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“The Porch” at 30th Street Station Welcomes You to Philadelphia

For nine months now, Philadelphia's awesome new public space "The Porch" has been flying under the nation's livable streets radar.

Installed next to 30th Street Station as part of a larger PennDOT undertaking, the project reclaimed asphalt from cars and devoted it to people. The Porch provides a great place to meet up, and it shows what American cities can achieve at major transit hubs when they strive to create great public spaces.

The planners of The Porch looked to New York City's Times Square for inspiration, and there might be something for NYC to learn in return as the city considers transforming parts of Vanderbilt Avenue outside Grand Central Terminal into pedestrian spaces.

Clarence Eckerson, Jr. has been making fantastical transportation media in NYC since the late 1990s. He's never had a driver's license and never will.

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  • Guest

    Thanks for showcasing Philly!  We still have a long way to go but we're building some great projects (and we're cheap!).

  • mfs

    The plaza is neat but is completely blinding in full sun because of the highly reflective ground treatment.

  • Philly Parker

    I recently parked at the 30th & JFK parking lot and based on the signs, the lot is under new management 'Parkway'.  They seem to have made some positive changes, the lot is much better maintained and actually clean! :) The staff was helpful when I went to pay for my parking. The price is also reasonable at $22 per day, which is $5 cheaper than 30th street station but just as close.

  • vh

    I walk through this area on a regular weekly commute, and since this space has opened, the pedestrian experience has improved hugely! It was really unsafe before, and not a fitting welcome to the city. There is still some construction going on around the Porch that is improving sidewalk ramps and changing the traffic pattern (thank goodness...Market St here is a death trap for cyclists). 

    I am looking forward to a few years from now when the trees grow in.