February 21: I-76 ‘Top 10’ congested roadway | Modern urban manufacturing | Detroit’s new CBA law

Two SEPTA trains collided at 69th Street Station’s turnaround tracks this morning, injuring four people. NBC10 reports that the SEPTA trains were not in service at the time of the crash. Currently, SEPTA is running shuttle buses between 63rd Street and 69th Street Stations.

American cities cannot bring back the same manufacturing jobs of yesteryear. “Modern manufacturing is increasingly a clean, high-tech, desirable activity that can fit into a [city] neighborhood,” says Brookings Institution’s Mark Muro. CityLab goes over some cities’ best practices, including “urban mix” zoning, balancing support for emerging boutique manufacturers and scalable mid-sized businesses, and focusing on distinctive local assets. 21st century manufacturing still suffers from 20th century environmental concerns, though. Chicago residents celebrated the removal of piles of petcoke from a former industrial site in the neighborhood, only to discover that dangerous concentrations of pollutants have been detected in the air.

A new untested law in Detroit will require developers to negotiate a community benefits agreement (CBA) with the city for every large subsidized project. Next City reports that local activists are skeptical that the ordinance is not strong enough, while chambers of commerce and many unions argue that it inhibits development in the city. Urban planners and researchers will be paying attention: The Urban Institute’s Brett Theodos, is wary that CBAs “often look good on paper,” and CUNY’s Center for Urban Research’s Laura Wolf-Powers will be watching the city’s process, and “how permeable or impervious they’re going to be” with neighborhood advocates.

In one of the largest traffic studies ever conducted, Inrix published a “Global Traffic Scoreboard” of the world’s most congested cities and highways. Out of 1,064 cities, Philadelphia was ranked as the 93rd most congested major city in the world. I-76, however, made the Top 10 list of most congested roadways in the U.S.

In Pennsylvania, only two black-owned brick-and-mortar bookstores remain open, including Black and Nobel, the oldest African American bookstore in the country. Billy Penn looks into this historic Philadelphia business that continues to thrive, and how a successful black bookstore serves as a community hub for politics, art, and economic empowerment in a world of online shopping and e-books.

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