December 2: Changing Kensington | SEPTA’s regional rail plans | Food insecurity

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In a feature for Next City, Max Marin explores ways Kensington is changing north of Lehigh Avenue. Long-vacant factories are at long last drawing local development interest, from NKCDC’s rehab of Orinoka Mills for its office and 51 affordable units, to Leo Voloshin’s purchase of the Lomax Rug Company for his company Printfresh Studio and Shift Capital’s work to convert buidlings for businesses, not residential conversion. There’s also a strong ground game from community development groups like New Kensington CDC and Impact Services to organize and empower residents already there.

SEPTA wants 2017 to be a much better year for Regional Rail riders, reports Jason Laughlin. SEPTA is aiming to improve on-time performance, starting with a new schedule that goes into effect December 11, addressing staffing shortages, and finishing installation of Positive Train Control.

One quarter of Philadelphians are food insecure, nearly twice the national and state average. Grid takes a deep dive into local programs trying to help food insecure and vulnerable households, like those run by Philabundance, Broad Street Ministry, Food Connect, Hungry Harvest, and Share.

File away for when you want to close a commercial corridor for an event: Strong Towns offers ways to win over merchants.

Streetsblog explains new Federal Railroad Administration draft safety rules that would allow sleeker, lighter passenger rail cars thereby speeding up our rail systems and saving operators money.

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