Cultural BRT route | SEPTA’s energy action plan | Neighbors plan new future for Frankford Y | Activating South Broad

After a taste of Indian summer yesterday, we’re back to our regularly scheduled November weather today, Streeters. Don’t forget the umbrella as you’re out and about today.

Among the competing visions for the Reading Viaduct’s City Branch is a “Cultural” Bus Rapid Transit line, advanced by the Planning Commission as part of the Central District Plan. Flying Kite explains that the BRT route “would run buses from Kelly Drive around the Art Museum, where they would connect to the submerged City Branch behind the Rodin Museum and the Barnes Foundation. Eventually the line would run along Race and Arch Streets to link up with the future transit lines along Columbus Boulevard.” Planner Laura Spina told Flying Kite that the plan is a “win-win” for SEPTA, but a disappointment for people who want to see the space become a park or light rail line.

SEPTA’s has an 18-point energy action plan that will save $2.2 million annually, reports PlanPhilly’s Christine Fisher. The plan will help SEPTA “reduce energy consumption by 2.8 percent and cut green house gas emissions by the equivalent of 122.37 million pounds of carbon dioxide or 12.3 percent.”

Neighbors have formed a new nonprofit to stabilize the Frankford Y and give the community asset new life, reports Flying Kite. First up for the New Frankford Community Y board: fixing the leaky roof, repairing damage done by vandals, and identifying tenants and community uses that will activate the building. The group will also have to develop a long-term business plan, a step that is important because if the bank likes it, it will “forgive a current outstanding mortgage of more than $200,000 on the property. This would be a significant boon for the board and the facility, which currently lacks the resources to tackle a financial burden this steep.”

To celebrate its 20th anniversary, Avenue of the Arts Inc. held a design competition seeking ideas to add new life to South Broad Street. PlanPhilly’s JoAnn Greco checked out the four finalists last week and weighs in on the ideas from a handful of new pocket parks; the removal of on-street parking in favor of parklets, dog parks or play areas; arts-oriented temporary programming for underused spaces; and yet more lighting and planters. The four finalists are on display in the Belleview lobby until Wednesday and the winner will be announced November 19.


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