Good food can help too.
The barren plaza, dim lighting, and confusing crosswalks under the El at the Arrott Transportation Center feel unfriendly and don't make for an inviting community space. Fortunately, the Frankford CDC has brought together a team of partners to reclaim this five-point intersection's place in the community.
The Community Design Collaborative is part of that team. Between 2014 and 2016, we matched Frankford CDC with fourteen volunteers to recommend storefront and streetscape improvements, generate ideas for a one-block festival street, and re-envision a prominent vacant lot as a community park. Ellie Devyatkin, a Commercial Corridor Manager for Frankford CDC, says the Collaborative “helped us put together a cohesive vision for what we’re doing.”
Frankford CDC understands that big changes start with small steps. The transformation of the intersection is beginning with the 4600 block of Paul Street. The block was the focus of the popular Destination Frankford. Frankford CDC moved its offices here in February 2017 to create the foundation for the new neighborhood civic space. "The block happens to be one-way. It has only four storefronts, so there’s a limited need for consistent access. It's a good spot for a festival street,” says Devyatkin. Frankford CDC ultimately wants to install special paving and green the 4600 block of Paul Street.
Food Truck Friday
Every other Friday this summer through September 2017, Frankford CDC is closing its tiny block of Paul Street to traffic at lunchtime for Food Truck Friday. It's putting out tables and chairs and recruiting a food truck or two. Devyatkin says, “With Food Truck Friday, we’re trying out Paul Street as a festival street. We’re getting people’s attention… bringing out people who work at local businesses, residents from the neighborhood, and people who come out specifically for the food trucks.”
"It's a great idea," says Robin Kohles, Program Manager for the Collaborative. "There are very few sit-down restaurants in the neighborhood right now and this gives business owners and residents the chance to enjoy that experience."
Hungry? Find out when the food trucks are coming via Instagram (frankfordcdc), Facebook (frankfordcdc215), or Twitter (fcdc215).