Since 2016, the Broad, Germantown, and Erie Task Force has existed as a joint effort between different City departments and neighborhood organizations. Our goal is to bring restoration, beautification, traffic safety, and investment to the intersection of Broad, Germantown, and Erie (BGE) in North Philadelphia.
We will continue to engage the community to discuss the proposed intersection changes and public space improvements that the City has been developing with the community around BGE.
An update to the City’s on-going response to the Broad, Germantown and Erie (BGE) shopping district during the Coronavirus pandemic and civil unrest on June 2020 can be found here.
Where we left off:
The last time we met with the community was in January 2020, when the City held a Resource Fair at Zion Baptist Church in collaboration with Called to Serve CDC. The fair was attended by over 100 community members and provided access to over a dozen resources.
At the fair, we shared information and collected feedback on:
- Updates to proposed changes to the intersection
- The two triangle spaces
- Honoring local history through art and public space design;
- Neighborhood stories and memories; and
- The Germantown Avenue and Broad Street shopping district
View the full feedback received here. Then our public engagement was put on hold due to the COVID-19 health emergency and the community meeting we had planned in April was not possible.
What’s happening with the intersection?
The work at BGE includes major improvements to the roads, sidewalks, crosswalks, and bus stops. This will change traffic flow at the intersection. It will also make improvements to pedestrian safety and bus stops.
The City is moving forward with intersection changes that will make it safer while keeping elements that residents and merchants felt were important.
Updates to the plan include:
- Keeping northbound Germantown Avenue traffic between Erie Avenue and Broad Street. This will keep most afternoon rush-hour traffic on Germantown Avenue’s commercial corridor. It also will reduce the impact on the Route 23 bus.
- Adding a landscape architect to our team for better design of the parks and sidewalks at the intersection.
Park Space, Bus Stops, Landscaping, and More
This summer and fall, we’ll be working with the community on how they want the intersection and triangles to look and feel, including:
- Public art
- Bus stop design
- Lighting plans
- Materials and textures for things like concrete and pavement
- Placement and types of plantings, such as trees
- Locations and types of furniture, such as benches
We want to make sure we follow all the guidelines put in place by the Department of Public Health while having the most inclusive outreach possible. As we learn from other projects in the City and around the country, we will determine the best way to do this engagement and will provide further details soon. Our goal is to hear from as many community members as possible while maintaining appropriate public health restrictions.
The goal is to start construction on these improvements at the same time as the intersection construction: tentatively 2022.
Do we have to wait until 2022?
No! The City applied for a grant to do a pop-up at the Broad, Germantown, and Butler triangle in 2021.
This pop-up is in response to when we talked to neighbors about creating a new public space at the Broad, Germantown, and Erie Triangle. What we heard was concern that there is already a public space at Broad, Germantown, and Butler. And that space needs sprucing up.
In addition to removing the overgrown plants and chain link fence, and leveling out the ground, this pop-up would include:
- New grass and paths
- Planters with trees and plants
- Tables and chairs for outdoor dining
- String lights
- Repainting the fence
- Elements for kids to play with
- Decorative coverings on the small shed
- Trash cans
Our goal is that these improvements contribute to:
- A destination on Germantown Ave for residents and shoppers;
- The restoration and beautification of a public space; and
- Increased curb appeal for nearby businesses.
We will be collecting feedback from the public about the pop-up this summer. If we get the grant, the pop-up itself will allow us to test what people like and dislike about the space. This will inform the permanent improvements.
We are also working closely with nearby businesses, Called to Serve CDC, and the Nicetown-Tioga Library on the design, programming, and maintenance of the Broad, Germantown, and Butler Triangle.