|Cool shot of the Manayunk Canal | Manayunk, Philadelphia|
The goal, to make the entire canal/towpath
area more recreation, entertainment, and retail-friendly.
Don't get me wrong, the Manayunk towpath recently underwent an upgrade at it's western end
(past the Green Lane Bridge). Murals have been painted, plantings have
been tended to, cleanings are consistently scheduled, and the path
itself was re-paved/re-graveled. It was a nice upgrade for all who use
I went for a few runs down there this past summer, and it was pretty awesome; especially when you're close to the Flat Rock Dam.
|Flat Rock Dam|
If you've never walked/ran/biked down this way, I highly recommend
checking it out. Parking is easy on Nixon St (where Shawmont Ave dead
ends), and you can also catch the Schuylkill River Trail
from this spot. Connecting the towpath and the SRT was also part of that project.
So, back to the canal/towpath plans.
The next area of focus is the canal "boardwalk," which basically runs from Green Ln to Lock St (by the Manayunk Brewery
, aka The Brew Pub
This section of the canal was overhauled close to 40 years ago, and
it's still in constant use today; but it could use a sprucing-up. The
planning that's going on now is for improvement along this corridor.
Kay Sykora, Director of the Schuylkill Project
, has stated, "We feel that there is an opportunity for the canal boardwalk area to be a
great public space. It will move the boardwalk into a more central position and
present an opportunity for it to be a connector both up to the
commercial district and up into the neighborhood
Right on, Kay!Manayunk
is a busy commercial strip,
it has charm that most other cities/towns strive for, and it has an
abundance of water (both from the canal and Schuylkill River). Water is
what brings people to places like Manayunk, so naturally it should be
utilized to its fullest potential.
On Venice Island, a strip of land that was created when the canal was
built (back in the early 1800s), there are already some significant
projects taking place. A 3 million gallon stormwater storage tank is
being installed (to help with flooding during big storms), a new
playground is being built, and a performing arts center is being put up
as well; everything is expected to be completed by 2014.
In the next few months, another project will break ground that will
return flowing water back to the Manayunk canal; financing has already
been secured/approved.The goal for the upcoming planning/project is to make use of an existing asset
Think destinations like San Antonio's RiverWalk, or the canals of
Amsterdam. These cities have utilized their waterways as a place for
recreation, entertainment, and retail activity.
Main Street already has strong bones along Manayunk's commercial
corridor, but more could be done around back to make it world-class.