April 27: 15th Street El art | Old Skid Row | AV attractions

SEPTA will soon cover up the decades-old photo panels on the El platform at 15th Street Station, Peter Dobrin reports. The panels will be replaced, as part of a larger renovation, by “illuminated colored panels with abstractions of Philadelphia street grids” designed by Philadelphia light artist Ray King.

Once upon a time, the area by 6th and Race was known as Skid Row, encompassing the ‘vice district,’ ‘homeless man area,’ and ‘flop houses.’ Hidden City digs into the districts known for taking “on human dimensions as a symbol of alcoholism and failure” that were all but wiped out by the construction of the Vine Street Expressway.

City leaders are racing to woo autonomous vehicle manufacturers to test new technology in their cities. Attracted to the allure of job creation, ‘cool city’ branding opportunities, and “a chance to get a leg up on new technology that’s starting to feel inevitable,” officials are opening their roads and pitching incentives including experienced legislators and access to prime testing conditions, Next City reports. Experts at the national level also see opportunity to lead the conversations on public engagement, education, and safety standards.

Harrisburg residents and tourists attended the third in a series of public meetings to give feedback and propose design improvements for Reservoir Park. PennLive highlights a dozen design and safety interventions, noting existing traffic pattern issues, lack of connectivity to basketball and tennis courts to the rest of the park, and the call for more pedestrian-friendly additions, such as walking paths and sidewalks.

Allegheny County and the City of Pittsburgh have leveraged local funds to create a $4 million city-county program to reduce the risk of lead exposure and poisoning in older homes and apartments, the Post-Gazette reports. The program will use $3 million in HUD funding, “coupled with $400,000 from the county’s healthy Homes Supplemental Fund and $350,000 each from Pittsburgh and the county.” The program is targeted at homes with children or pregnant women with incomes at or below 80 percent of the area median income.

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