December 4: Rethink curbs | #PhillyMinute Graffiti Pier | Pedal to Porch

Jared Brey highlights the key points of the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO)’s new report on curbside management and design strategies to improve transit reliability. This very interesting report looks at examples from cities that have employed updated design and usage tactics to accommodate rideshare and transit “rather than single-occupancy or zero-occupancy vehicle travel,” and the benefits of these targeted curbside changes for businesses located in a commercial district.

Graffiti Pier, from the sky: for visual and aural delights of our city, check out the latest installment of #PhillyMinute by Streets Dept and WeFilmPhilly. It’s a beautiful single take that shows the peaceful swath in the water with the Philly skyline in a dreamy backdrop. As a written accompaniment, Conrad Benner also writes about the pier’s unofficial status as a public space, and therefore its uncertain future as a privately owned property. Hidden City and Streets Dept have both written previously about designating and preserving Graffiti Pier in light of demolition and new construction in changing urban landscapes across the country.

Storytelling and bicycling expedition: the Philadelphia Citizen highlights Detroit’s Pedal to Porch, a nonprofit that aims to connect neighbors and “temper the effects of gentrification” through storytelling. The replicable model that has expanded to other neighborhoods and the immediate suburbs in Detroit, and has made its way to Philadelphia, where founder Cornetta Lane has spoken with the Knight Foundation, Bartram’s Garden, and the Bicycle Coalition about a storytelling trail along the recently opened Bartram’s Mile.

Inga Saffron takes us to Florence on Wall Street, aka the former Drexel & Co. headquarters on 15th and Walnut. The Philadelphia bank building, built in 1925, pays tribute to the 15th century Florentine palace built by the Medici family’s archrival, Filippo Strozzi the Elder with its large stone blocks and double arched windows. Saffron writes about the American version’s adjustments to suit Philadelphia’s bustling commercial district in the 1920s.

Design and function bibliophilia: the Free Library of Philadelphia unveiled four branch makeovers to reopen in November and December. Curbed Philly has assembled the before and after photos using that fun slider widget to brighten your Monday morning.

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