system in many segments of the vast sewer system that underlies the city. As development has increased past the projected capacity of combined sewer systems, the City faces sewage overflows into surface water bodies. Combined sewer overflows (CSOs) and sanitary sewer overflows (550s) are leading causes of water quality impairment. The overflows carry pollutants. including soil and grease, chemicals. nutrients, heavy metals, bacteria. viruses and oxygenconsuming substances. Some of these discharges are illicit and include used motor oil. antifreeze. pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers.

No Swimming at Any Time Sewer Overflows

A structural improvement is being planned on Lower Venice Island to eliminate the overflow during large storm events from flowing directly into the Schuylkill River. The sewer line that runs along the canal on Lower Venice Island is approximately one· half mile north of the Queen Lane Water Treatment Plant's drinking water intake on the Schuylkill River. This proximity makes the Lower Venice Island location a priority to initiate steps to protect the drinking water supply for residents of Northeast Philadelphia. Under the Clean Water Act, the .... Venice Island Underground Storage Tank project is one of many projects designed to reduce the amount of sewage that overflows into the City's waterways. The purpose of the tank is to divert flow from the sanitary sewer which runs along the canal into the storage tank during intense rain storms. Stormwater infiltration into the interceptor causes overflows into the Schuylkill River under certain rainfall conditions." (PWD, Venice Is land Underground Storage Tank Project, January 7, 2005) The proposed tank has a storage capacity of three million gallons of diverted sanitary flow. Approximate dimensions of the proposed Underground Storage Tank are - 400' x 60' X 25". A 30 x 40' above ground pump house to house the electronically powered switch gear and a loading area are also required for the project. (This equipment must be located above the floodplain elevation.) During the planning process much thought and effort was put into how to integrate the plans for the tank and pump house so that future plans for recreation and open space amenities on Lower Venice Island would not be in conflict or precluded from implementation. The community was very concerned about the temporary loss of recreation facilities and the loss of parking during construction of the tank. Phasing and staging for this project became the subject of intense discussion and exploration. The immediacy and reality of the tank project, added a new dimension to the planning for Lower Venice Island that is addressed in the phasing and concept design alternatives.

Lower \ 'cnin: b land MASTER PLAN

FINAL REPORT APR il 2006

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LEGE ND views from

main street limited access

opportunity for

access inaccessible

adjacent use _

towpath rail line

recreation building

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proposed l5' x 55' pumphouse proposed lOO' x 60'

Retention basin

areas for environmental protection

opportunity

to access the river main street

OPPORTUNITIES AND CONSTRAINTS

22


SUMMARY OF SITE CONSTRAINTS & OPPORTUNITIES Em"irolll1lcntal

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Rt.'CfeOJtion Facilitie:,

The 4.6 - acre site is primarily impervious and at present is a source of polluted runoff and erosion into the river and the canal Impervious Area - 2.5 acres or 64% of the site The site lies in both the Floodplain and the Floodway and has a well documented history of periodic inundation (100 year and 500 year Floodplain). Flood elevation is at 37.6'

Lower Venice Island Recreation Center is limited in size and programs Outdoor recreation facilities are in need of rehabilitation due to impacts of flooding and age of structures All existing recreation facilities are currently built in floodway and floodplain All facilities will be demolished to implement the Underground Storage Tank construction resulting in a loss of services for the community unless replaced

The soils on Lower Venice Island belong to the Urban Land category and have been manipulated to the extent that they have lost their natural structure and have poor drainage capabilities

Steep Slopes along the River Front prevent direct access in many areas and are highly susceptible to erosion if disturbed. (24' - 16' drop in elevation) Volunteer Tree Cover on the slopes is affording a high degree of protection for the slopes. Vegetated Area equals 2.1 acres or 36% of the site The water quality of the canal is nearly stagnant, with little flow. and low dissolved oxygen lnfr~tructurl' b~ue~

Construction and staging of the PWD Underground Storage Tank will require the demolition of the existing recreation facilities and a short term decrease in the amount of available parking for the commercial district The site currently prOVides necessary parking spaces (195 surface spaces) for the commercial district. A net loss of parking spaces is unacceptable to the business community Active Rail line may eventually be phased out and has the potential to become a regional trail link Major sewer line runs east of the canal Significant historical artifacts related to the canal system may exist below ground

Lowl'r Vcnice Island MASTER PLAN

FINAL REPORT APRIL 2006

CHILDREN'S PLAYGROUND AT LOWER VENICE ISLAND AfTER RECENT fLOODING. THE AREA IS COVERED WITH MUD AND DEBRIS AFTER flOODING THE PROTECTIVE SURFACE UNDER THE EQUIPMENT IS DETERIORATING. POSSIBLY DUE TO REPEATED FLOODING

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LEGEN D site access

vehicular circulation

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rail line

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recreation building commercial

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recreational parking to be developed pedestrian circulation

RECREATIONAL USE

1.07 acres PARKING USE

1.56 acres

LAND USE AND EXISTING SnE ORGANIZATION

24


ENVIRONMENTAL RECOMMENDATIONS As the plans for Lower Venice Island continue to evolve. the environmental focus should remai n on improving the way that stormwater is managed on the site and how to reduce runoff impacts to the river and the canal. Every intervention should be seen as an opportunity to improve this condition. Recomm endations include:

Restore and Protect Riparian corridor along river and canal. Create a riparian buffer of at least 20' Provide a vegetated edge with native species to both sides of the canal that interrupts the di rect flow of runoff and provides some treatment and infiltration. Remove exotic non-native plant species

Decrease impervious surface that contribute to untreated stormwater runoff

Capture and reuse wherever possible rainfall for irrigation needs. for recreation facilities or to increase flow to the canal The master plan options all strive to lower the percentage of impervious surfaces and/or inte rrupt the overland flow of stormwater runoff. This has proven difficult because t he demand for built facilities and parking is high within the community. Calculations have shown that if non路traditional design strategies are used . the percentage ofimpervious surface could be lowered to 32%. This is still below a targeted goal of 25% for healthy watershed management.

