Wednesday, February 11, 2009
South Philadelphia is known affectionately for the frustrating “double-park” phenomenon. Because of the often small corridors of many South Philadelphia neighborhoods, high population density, and lack of adequate parking spaces, residents carelessly “double-park” their cars parallel to already parked cars against the curb providing extremely narrow passageways or maddening traffic jams in the neighborhood.
Yet, in the South of South Street neighborhood, the stereotype definitely does not hold true since most residents opt to either walk (more about their interesting walking methods and community involvement in our Transportation Story), or use private, often shared transportation like Philly Car Share or Zip Car.
With just the 47 and 57 bus routes running directly through the neighborhood and SEPTA subway stations acting as a natural border for the exterior of the neighborhood at Broad and South streets to the north and Broad and Ellsworth to the south, public transportation isn’t exactly the strong suit of the neighborhood. However, while walking is of course healthy, environmentally conscious and spreads community responsibility with more “eyes on the street” in Philadelphia, it is just not valid to expect to be able to live, shop, dine, work and play within walking distance.
Janet Impo, a resident of 7th and Montrose streets, who, after getting rid of her car to cut costs and reduce her eco-footprint utilizes Philly Car Share biweekly to grocery shop or pick up household necessities that are otherwise overpriced at stores within walking distance.
“Cleaning supplies are much cheaper at Target,” she says. “Produce is cheap at Shopright and my specialty foods are only sold at Whole Foods. I make a whole day of it once every two weeks and that’s the only time I have to use a car.”
While South of South Street might be a self-sustaining entity of the city with a huge emphasis on community involvement, several convenience stores, schools and churches, it is definitely lacking in proximal grocery stores. The closest is Whole Foods and Superfresh at 11th and South streets. Additionally, there are the Asian supermarkets in several shopping centers along Washington Avenue. Yet, residents, like Impo, say that even if they do walk to the supermarkets in the immediate vicinity, they’ll need an efficient way to transport their goods.
“I’m able to stock up on what I need and conserve energy and money by making one trip twice a month or so instead of buying as I go at expensive convenience stores,” Impo expands.
Unlike it’s deep South Philadelphia counterpart, parking along the streets of South of South Street proves to be quite straightforward since many residents maintain private driveways or garages or utilize the Philly Car Share or Zip Car services and their designated parking areas.
Impo continues, “The best part is, when I return from a trip to the supermarket, I can park in the designated Philly Car Share spot and not have to worry about finding a space near the house.”
In the South of South Street neighborhood alone, Philly Car Share operates nine lots (spaces in dedicated lots for car rental) while Zip Car operates six in the immediate area.
Impo speaks volumes to the benefits of a Philly Car Share/Zip Car and walk-friendly neighborhood.
“I walk mostly,” says Impo. “But when I drive Philly Car Share, I choose a hybrid. It’s definitely healthier for me and the environment and it’s so easy. There’s a car always available at 7th and Christian. Always right around the corner…”
From PhillyCarShare.com and ZipCar.com:
Philly Car Share Lots in South of South Street Neighborhood:
741 Christian Street
400 Catherine Street
9th and Bainbridge
5th and South
3rd and Bainbridge
5th and Bainbridge
10th and Carpenter
10th and Christian
Zip Car Lots in South of South Street Neighborhood:
8th and Christian
7th and Bainbridge
4th and Bainbridge
3rd and Bainbridge
11th and Christian
10th and South
By Group16: South of South Street - Davonne Armstrong, John Casey and Gabrielle DiPietro
Posted by gabrielle dipietro at 12:37 AM