Neighbors express concerns over proposed Washington Avenue redevelopment – CBS Philly
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Washington Avenue hasn’t been paved in nearly 20 years, but that will change this summer when the two miles between Grays Ferry Avenue and 4th Street are resurfaced. The project also includes variable traffic lanes, raised platforms for boarding buses and protected cycle paths. They would look like the lanes on Market Street in the city center, but some residents think they have to save their neighborhood from this project.
“We are fighting for this community, we are fighting for history,” said Point Breeze resident Claudia Smith Sherrod.
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She has lived in the neighborhood for over 60 years, but more recently has seen it change and believes long-term residents are being left out of the process. The main point of contention now is the Washington Avenue resurfacing project.
“It’s about equity and inclusion and they didn’t include us,” said resident Smith Sherrod.
Sherrod says long-term residents are being silenced.
“We all worked together to build this community, don’t push us aside. We are someone. We are someone. We are someone. Respect us for being somebody,” Sherrod.
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“The Point Breeze neighborhood and South Philly have changed dramatically over the past 20 years. It’s an ongoing problem,” said Sarah Clark Stuart, executive director of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia.
The organization has advocated for bike lanes around the city, including lanes that will be on Washington Avenue. She says it’s a matter of security and nothing else.
“We are taking every step possible to make our streets as safe as possible and Mayor Kenney is committed to reducing road deaths,” Clark Stuart said.
The city says the causeway is one of the city’s deadliest corridors with four people killed in crashes between 2012 and 2018. As for Sherrod, she says the fight to save her neighborhood won’t stop.
“I have fought for people for over 40 years and I will fight for them until God says enough is enough Claudia,” Smith Sherrod said.
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A meeting is scheduled for Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. The public is invited to view the plans and speak with city and community leaders.