ABOVE CURRENTLY THE LARGE EXPANSE OF ASPHALT PARKING LOT DRAINS DIRECTLY INTO INLETS THAT OUTFALL TO THE SCHUYLKILL RIVER BelOW SOME AREAS OF THE CANAL HAVE LITTLE OR NO VEGETATION. THIS VIEW IS LOOKING WEST FROM COTTON STREET LEFT JAPANESE KNOTWEED. REYNOUTRIA JAPONICA. A HIGHLY INVASIVE EXOTIC NON路NATIVE IS SPREADING ALONG THE BANKS OF THE CANAL. THE PLANT HAS NO HABITAT VALUE FOR WILDLIfE AND DIES DOWN IN THE WINTER LEAVING A BARE SLOPE THAT IS VULNERABLE TO EROSION

Lo wer \ 'cnil'c

1~land MASTER PLAN

FINAL REPORT A PRI L 200 6

25


A80VE MANAYUNK ART FESTIVAL. VISITORS TO THE TRI,STATE AREA'S LARGEST OUTDOOR JURI ED ARTS AND CRAFTS FESTIVAL STROLL ALONG HISTORIC MAIN STREET IN MANAYUNK. PHILADELPHIA IN SEARCH OF UNIQUE WARES CREATED BY PROFESSIONAL ARTISTS FROM AROUND THE WORLD PhOtO Cred,t, Photo by R Kennedy C> 2000 by Gre:ner PhIladelphIa TourISm M,rlo:eun, Corpor~Clon FACING RIGHT

THE STEEP STREETS OF MANAYUNK路S NEIGHBORHOODS

PhOtO CredIt路 Sandy SOlllen 2002

26


THE MANAYUNK COMMUNITY The Manayunk business community has realized tremendous economic success with the transformation of Main Street into an urban shopping, dining and festival destination. Beyond Main Street, Manayunk remains a neighborhood. Over 84

percent of the prope r ties in Manayunk are residential, with only 1.2% industrial properties remaining. Over 59% of the residential properties are row houses. making it only slightly less dense than other urban residential neighborhoods in Philadelphia. Home ownership is 56.5%, with a renter occupied rate of 43.4 % which is slightly higher than the average in other Philadelphia neighborhoods for renters. (Philadelphia NIS Neighborhood Base 2005) The population of Manayunk according to the 2000 Census is 5.465 and predominately white. (95.6%) Children under 18 make up 16% of the population, which is lower than other neighborhoods in Philadelphia. (25.27%) The largest age group is 25-34 at 28% of the population.

The survey also revealed the fact that: 90% of respondents have autos vs. 62% citywide 51% owned more than one vs. 34% citywide 13% owned have 3 or more cars vs. 6% citywide Ironically. the traffic congestion on Main Street is due to it popularity as a dining and shopping destination. Events like The First Union US Pro Bike Race that is held in Manayunk every year and proximity to the Schuylkill River Trail and Kelly Drive as recreational attractions also contribute to traffic congestion and parking problems. The Schuylkill River Trail is a paved bike path that spans twenty-three miles from just beyond Valiey Forge to the center of Philadelphia. Most of the trail through Manayunk is on city streets. The Towpath is not paved, however. and is not suitable for racing bicyclists. Many cyclists ride on Main Street which is too narrow to have a dedicated bike lane; with parallel parking on both sides of the street. Delivery trucks and large tractor trailers on Main Street all add to the mix contributing to traffic congestion.

The Manayunk Recreation Plan, February 1999 states that" .the community has been undergoing rapid change and will likely continue to do so ...While the numbers remain stable, the demographic groups who currently make up that population will not necessarily be the same ones in five and ten years." This study is based on the same demographic assumptions noted in that plan: Singles will increase as a percentage of the population. Aging of the baby boomers will require different recreational services than exist now. Teens and Pre-teens are underserved and the most at risk segment of the population. Organized activities for this age group should be a priority at Lower Venice Island Recreation Center. A survey conducted by the Philadelphia Planning Commission reveals that while there is "general satisfaction with the overall quality of life in Manayunk. there is also significant concern among residents that it is changing for the worse." (Source: Philadelphia Planning Commission Survey - 1996) Much of this dissatisfaction is due to automobiles - traffic and parking. "Manayunk has an acknowledged problem with automobile parking on residential blocks." On average. for a neighborhood with the density of Manayunk. there is a high rate of automobile ownership, which is part of the traffic and parking problem both for residents and for visitors to the area. The business community has concerns about the lack of convenient parking for the commercial district and the residential community has concerns about parking on their own streets. INTERSECTION OF COTTON AND MAIN STREET IN MANAYUNK. PARKING ON 80TH SIDES OF THE STREET

Lower V.:nic,,' Isb.mJ

MASTER PLAN

FINAL REPORT APRIL 2006

,-,


LEGEND

II •

Parks and Open space Re~it~mal

faditles

Recreational

19 127 VENICE ISLAND PlAYGROUND COTION STREET AND SCHUYU<ILL CANAL NORTH UGHT COMMUNITY CENTER 175 GREEN LANE 19 128

HILLSIDE RECREATION CENTER 20 1 FOUNTAIN STREET HOUSTON PlAYGROUND 900 GRAKYN lANE KENDRICK RECREATION CENTER 5822.2-4 RIDGE AVENUE 19 129

