Making the Parkway more fun

20130630_inq_heller30-a
"The Oval." The goal is to "animate" Eakins Oval, the first of four Parkway places targeted for enhanced recreation.

Almost a century ago, the parkway was envisioned to be a grand and verdant boulevard, Philadelphia’s Champs-Elysses, but ended up being more Le Mans. It is dominated by cars not people. The city’s parks and rec department is trying to remedy this following a February study it commissioned “More Park, Less Way.” The first initiative is to put a pop-up park in Eakins Oval July 17-Aug. 18 as I noted in Sunday’s column.

Readers offered some terrific ideas. “Having had the good fortune to spend considerable time in Paris, I was reminded of "la Plage" by the Seine when I read your article this morning,” one reader wrote. The four-week, pop-up beach has actual sand and a pool by the river. Perhaps the city can these next year, strenghtening our French connection.

A friend, who just returned from a long Amtrak trip cross-country, suggests a Ferris wheel, and sent this link to the world’s 10 best. Santa Monica’s beauty, included here, is solar-powered.

"Isn't the parkway 's 19th-century design perfect for a Ferris wheel?" she asked. "I would contribute to a fund." Me, too.

Do you have any great ideas for making our Parkway even more splendid?

 --Karen Heller

Continue Reading