Feb 7: Brady’s casino hearing | Complete Streets Handbook | Benefits of walking to school | Another voice in school closures

Good morning Streeters, looks like we might get some sun today before the nor’easter hits.

This afternoon City Council will hold a hearing on U.S. Rep. Bob Brady’s casino proposal that would funnel a portion of Brady’s proposed casino’s profits to the city’s pension and School District through a partnership between a non-profit he created for this proposal and Penn National Gaming. Brady first proposed the city take the casino license but later came up with the non-profit – Penn National Gaming partnership approach. For those trying to keep up with the various casino scenarios, Committee of Seventy has released a “How Philly Works: Philly’s Next Casino” explainer to help “you learn more about what a second casino might mean for Philadelphia – and for you.” Tuesday, all six casino applicants will present their plans to the Gaming Board at the Convention Center. 

The Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities (MOTU) released the final version of its “Complete Streets Design Handbook.” The handbook grew out of Mayor Nutter’s 2009 call for all streets in Philadelphia to be “complete streets,” that is streets that are designed with all users – walkers, bikers, bus riders and drivers – in mind. The handbook includes guidelines for planners, engineers and architects and offers resources for neighborhood groups looking to foster complete streets. Central to the handbook is the complete streets checklist. All projects that meet a size threshold will have to complete the checklist to show they incorporated or considered complete streets measures. Those projects are subject to review by the Streets and Planning Department. Stay tuned to PlanPhilly for more on the complete streets handbook. 

More good news for walking and cycling advocates: This week Atlantic Cities reported that students who walk or bike to school perform better on tasks that require more concentration. The Bicycle Coalition took note and posted about the study and their Safe Routes Philly program, which helps to establish and support safe walking and biking routes to neighborhood schools and provides educational safety information. With more school closures coming, we wonder how many students will no longer live close enough to walk or bike to school and how that, among other issues, might impact their concentration. 

While we’re on schools, Newsworks reports Northwest Philadelphia’s Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church is attempting to give the 44 Philadelphia schools targeted for closure or relocation more of say in the matter. With the help of Pastor Add Alyn Waller, members of the 15,000-member congregation have held more than two-dozen “school-based community meetings.” Their goal is to write a report for each of the schools that includes information the district may have overlooked, additional community input and counterproposals. The group hopes to submit 44 reports before Feb. 21, when the School Reform Commission will begin the formal school closure hearing. 

Friday is close, Streeters, but if it doesn’t feel close enough, Fette Sau might have just the thing for you. Uwishunu reports the Fishtown barbeque joint will hold a beer release party tonight featuring beers from local brewers Sly Fox and Dock Street. The event is from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and might be a good chance to see what all the Fette Sau fuss is about.

The Buzz is Eyes on the Street’s morning news digest. Have a tip? Send it along.

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