07/19/2008 - It was a hair-raising adventure for many of the folks on foot who carefully made their way to the center lanes of Benjamin Franklin Parkway for Thursday's public announcement of a welcome $17.1 million plan to upgrade the boulevard.
Cars whizzed along the outer lanes as usual, making some pedestrians' journey a potential life-and-death moment.
Gov. Rendell and Mayor Nutter needed no better illustration of why the Parkway needs to be more pedestrian-friendly. Their announcement was welcome to those who have waged a years-long effort to wrest back the Parkway from car and truck traffic.
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Credit is due Rendell and Nutter, and Levy's group, but also to three foundations whose joint pledges of $4.25 million helped leverage the state and city dollars going toward this project: the Pew Charitable Trusts, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and the William Penn Foundation. The philanthropies' partnership in the Parkway effort is a smart investment in enhancing the downtown as a destination for visitors and residents alike.
Read the full editorial Save the Pedestrians! on the Philadelphia Inquirer's Web site.