Looking forward to Delaware waterfront park

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An artist's rendering of the new Penn's Landing is part of a detailed Philadelphia master plan that would reshape the central Delaware riverfront as the flagship of a 21st-century lifestyle city. (KieranTimberlake, Brooklyn Digital)

Here is today's Editorial from the Daily News about a victory for fans of the Delaware waterfront.

THE SYMBOL of our squandered, inaccessible Delaware waterfront is not so much the presence of the big-box stores like Walmart, but what lies directly behind Walmart: a hurricane fence plastered with large "No Trespassing" signs (and plastered, as well, with trash). That fence and those signs say everything about how we have, until recently, treated one of the city's great treasures, especially people's access to that treasure.

Slowly but surely, that began to change five years ago, when thousands of citizens participated in creating a new master plan for the central Delaware waterfront, which in turn has led to new trails, a new park, and plans for much more. Last week that very parcel behind Walmart was acquired for a new wetlands park with a $1.25 million grant from the state's Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (and a donation from the property's owners). The park's plan and creation will be overseen by the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation, which acts as the steward of the waterfront.

That's good news indeed - but it was trumped this week when the Planning Commission voted to adopt the Delaware waterfront master plan. That was an important victory not just for the mayor and the many people who participated in the planning process, but for the city as a whole. The adoption means that the waterfront plan will be part of the city's comprehensive plan. But it also means that after decades of failed attempts to transform the waterfront for the benefit of all, the city has finally gained serious momentum in making that happen. The significance of this victory shouldn't be understated: this is huge.

Ordinary citizens can celebrate this victory by taking advantage of the Delaware access that now exists:

Visit the Race Street Pier, a new park, or walk the interim riverfront trail that begins at Washington Avenue. It will change your view of the city.

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