PHILADELPHIA — SEPTA is planning a public hearing to update the public on the plans for the Wissahickon Transit Center.

The Open House is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 26, 5:30-7 p.m. .at the Gustine Recreation Center, 4868 Ridge Ave., Philadelphia

SEPTA plans to present present their current design for the overhaul of the Wissahickon Transfer Center. The Lower NW Coalition of Civics has held several meetings with SEPTA in regard to this project over the past year, including the most recent session on Feb. 19.

SEPTA has purchased the lot that previously contained Cadence and Restaurant Depot. Both buildings will be demolished and the new center will be constructed on that site.

SEPTA's long-range plan includes a 20% increase in daily bus trips. The streets will be reconfigured so that there will be a bus-only turning lane into the center and two pull-off lanes, one on either side of Ridge, for those buses, the 9,27, 61, 62 and 65, that will not enter the transfer center. This will hopefully eliminate some problems since these buses will not be stopping in the running lane of traffic as they do now.

SEPTA also will be purchasing the Deke's property on the north side of Ridge to enable them to reconfigure the traffic lanes and pedestrian traffic in the area.

SEPTA also is planning to have all buses enter the center and then go to a point on the round structure in the middle to drop off and pick up passengers, coming around to then again exit.

No buses will turn left out of the center. Facing Ridge the current design has a long overhang for passengers waiting for buses that will not enter the center. On one side of that is a control office and on the other a building for as yet unspecified commercial activity, likely a coffee/breakfast business.

The coalition of community groups continue to work with SEPTA on the project, focusing on many of the design issues. The groups remain unsatisfied with the look of the structures. Also still problematic is that many of the potential integrations in the area; with the Wisshickon trail, with the Wissahickon Train Station, in regard to bicycle traffic through the area, remain as "future" projects.

The groups also are seeking a second meeting with SEPTA that would be more of a town hall type event so that people can hear others' inputs and address the project in a more integrated way.

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