Neighborhood

South Philly neighborhood community news, developments, and local interest.

Neighborhoods: Bella VistaEast PassyunkLower MoyamensingPennsportPoint BreezeWhitman

Illegal median parking battle divides South Philly residents

There are two major issues that get South Philadelphians riled up: street cleaning and parking. And since the only major criticism against street cleaning is that it requires parked cars to move, the only issue that truly troubles South Philadelphians seems to be parking.

South Broad St Parking divide
South Broad St median parking is the South Philly norm (photo by Claudia Gavin)

Illegal median parking on south Broad Street has long been a topic of discussion and debate. Cars park on the median of Broad Street, Oregon Ave, Washington Ave, and wherever it the PPA and Philadelphia police turn a  blind eye. Other neighborhoods don’t get it, and South Philadelphians don’t really think anything of it. It’s the way it has always been, legal or not.

Since the Democratic National Convention, when median parking ban was enforced, the controversy has only escalated. Median parking practice is technically illegal, but is it dangerous? 5th Square, a political action committee, seems to think so. 5th Square started an online petition to ban median parking that has since gained over 900 supporters. The organization recently hosted a fundraiser, “No Parking on the Dance Floor” at our own Dolphin Tavern to support the banning of median parking. According to 5th Square, the funds will be used to “pay for the next phase of the Broad Street campaign, which will include professional planning and design work, and multiple public engagement sessions that empower South Philadelphia neighbors to reimagine what Broad Street can be.”

South Philly Parking Ban
South Broad Street with no cars parked on the median due enforcement during the DNC

Leading the other side of the median parking war are many vocal long-term South Philadelphia residents. Most notably, the administrator of Taking our South Philadelphia Streets Back (TOSPSB), a local pro-police/anti-crime Facebook group, has led a social media campaign to support maintaining illegal median parking in South Philadelphia. The TOSPSB Facebook group is a page for community residents to warn each other about local crime and share events to support the PPD. The Facebook group identifies as diverse, with majority vocal members being traditional, long-term South Philadelphia residents.

Although noncommittal about the issue, Mayor Jim Kenney has encouraged the PPA to start ticketing some of the worst violators, according to Philadelphia Magazine.

“The mayor, the PPA and members of the administration met to discuss the median parking issue a few weeks ago, before the administration met with 5th Square this week,” said Kenney spokeswoman Lauren Hitt. “In that meeting, we agreed that PPA should ticket in the median when a car is fishtailed, in the turning lane, and in the crosswalk. We also agreed that any other changes should be community-driven.”

Mayor Kenney’s compromise, although agreeable to both parties, was criticized by some community members as “weak and noncommittal.” Such criticism has been said of our mayor many times since his taking office in January. Kenney has not pushed to action some of his campaign promises, notably ones that involve a firm stance. Tough decisions often offend, and Jim Kenney is not one to offend. As Kenney is currently involved with scandals and an FBI investigation, perhaps the non-offensive route is his best position.

Polls, action calls, and surveys are flooding Facebook, with South Philadelphians split nearly 50/50 between the sides. Enforce the law and ban median parking or continue the South Philly tradition and let it be? Is it simply a battle of new residents vs old residents? Will Mayor Kenney’s efforts be enough to peacefully settle this deeply divided issue?

24 New Indego Bike Share Stations Coming to Philadelphia

Philadelphia city’s bike-sharing system, Indego, celebrates its first birthday last Thursday. Playing off its wide success from the first year in the city of brotherly love, Indego will implement 24 new docking stations throughout the city this coming year, including the inclusion of 300 brand new bikes.

Once again, the new bike share locations will include very few locations in South Philadelphia, drawing negative feedback from South Philadelphia residents. Concentration of regular bikers are most dense in South Philadelphia, where supplies of biking stations are fewest. Higher supplies of bike-sharing stations would help lower the demand for parking in the already congested South Philly neighborhoods.

The new NACTO bike share guide suggests that studies show that “bike-share stations placed within a 3- to 5-minute walking distance of each other throughout a contiguous service area are essential to a system’s success.”

Indego
Existing Indigo bike sharing stations in Philadelphia against news stations to be added.

Indego stations to be added:

  • 10th and Federal Streets
  • 11th and South Streets (Magic Gardens)
  • 15th and Market Streets
  • 15th and South
  • 19th Street and Girard Avenue
  • 22nd Street and Cecil B. Moore Avenue
  • 24th Street and Cecil B. Moore Avenue
  • 26th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue
  • 26th and Poplar Streets
  • 27th and Master Streets
  • 29th and Dauphin Streets
  • 29th and Diamond Streets
  • 31st Street and Girard Avenue
  • 33rd and Dauphin Streets
  • 33rd and Diamond Streets
  • 33rd Street and Reservoir Drive
  • 34th Street and Mantua Avenue
  • 42nd Street and Lancaster Avenue
  • 46th and Market Streets
  • 4th Street and Washington Avenue
  • Front and Berks Streets
  • Moyamensing & Tasker Avenues
  • Delaware Avenue and Beach Street (Penn Treaty Park)
  • Columbus Boulevard and Race Street (Race Street Pier)

Shoprite of Whitman Plaza opens September 2016 – Hiring

Shoprite of Snyder Plaza will finalize its move to Whitman Plaza this Fall. When Shoprite purchased bankrupt A&P’s Pathmark in Whitman last year, they promised an early opening in Spring 2016. It seems that the old Pathmark building required a lot of fixing up because the final move and opening date is now set for September 2016, months behind schedule.