GUSTINE LAJ<.E R..ECREATION CENTER -4863 RIDGE AVEN UE MCDEVlTI RECREATION CENTER 353 1 scons lANE

Histo ric Features ........, MANAYUNK CANAL RAILROAD BRIDGE

REGIONAL OPEN SPACE AND RECREATION FACILITIES

2S


EXISTING PARKS, RECREATION

DOPEN SPACE

Philadelphia is fortunate to have an extensive watershed park system of almost 9,000 acres throughout the city. What the City is lacking is a comprehensive Open Space Plan that can both guide partner organizations in the decision making process, especially regarding opportunities to recapture waterfront areas for public use. The City has a high percentage 12.4% - of City acreage in park land. While " ... Philadelphia's overall park acreage is above average for it's population and land area ( ... this varies at the neighborhood level between over and underserved; its public spending on parks and recreation is low; and its provision of recreation facilities is high. (The Philadelphia Planning Commission, Inside City Parks, 2000) w

Manayunk sits just north of the confluence of the Wissahickon Creek and the Schuylkill River accessible to Fairmount Park, the River Drives and Wissahickon Creek Park. Wissahickon Creek Park is a natura! wonder and has been a recreational destination for both Philadelphians and non residents for over a century. Both the Wissahickon and Fairmount Park East and West are considered regional parks and include Conservation Land, Parkland, Equestrian Trails, Hiking Trails, Biking, and BaH fields. The neighborhoods in Manayunk have adequate connections to these regional parks, but they are not within a walkable distance. Manayunk appears to be underserved at the neighborhood park level. The Manayunk Recreation Plan provided a list of other park and recreation facilities that serve the community. They include:

Park

Cklfi.k'[{;'rl:,ÂŁlCS.' Faciti[it:~

Ldc<ltlun

Manayunk Canal Canal Towpath

Linear

Passive Recreation, Cycling

Manayunk

Venice Island Recreation Center

Neighborhood

Lower Venice

Pretzel Park

Neighborhood

Kendrick Recreation

Neighborhood

Wissahickon Hillside Recreation Ctr.

Mini-Park Neighborhood

Active Recreation, Swimming Pool, Basketball, Island Playground, Community Ctr. Passive Recreation, Playground, Dog Walk Active Recreation Bal! Fields, Playground SWimming, Indoor Program, Tennis Courts Basketball Playground Active Recreation, Swimming, Indoor Program, Tennis Courts, Basketball

Walnut Lane Golf Course

Regional Golf

North Light Community Center

Neighborhood

Park,

1 F:Wi H\'

Luwct \'{.:ni(,: bhnd

i-!fSTEiZ PL.At'-l

Playground, Indoor Program

fiNAL REPel\T I~.P"~. L 20C6

Cotton and Cresson Roxborough Pennsdale at Ridge-Mitchell

Hermit/Terrace Concerned Neighbors Fountain Street

Henry Avenue Walnut Lane Green Lane

29


Several methods are used by planners to determining recreational open space needs for communities. Population based analysis is one method and land use guidelines are another. As the DVRPC notes in the Recreational Open Space Needs Analysis for the Delaware Valley, these methods do not ".relate goals or standards to the natural resources of the area, such as wetlands, Stream corridors, wooded areas and wildlife habitats, nor do they establish standards for specific recreation facilities such as swimming pools, tennis courts or Ball fields." (Recreational Open Space Needs Analysis, DVRPC May 2002) The National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA) which historically has calculated the need for open space in terms of 10 acres of parkland per 1,000 residents is now urging planners to " ... think ofthe entire community as a 'park' and balance all land uses into 'environmentally harmonious park, recreation and open space land un its". (Park. Recreation Open Space and Greenway Guidelines. NRPA 1995) By these standards, Manayunk has a deficit of over fifty acres of parkland. A recent report by the Philadelphia Planning Commission. Planning Philadelphia's Open Space Resources August 30, 2005, reveals that Manayunk has a low percentage of tree cover - less than 10%. This is far short of the goal of 25 to 30 percent average tree cover that is believed optimum for healthy communities in this region, according to The AMERICAN FORESTS, an organization that is a national leader in the urban forestry movement. "AMERICAN FORESTS recommends ways City leaders and planners, engineers. and policy makers can utilize trees to improve a City's "green infrastructure" such as: by including tree cover data in all natural resource and land development decision making; by increasing tree cover as cities grow to improve air quality and to help offset stormwater runoff: encouraging local jurisdictions to promote the conservation of healthy. mature trees; and by establishing local tree cover targets while determining the contributions trees make to air. water, and energy needs of the community." (AMERICAN FORESTS website) Maco and McPherson (2002) reported that quantity of tree canopy cover is related to quantity of tree benefits and that an increase in canopy provides a correlated increase in benefits suc h as energy savings; air, soil, and water quality improvement; carbon sequestration; stormwater management; and an increase in appraised real estate values. The United States Code section that authorizes funding for the national UCF program reports that ..... urban trees are IS times more effective than forest

30

trees at reducing the bUildup of carbon dioxide and aid in promoting energy conservation through mitigation of the heat island effect in urban areas .... Tree plantings ... in urban areas and communities can aid in reducing carbon dioxide emissions. mitigating t he heat island effect. and reducing energy consumption. thus contributing to efforts to reduce global warming trends." Among the purposes ofthe UCF program are to ..... improve understanding of the benefits of preserving existing tree cover in urban areas and communities, ... encourage owners of private residences and commercial properties to maintain trees and expand forest cover on their properties .... [and] provide education programs and technical assistance to state and local organizations (including community associations and schools) in ... identifying appropriate tree species and sites for expanding forest cover" (U.S. Congress 2002).


