August 22: Philly has the most walkable and affordable neighborhoods | Density as the key to bicycle growth | Rt 10 Trolley service suspended | PNB letters

We heard mixed reactions from readers regarding the removal of the PNB letters from Philadelphia’s skyline, it does seem like cause for concern that “no city regulatory agency had the authority to review removal of the iconic PNB letters from their 60-year home atop a Center City tower on Sunday.” 

The Bicycle Coalition’s new report on Philly cycling trends says population density is one of the most determinative factors for a city’s bicycle mode share. Philly has the highest bicycle mode share of any of the top ten largest cities, but it’s still small in absolute terms – just 2.6%. For those who want to see that rate climb higher, the policy takeaway is that pro-density policy changes – upzoning growing neighborhoods near transit or removing parking requirements for multi-family buildings – are likely to increase the number of bikes on the street. We’ll have a longer write-up of the report’s findings out soon.

The United States is currently experiencing a general apartment shortage of about 8 million units, so it’s not surprising to see rental prices soaring in the country’s safest walkable urban areas. Philadelphia’s rents generally have stayed remarkably flat, with the exception of a few pockets of faster growth, and we continue to have some of the most affordable and walkable neighborhoods in the nation

Evidence continues trickling in that the Convention Center’s recent changes to work rules are leading more organizations to take a second look at hosting in Philly. “The National Black MBA Association is one of a half-dozen shows that have agreed, either orally or by contract, to return to the Convention Center, now finally digging its way out of its reputation as a place with labor difficulties, costs and inefficiencies, and a leadership unable to manage those problems.”

Ever wonder how a Community Development Corporation is different from a regular housing developer? Kate Lao Shaffner of Keystone Crossroads explains, as part of their series illuminating key terms in the Pennsylvania government lexicon.

Starting tomorrow, Rt. 10 trolley service will shut down for a week. There will be a shuttle bus until next Saturday.

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