Shoprite is now hiring for their new location at Whitman Plaza on 3rd and Oregon. The new renovations and expanded space includes plans for their nutritionists and a sit-in coffee shop. There has been no word of a new pharmacy opening to replace the closed Pathmark pharmacy that previously serviced the neighborhood.

With all the neighborhood changes and plans for new development in the area, Whitman is up and coming indeed.

Shoprite of Whitman Plaza

From Shoprite Facebook:

We’re Hiring for Our New Location at Whitman Plaza!

Please share with your friends – We will be holding a JOB FAIR – By Appointment Only, for several dates in April & May.

Please apply online at http://www.shoprite.com/career-opportunities/

Must apply to our current location: “ShopRite of Snyder Plaza”

WE WILL CONTACT YOU WITH A DATE/TIME & LOCATION AFTER REVIEWING YOUR APPLICATION.

Irish Pub & VMCO Fundraising Social Event

Vietnamese Medical Charity Organization hosts their annual Fundraising Social at Irish Pub to raise money for the Vietnam Medical/Pharmacy Mission, a healthcare mission led by Philadelphia’s Temple University School of Pharmacy students and staff. 100% of proceeds from the social admission and raffle goes to buying medical and medical supplies. You can read more about the mission or donate at vietmeds.com.

VMCO Fundraising Social
When: April 14, 2016 from 7PM-10PM
Where: Irish Pub @ 2007 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
RSVP: $5 wristband @ door or RSVP on the event page.
Complimentary Appetizers, Drink Specials, Raffles, Prizes, Games

VMCO Fundraising Raffle

Fundraising Social

Rebuild Philadelphia Parks & Infrastructure – and Free Trees

Mayor Kenney recently announced his proposal for a potential bond issue which would provide updates to our Philadelphia’s park, recreation, and library infrastructure. The Philadelphia Parks Alliance is gathering petitions for their campaign to support the improvement the parks and recreation facilities. Local communities, groups, and individuals can support the efforts by getting or signing a Rebuilding Community Infrastructure petition.

Free Yard Trees
Free Yard Trees (via Tree Philly Facebook)

On the topic of green Philly, Tree Philly’s Spring 2016 Free Tree giveaway is now open. Each resident can sign up to reserve 2 free trees. This year, pick up sites will take place at four different TD Bank locations in April. Act quickly if you are interested in reserving a tree or two. Trees run out fast, especially in the easily accessible South Philly location.

Registrants will be able to pick up their yard trees at one of the following location:

  • 2201 S. Broad St., 19148
  • 2267 E Butler St., 19137
  • 6635 Frankford Ave., 19135
  • 3930 Woodhaven Rd., 19154

Philadelphia Neighborhood Map

The most common question we get is concerning the different Philly neighborhoods. From the boundaries of civic groups to where am I right now, the confusion seems endless. We had our team put together a map of all the different Philadelphia neighborhoods, primarily South Philadelphia.

Philadelphia Neighborhood Map
Map of the neighborhoods in Philadelphia, a work in progress.

There are way too many overlapping boundaries and ‘mini-neighborhoods’ to break it all down in a simple image, but that is about the gist of it.

Oregon ave median strip becomes dumpsite; utility poles to fall

Our editors received this neighborhood complaint from a concerned South Philadelphian last night. We are still trying to follow up and verify the issues brought up in this email. If anyone has any updates or information regarding the issue, please share.

The source reports that Oregon ave, neglected by the city, has succumb to becoming a literal dumpsite. Utility poles and infrastructures are dangerously unstable and are currently being held up by wires to help support the weight.

The source reports:

“Our neighborhood has many problems that is not being addressed by local law enforcers. We’ve made multiple reports to 311, the police department, and councilman. No parking authority or personnel even comes by or responds. Trash cans and trash bags are being placed right in the center of Oregon Ave weekly. Literally on the median of 10th and Oregon Ave, the middle of the street where cars are illegally parked. Cars parking on the median and left turn lane without getting fined is one thing, but having trash bags left on the median is another story. This is highly unsafe and illegal. We can ignore the trucks and seafood mobiles double parking, auto repair shops taking up the public sidewalk with tires, cars, signs, and chairs. At this point, a little something has to be said so that we don’t officially become the dumpsite and trashcan of South Philly. Poles are going to fall soon and some buildings are bound to collapse.

Oregon Ave is not a rich area and we don’t have a lot of representation like the more active neighborhoods, but we pay our taxes. We may not be rich enough, not vocal enough, not urban enough, and not young enough for media attention, but we don’t deserve to be completely neglected either. If you go down the lower streets or Oregon, the utility poles are literally being held up by strings because the poles are getting too old to stand on their own. Live wires are hanging dangerously right in front of Oregon Diner, even though they have been reported many months before. Please help us get heard.”

Oregon Ave
Oregon Ave streets have been use for public dumping for a long time now, a reader reports. Photo at the intersection of 10th st and Oregon ave from last August. Conditions are reportedly the same today, as it occurs throughout many poorer South Philly neighborhoods.

Update 02/22/16 Passyunk Post reports on the issue of trash storage on Oregon ave. Some readers believe the trash cans belong to the truck that sells seafood on Oregon, possibly Phil’s Live Crabs.

High value homes near stadiums / Southport development

Curbed Philly cites a Trulia report that reveals that homes within a 2-mile radius of Lincoln Financial Field receive significantly boosts in value by 44.3 percent. This radius includes a large area of South Philadelphia neighborhoods, including Lower Moyamensing, Whitman, Passyunk, New Bold, etc.

South Philly Home Increase
South Philadelphia homes around the stadium district have increased in value (via Trulia)

Port Authority board continues to seek final proposals for Southport development One of the seven original proposals was dismissed and the six remaining groups will now be asked to submit financial and development plans.