PROJECT DESIGN PRINCIPLES The ove rarching goal for t his master plan has been to reclaim open space and provide public access to the waterfront and waterfront recreational activities for the reside nts of Manayun k and at the same time continue to provide adequate parking fo r nearby businesses on Main Street.

"Manayunk is th e Gatewa y to the City of Philadelphia on the rive r " (Manayun k re Siden t)

Restore. Integrate, Humanize and Diversify the Built and the Natural Environment Over the last two decades the character of Manayunk's commercial fabric has changed and will continue to change if it is to thrive. Successful downtowns require sh ops and rest aurants, but they also require recreational activity. parks, arts, cultu ral , and educational activities that contribute to the year-round Vitality and economic success of a place.

Participants in previous studies from both the public and the private sectors concur that Lower Venice Island is " . .. a unique location that deserves to be developed to maximize its river location to support the residents and businesses of the local community and greater Philadelphia area." (Manayunk Performance Center Fu nding Feasibility Study Report, July 2003)

Maintain an active riverfront and historical connection that brings together the modern civic life of Manayunk with recreational and cultural activities Develop plans and activities for the area that serve the local, year-round community Foster the Environmental, Social and Economic Health of Manayunk by Creating a Multi-Dimensional Open Space Create critical pedestrian links and ensure public access to the River and the Canal

The objective is to create a rich, authentic place on Lower Venice Island that becomes a part of the year-round "social landscape" of Manayunk -- a place designed fo r activity and people, connecting the daily life of the town with recreational activity on the river. Two different groups that assisted with the planning process - The North light Community Center and the Manayunk Sport and Social Club - actively utilize the Lower Venice Recreation facilities for their programs. Both groups support short-term change for the island. but are very concerned about the loss of facilities fo r their activities and programs. North light Commu nity Center is a Manayunk institution that for several decades has been offering programs in the arts, education, job training, and childcare to thousands of Manayunk residents of all ages. The swimming pool at Lower Ve nice Island is an important resource for the children's summer camp program. The Manayunk Sport and Social club is an organization that organizes league sporting events for Hockey and Basketball. This group is comprised of primarily young adults, with a membership role of over 2,000 participants. The leagues use the recreat ion facility at Lower Venice Island for their activities. During the course of this study. active collaboration with the advisory Com mittee, key stakeho lders, user groups, City officials, and the community resulted in three alternative concept plans based on the follOWing set of principles:

Lowe r Venin.' hbnd

MASTER PLAN

FINAL REPORT APRIL 2006

VIEW OF LOWER VENICE ISLAND FROM RECTOR STREET A NEW PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE AT THIS LOCATION WOULD BRING VISITORS TO MAIN STREET DIRECTLY TO THE ISLAND ACROSS THE CANAL

31


SITE PROGRAM EVOLUTION The impending reality of the construction of the Underground Storage Tank required that this project develop a plan that would be integrated with the PWD plans in terms of phasing, funding and location of plan elements. Many different schemes were developed to test the feasibility of both the above ground and below ground plans. It quickly became evident that the recreation facilities could not maintain any reasonable level of service under the pressures of construction staging for the tank. It was agreed that if the recreation facilities could be demolished, that would allow space on the island for both short term parking and a construction staging area for the tank.

The recreational activities, public uses and facilities determined to be included in the final site plan include the following: I. Lower Venice Island Recreation Center Program Community Cultural Arts Center Hockey

Basketball Children's Play Area

The community agreed that short term loss of recreation facilities would be worth the long term gain of improvements to the island and the recreation facilities. The PWD agreed to fund the reconstruction of the recreation facilities and proposed a preliminary sum of $3 Mil. to the community. The uses and the type, size and standards of facilities to be developed on the site evolved as result ofthe pUblic participation process, the advisory committee input, meetings with City officials and representatives and coordination with the PWD for the tank project. Previous studies had suggested the following objectives for Lower Venice Island:

Water Play Area 2. Riverfront Promenade and Overlook 3. Riverfront Park and Riverfront access 4. New Bridge Crossing at Rector Street over Canal 5. Docking facility for boaters 6. Tree-lined walkway along Manayunk Canal on the river side 7. Parking Spaces for recreation and commercia! district - 195 spaces

development of a community facility for cultural programming development of water-based recreation, to include boat rental beneath the cultural facility the creation of a riverfront buffer zone with public access along the Schuylkill River increased passive recreational opportunities enhancement of the Lower Venice Island Recreation Center and its incorporation into the master site plan. provide parking for Main Street businesses and recreation facilities. The alternative design options explored all of the prior program suggestions. tested the capacity of the site and explored preliminary costs. They are included in this report to document the work and the evolution of the plan. Option #3 was selected as the plan that would include both an acceptable program and economically feasible implementation plan, given the level of funding reqUired.

12

All of the design options contain the agreed upon elements of a proposed bridge at Rector Street. a riverfront promenade, a riverfront park and dock access, the underground storage tank, improved recreation facilities and parking. The differences in the three designs lies in the scale and the programming needs of the recreation facilities. how parking is accommodated and the amount of green open space that can be developed.


Weighing The Prugrarn u

"'""" """"""'" """

Not all program elements are created equal.

I'Y'I'DWATERI\fTB'I/TlONTMIK

Some elements make up the island's INFRASTRUCTURE or suppOrt system. Other parts of the program replace and augment the center. Finally, within Manayunk.

GNI.AGE I'MItING • 104 w.ces S

elements enrich community life

All of these program elements will serve the Manayunk community, Others will draw people from beyond the neighborhood. Finally.

