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Play-Street-Scape Pilot Program

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Background

The City of Trenton lacks long expanses of open spaces for children to play. Trenton should look for opportunities to use part of their largest open space asset – the street system. Partial closures of streets could allow children a safe place to play outside, which is a critical need in the hours after school. A Pilot project could be implemented to test a street closure to determine the impacts, and the hours and length of the closure could be adjusted to meet the needs of residents and children.
A good candidate for the Pilot Program would be Chestnut Avenue through the Chambersburg neighborhood. Chestnut Avenue serves both the Carroll Robbins Elementary School and the Washington Elementary School, with Columbus Park in between. By closing this street to traffic, children could play in the street and safely move between school and the park. This street could serve as a key component to a Safe Routes to School Plan.
The City should develop a daily vehicular use closure plan along Chestnut Avenue to connect Washington Elementary School with Columbus Park and the Assunpink Creek Greenway. Partnership with a local community organization to program the area as an active play space, can ensure it is an attractive and safe environment for everyone, especially children.
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Case Study: Play Streets Philadelphia

A resident of a block in North Philadelphia applied for a permit to have her narrow, one-way street blocked off from 10 am to 4 pm. Neighbors bought five inflatable pools, which they set up in the street. The program has been around for decades and is administered through the city recreation department, which provides free lunch, through a state subsidy. The program sees about 800 Play Streets throughout the city each summer.
Source: One sweltering North Philly block finds relief with Play Street Published: June 24, 2010; http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/phillycorners/One_sweltering_North_Philly_block_finds_relief_with_Play_Street.html

Case Study: Philly Free Streets

Philly Free Streets is a new program organized by the City of Philadelphia that was inspired by the excitement over car-free streets during last year's Pope's visit, and modeled on the Open Streets programs in effect in over 120 North American cities. The initiative is led by the Managing Director's Office of Transportation & Infrastructure Systems (oTIS), and is sponsored by SNAP Kitchen, Vea Rewarding Fitness, Philly Powered, AARP, and Open Streets PHL. Philly Free Streets closed 10 miles of roads to cars so people walk, run, or bike without having to worry about cars. Throughout the route, there were activities and freebies to promote a healthy lifestyle.

Case Study: Ciclovia (New Brunswick, NJ)

The New Brunswick Ciclovia was initiated in 2013 as a way to promote healthy, active living and provide a safe place for people to exercise and play.  During Ciclovia, a 3-mile route traversing both residential and commercial areas of New Brunswick became temporarily car-free for five hours.  Families were able to walk, run, skate, ride bikes, and enjoy sponsored activities along the route. 

ciclovia 1

ciclovia 1

ciclovia 2

ciclovia 2

ciclovia map

ciclovia map
Details of Play-Street-Scape Pilot Program

Classification:

Program

Supporting Departments:

Police Department

Trenton Board Of Education

Status:

Pending

Topic Focused Report:

Circulation

Land Use

Priority:

Medium