SURMC£ I'IWONG • 10 SPJI\CES J

F'EDES'l'lI.IAN MTJoISYSlE'1

CIVIC

1lV.15O.<_

some elements of the program have the potential to generate revenue. This income could be utilized to maintain and improve

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __

Lower Venice Island. COt1I"1UN1T'r aNTel l

F'EKfOIU'1INCAATS CENTER I

<Me""""

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mEET HOCl(EY

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+VUSJ'. IASKET&ALL COUJ(f

l ,m u

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.. IL00 Sf

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174. 95 8 S.F.

D.,m.

TOTAL PROGRAM

The Open Space Question

m ~

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b land

MASTER PLAN

FINAL REPORT A PRi l 2006

The land remaining on the island for park land once the bUilding program has been developed.

BUILDABLE SITE 206.235 S.F.

TOTAL PROGRAM 174.958 S.F.

= OPEN SPACE = 31.277 S.F.

33


DESCRIPTION OF PLAN OPTIONS Plan Options were developed out of the need to balance the varied desires of

The inherent constraints of Lower Venice Island - floodplain issues and the linea r shape of t he

community members within program. construction and budget realities. The

island confined between the canal and the steep slopes leading down to the river presented challenges for the dimensions of the recreational programs. In addition. the req uirement t hat the proposed design would have no net loss of parking spaces, led the design team to explore many different options. Three options are presented here that addressed these concer ns, illustrated the possibilities and document the work as it progressed.

plan is intended to communicate the image or a vision of what is possible for

Lower Venice Island. It illustrates the benefits of a long range commitment by the community to improving the ecological and the aesthetic integrity of the site.

ELEVATION STUDY : CONCEPT PLANS AND SECTION

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Option One Option One is an attempt to incorporate all of the ideas of the previous studies. In order to accommodate the site program. a one story parking deck was proposed at the first level of the site. Access to this deck would be from both Cotton and Lock Street. All of the site program elements are proposed to be built above the floodplain and not to disrupt the flood way flow. The concept hinged on the fact that each phased amenity could be built as a module on top of a parking deck as plans progressed across the site. The first phase would include a 14,600 square foot, two story recreation facility that includes an indoor gymnasium, flexible meeting space and other amenities. Access to the building would be at both the Plaza level and the Rector Street level from the proposed new pedestrian bridge. Outdoor recreational facilities such as hockey and basketball and children's play areas would all be built on top ofthe parking deck.

PERSPECTIVE SKETCH ILLUSTRATING THE EXPERIENCE ALONG THE MANAYUNK CANAL AS A TREE-LINED PROMENADE . THE PROPOSED PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE FROM RECTOR STREET ACROSS THE CANALIS IN THE DISTANCE TO THE RIGHT THE PARKING DECK WITH RAMP TO PLAZA AND PARK lEVEL 15 ON THE LEFT.

In subsequent phases a Riverfront Plaza would be constructed on top of the deck that would serve as an outdoor performance and gathering space along with a Riverfront Performance Center. At grade would be a Riverfront Park featuring green space and access to the river and docks. Along the canal across from the Towpath. a tree-lined linear park and promenade would be constructed, that would provide a variety of experiences for passive recreatio n.

OPTION ONE SECTION THROUGH CANAL

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NOTES · The Rector Street Level. whICh Includes the second floor of both the Recreation By,ldml ~nd the Performing Ans Center is set ~t El "5500 Th.s 1ccomodates the 23' venlc~1 durance required by the railroad · The Plu ... Level. whICh ,ncludes Recreation faCIlities. Performong Arts Center :lnd Gruc Lawn are locned El ... 39 10 The ,nvestment ,n new construction IS protencd n 1S above the IOO-yur flood hnt · The Lonear Park that flanks CanJI Street matches the Island's ex'st,ng grades ThiS ranges from fL ... 3100 to EL + 3200 - The Pariung Level IS set 3' below the t,usun"rade. about EL .. 2850 Thos lCreens vehicles from v,ew, but perm.u accenlble routes on and Out of the ,ange • The PWD Retenuon tank IS located beneath the parkon, surface 3t EL +25,00

Lo w ~ r

\ "t: ni cc bland

MASTER PLAN

FINAL REPORT APRIL 2006

37


OPTION ONE路 PHASE ONE C. F.

Fnlr'{1c-:cd 1mrrOYt'n,Cl1!

pf C,,:-;t

Pwd Tank & Pump House Pump House

Tank Temporary Parking At Cotton Street

35' X 50' 50 X 400 X 30 100 Cars

($30,000)

Canal Street Level Recreation Center Parking

One story parking deck - 65 spaces

$975,000

Plaza Level Recreation Center Facility Reception Area Office Storage Mechanical Room Elevator

Lockers/Restrooms Corridor

Gymnasium SUBTOTAL PLAZA LEVEL REC CENTER

50 S.F. 100S.F. 100 S.F. 100 S.F. 25 S.F. 2,000 S.F. 475 S.F. 4,500 S.F. 7,350 S.F. wlindoor gym

($1,286,250)

Rector Street Level Recreation Center Facility Meeting & Assembly Room

1,500 S.F.

Kitchen

Storage Women's Restroom Men's Restroom

Corridor

Outdoor Deck SUBTOTAL RECTOR ST LEVEL REC CENTER TOTAL BLDG.

Outdoor Basketball Court

100 S.F. 155 S.F. 180 S.F. 180 S.F. 475S.F. 4,660 S.F. 7,250 S.F. 14.600 S.F. w/gym

($1,268,750.) $2.555.000.

55 X 95 S.F.@$6

$ 31,350.

Outdoor Hockey

Hockey Rink Hockey Rink

Boards

;;;;

120' x 65' S.F. $ 46,800. $ 154,500.


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Children's Play Area

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1,050 S.F..

Playground Equipment 1050 S.F. - Surface @ $ 7.40 Water Play Area RECREATION FACILITY SUBTOTAL

$ 25,000. $ 8,000. $250,000 $4,063,650.

CONTH"-lGENCY AND DESIGN FEES

$i,097,185.

TOTAL

$5.2 Mil

River Front \Valk & Overlook

5,000 S.F.

!'lH~!"(;

CU~{

(Pal"king Deck :.;nder aii bcilities; :lccessibic from both Lock

:lnd COHon Sts.)

P\VD T auk Construction Parking available during construction of Tank Cotton St: 100 temporary spaces after demolition Lock St: 35 spaces at the tip

$550,000. TOTAL:135 SPACES

Rector Street Peciesrrian Bridge

80 x 10

$72,000.

Surface Parking Between Rector and Lock St.

[30 cars

$39,000.

Site Work/Trees/Paving River Front Park Dock Park Site Work River Edge Restoration

Turn-around

$500,000

1.32 acres 100' x 60'-6,000 S.F. 18,600 sJ 12.400 S.F. 8,100 S.F.

$310,000. $300,000. $26,000. $25,000.

PHASE ONE SUBTOTAL COST

$5,867,650.

DESiGN/ENGiNEERiNG -12%路 CONTiNGENCY-\S%

$704,! IS. $380, \47.

PHASE ONE TOTAL.

$7.5 Mil.

General notes: Note that the RR track area is at EI. 32.0, which will also be the main walking area. Tank is located below the raised Lawn area; (Tank East) Raised deck for Recreation Facilities and the Lawn are assumed to be above EL 37.6, or the level of the 100 year flood. Parking below the deck is assumed to be at EL 28 following slope of site to 23 (8-13' floor to lawn/deck), or approximately the average of the existing grade. Raised Recreation Building requires elevator, and perhaps fire stairs, to connect to grade. Rector St. Bridge is assumed to be about 23' above the RR tracks, or at EL 55.0.

Lu\\">.:1' \'cnicc LLnJ

t'L;STEP- PL."'.N

fIN.A.l. REPQ?T AP?,iL. liJGS

Rebuild Recreation Facility Parking available during construction of Recreation Facilities and Parking Deck for Recreation Facilities 130 spaces temporary Jot built at the Lock St: end of tank construction TOTAL: 130 SPACES Construct Plaza And La,,-'l1 And Lower Level Parking Parking available during construction of Plaza, Lawn and Parking Deck Cotton St: 65 spaces - Recreation Facility Deck Lock St: 35 spaces at the tip

TOTAL: 100 SPACES

On,: CUmpktl:Ll Prlij\.'cr: TOTAL: 240 SPACES

39


Option Two Option Two developed out of a concern that the cost of a parking deck would be prohibitive in the first phase of development for the recreation facilities. Therefore. this plan proposes that the recreation building be built above the 100 year floodplain area. which will leave an area below the building that can be used for storage, or if designed with sufficient head room, could be the site of a weekend Farmers Market. This new facility includes a gymnasium and other flexible meeting space. All other recreation activities. such as hockey, basketball and a children's water spray park are built in the floodplain and the flood way. The plan allows that in a future phase a parking deck would be constructed and a lawn area created o n top of the deck with views of the river. Single sided. perpendicular parking spaces will be situated along the canal in a linear fas hion , accessible from both Cotton Street and Lock Street. Street Trees will be planted to define and shade the parking area and the canal.

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AERIAL PERSPECTIVE OF OPTION TWO

40

VIEW OF EXISTING OUTDOOR RECREATION FACILITIES ON LOWER VENICE ISLAND


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($1,470,000)

TOTt-\L BLDG.

1,500 S.F. 100 S.F. 155 S.F. 180 S.F. 180 $.F. 475 Sf (4,660 S.F.) 7,250 S.F. 14.600 S.F v\fiGYM

($1,268,750) 32.738.750

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$31,350

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Reception Area

Office Storage Mechanical Room Elevator

Lockers/restrooms Corridor

Gymnasium SUBTOTAL PLAZA LEVEL REC. CENTER

Second Level Recreation Center Facility Meeting & Assembly Room Kitchen

Storage Women's Restroom Men's Restroom Corridor

Outdoor Deck SUBTOTAL RECTOR ST. LEVEL REC. CENTER

Outdoor Hockey Hockey Rink

120' X 65' S.F. $ 46,800 $ 154.500

Hockey Rink

Boards

Children's Play Area Playground Equipment 1050 S.F. - Surface @ $ 7.40 Water Play Area

RECREATION FACILITY SUBTOTAL

12

1,050 S.F.

$ 25,000 $ 8,00 $250,000 $3,254,400


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River Front Walk & Overlook

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$390.528 $488.! 60

DESIGf'-J /\I'-~D E\lGiNEERiNG CONTI f\lGENCY PHASE ONE SUBTOTAL

Rector Street Pedestrian Bridge

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$4.13 Mil. 80 x 10 5,000 S.F.

$72,000 $550,000

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P\VD Tank Construction Parking available during construction of Tank Cotton St: 100 temporary spaces after demolition Lock St: 35 spaces at the tip TOTAL: 135 SPACES

Surface Parking At Cotton Street At Lock Street

49 Spaces 100 Spaces

14,700 30,000 $500,000

Site Work/Trees/Paving

Rebuild Recreation Facility Parking available during construction of Recreation Facilities and Parking Deck for Recreation Facilities 100 spaces temporary lot built at the end of tank construction

Lock St:

River Front Park ~1.32 Acre Dock Park Site Work River Edge Restoration Turn~around

100' X 60'-6,000 S.F. 18,600 S.F. 12,400 S.F. 8,100 S.F.

$310,000 $300,000 $26,000 $25,000 :$ iJ62,900 $211.548

PHASE ONE SU8TOTAL COST DESiGNiENGIi'\lEEF,iNG -!Y% CONTINGENCY-iS% PHASE ONE TOTAL

$264.435

TOTAL: 100 SPACES

Construction of Lawn and Lower Level Parking Deck Cotton St: Lock St:

49 spaces along the canal 33 spaces along the canal

TOTAL: 88 SPACES ALONG THE CANAL

$6.3 Mil.

Unril)1"l Twl.'

General notes: • RR track area is at EI. 32.0, which will also be the main walking area. • Tank is located below the raised Lawn area; (Tank East) • Raised deck for the Lawn above the parking is assumed to be above EI. 37.6, or the level of the 100 year flood. • Parking below the deck is assumed to be at EL 28 (8-13' floor to lawn/deck), or approximately at the average of the existing grade. • First occupied floor of Recreation BUilding must be set above EI. 37.6, the! 00 year flood level; this requires elevator and perhaps fire stairs.

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Cotton St: 49 spaces along the canal Lock St: 33 spaces along the canal Deck Under lawn:84

TOTAL: 166 SPACES

-L)


Option Three Option Three was selected by the Advisory Committee as the prefe rred plan. In this pl an, all facilities are built above the flood elevation as required, but without a parking structure below. The program for the space below the building will be determined by the final design and the amount of head room that is provided under the bUilding. As in Option Two, the space could be the site of a weekend Farmer's Market or other simi lar activities .

In this plan. the program for the recreation building will accomodate a Performance! Visual Arts Center. According to the Department of Recreation , t his type of facility would be preferred instead of an indoor gymnasium. This new facility includes a flat floor

performance space and other flexible classroom and meeting spaces. The performance space will accomodate seating for 200. All outdoor recreational activities. such as hockey, basketball and a children's water spray park are to be built at grade. Parking would be handled as in to Option Two. but with double~load ed parking spaces situated along the canal in a linear fashion, accessible from both Cotton Street and Lock Street. Street Trees will be planted to define and shade the parking area.

OPTION THREE SECTION

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OPT10N THREE,

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ONE

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S.F.

dCn"t

Fwd Tank & Pump House 35' X 50' 50 X400 X 30 30 Cars

($30,000)

505.F, 100 S.F. 100 S.F. 100 S.F. 25 S.F. 2,000 S.F. 475 S.F, 5,450 S.F. 100 S.F. 8,400 S.F.

$1,470,000

SUBTOTAL SECOND LEVEL REC. CENTER TOTAL BLDG.

8,400 S.F. i 6.800 SF Pedonnnnce

$1,470,000 $2.738.750

Outdoor Basketball Court

55 X 95 S.F. @ $6

$ 31,350

Pump House

Tank Temporary Parking At Cotton Street

First Level Raised Out Of Floodway Recreation Center Facility Reception Area

Office Storage Mechanical Room Elevator

Lockers/restrooms Corridor Performance Space

Kitchen

SUBTOTAL FIRST LEVEL REC. CENTER

Second Level

Outdoor Hockey Hockey Rink

120' X 65' S.F. $ 46,800 $ 154,500

Boards

Children's Play Area Playground Equipment 1050 S,F. - Surface @ $ 7.40 Water Play Area

RECREATION FACILITY SUBTOTAL

-th

1,050 S.F. $ 25,000 $ 8,000 $250,000 $3,254,400


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DESiGN

A~'-iD E!~~GiNEERiNG

FEES

dt ~U>l

$390,528 $488.160 $4.13 Mil.

CONTINGENCY PHASE ONE SUB TOTAL

Rector Street Pedestrian Bridge $72,000

80X 10

River Front Walk & Overlook

5,000 S.F.

$550,000

95 Spaces 100 Spaces

28,500 30,000

Surface Parking At Cotton Street At Lock Street

$500,000

Site Work/Trees/Paving River Front Park ~1.32 Acres Dock Park Site Work River Edge Restoration Turn-around

100' X 60'-6,000 S.F. 18,600 S.F. 12,400 S.F. 8,100 S.F.

$310,000 $300,000 $26,000 $25,000 $i,84!,500 $220.980 $276,225 $6.46 Mil.

PHASE Or,lE SUBTOTAL COST

DESIGNiE,"iGiNEER.!I'.JG -12% CONT\NGEl\iCY- :.5% PHASE ONE TOTAL

General notes: • Rr Track Area Is At EL 32.0, Which Will Also Be The Main Walking Area. • Tank Is Located Below The Raised Lawn Area; (Tank East) • On-grade Lawn Is Assumed To At El. 22.0, Or Approximately At The Level Of The Top Of The River Bank.

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f!NAL.. ?EF'ORT APi<, t. 2C06

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c

A

B

CONSTRUCTION OfT.... NK & DEMOllnQN OF eXISTING kECkEATION FACILITIES

CONSTRUCTION OF RECREATION FACILITies AND PARKING ALONG CANAL

TOTAL PARKING SPACES 100

TOTAL PARKING SPACES 100

CONSTRUCTION OF LAWN AND PARKING ALONG CANAL TOTAL PARKING SPACES 90

OPTION THREE PARKING PHASING All Facilitie .. At Grade ~ Raised Out Of Floodwav \Vhcre Required (Parking Available During Construction Of Underground Storage Tank)

A

PWD Tank Construction Cotton St: 30 Temporary Spaces After Demolition Lock St:

B

70 At The Tip TOTAL: 100 SPACES

Rebuild Recreation Facility Lock St: 100 Spaces (temporary lot built at the end of tan k const ruction) TOTAL: 100 SPACES

C

D

Construction Of Lawn Cotton St: 55 Spaces Along Canal Lock St:

OPTION THREE COMPLETED PROJECT

D

Option Three Completed Project: Cotton St: Lock St:

4R

3S Spaces At The Tip TOTAL: 90 SPACES

95 Spaces Along Canal 100 Spaces Along Canal TOTAL: 19S SPACES


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PERSPECTIVE DRAWING ILLUSTRATING THE PROPOSED PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE AT THE END OF RECTOR STREET ACROSS THE MANAYUNK CANAL THE BRIDGE CONNECTS TO THE RIVERfRONT PROMENADE AND THE PROPOSED PfRFORMING ART RECREATION FACILITY

Lower \ 't.: nit·c bland

MASTER PLAN

FINAL REPORT APRil 2006

49


SUMMARY OF PUBLIC DISCUSSION The immediacy of the underground storage tank construction shifted the dialogue of the master plan to the short term decrease in both parking and recreational activities on the island. Discussions about phasing and funding became a focus of concern for the community. The foHowing is

(l

summ;'lry of the discussion. o!-gilni'Zed by 5ub,iect.

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The entire area should flow as recreation or park space. Parking is a use we must live with. however, the area must look and feel !ike a park with parking as a secondary use. We do not want massive structures or a parking lot to overwhelm or deter the public ....We fear there will not be a sense of nature but a parking lot with a "green" roof that will remain remote and unused. The pedestrian view should be across the river, not into a parking lot or "wall" of any kind.

The entrances at Lock and Cotton Street cannot force the public to pass a parking lot entrance or climb a ramp. They must be welcomed to a park or recreation space with views of the river. A parking structure on the site would take the pressure off of the neighborhoods

People walk from the neighborhood to use the recreation facility, some drive, 50 - 70 spaces on the weekend.

Open

"Boating, fishing and water access are essential parts of the plan. The must be given ample space and be seen as an important part of the area both visually and physically." Rl.'cn.'<ltinn

We do not see the need for an indoor swimming pool or ice skating rink. The community does not want the area taken over as an attraction for crowds of outsiders but as a recreation and nature area. The Recreation Center cannot be squeezed into a small space between Cotton and Rector Streets ...We do not want to lose Rec. Department land. AI! Rec. Center programs must rely on the support of the Dept. of Rec. There is not enough time in the design process to formulate long term management and maintenance programs. We do not want to lose our public Rec. Center because it is not sustainable. Rccrcatinnai Facilitic:-: Hockey League (coed) is very popular and growing - 1,000 people every week. The MSSC would like to start a Volleyball League. Private sponsors can be obtained for this program. Community Meetings are held in the Venice Island Recreation Center - 40 to 50 people. Residents feel that the facility is limited, not large enough, need flexible space to accommodate more than one use at a time Some flooding occurs on outdoor facilities, users take care of the area. The overall facility is not an inviting place at present, dysfunctional Programs, facilities and use of the area have changed over the years. Venice Island (VI) used to be "The Place to Go."

Phase One of the Master Plan should replace the Recreation Center with all of its current amenities. However we may not need a pool. Additional amenities can be given placeholders for future funding. The Phase One plan to be built with Water Dept. funds must provide a finished design and improve the entire area.

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The covered outdoor space behind building was a safe, popular place for young people


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• Make the space available to the public

:-\c __·t.:"~ Tu Th", Ri,-Cf Creating access and recreational activity on the river is a priority Important part of the history of Manayunk Manayunk is the Gateway to the City of Philadelphia on the river

.\L.t ,avunk Canal A new pedestrian bridge could be made from Rector Street. Time Trials for rowers are currently being held in the canal. There are no definite plans for restoration of the locks. Bridges need to span 18' above the rail line per KS. The rail line will remain active for an unknown period of time. Canal Day does not happen on the canal, but it should in the future

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Preserve sight lines from Lock Street to the River. Create interesting urban plaza areas, not just parking lots Need more green space Don't lose any parking Make Venice Island a place for everyone

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APPENDIX of

i/U04

j

Ii /4/04

j/Si04

j

!11(0/04 ii/l9/04

i! !22/04 :2/1/04

E'i-"('l1L":

;nd T,]:-'k,,,;

PWD, MNC, MDC

MOC - Dan Neduscin. Kay Smith, Bob Swarbrick AA Office Project Brief AdVisory Board Meeting, FMC, MNC, MSSC, MDC North Light Community Group Hazen and Sawyer Engineers for PWD First Public Meeting held at Lower Venice Island Recreation

il/i 3/04

Center Hazen and Sawyer, MOe, PWD Manayunk Development Corporation Board Advisory Board! Carlton Williams, Department of

12:13/04

Recreation Philadelphia Canoe Club

i 2i7/04 i 2/8/04

i/7/05 i /i 9/05

/20.105 i2S!05 i /28/05 2i8/05 !

PWD, MNC, MOC, Councilman Michael Nutter Tom Connelly, Dennis Maloornian MDC, Brown & Keener Advisory Board Meeting John Teaque

Second Public Meeting, FMC, MNC, MSSC, MDC, North Ught Community Group

2/24!05 3/29/05 5/4/05 5/16/05 6/8105 6/23/05 6/27:05 7/14/05 8/i7/05

Public Meeting at Andropogon Advisory Board Meeting Public Meeting at Andropogon Philadelphia Planning Commission MDC and Brown & Keener PWD, CPO and Phila. Rec. Dept Advisory Board Meeting Advisory Board Meeting with PWD, Philadelphia Rec.

! I i02JOS

Department. Public Meeting - Manayunk Neighborhood Council

PWD, MDC, MNC

97 lower venice island master plan  
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