February 24: Ogontz rowhouse collapse | Mormon project brings good urbanism, tacky design | Pedestrian crash hot spots | Slower oil freight speeds | PhillyRising in SW Germantown | Bill Green as SRC chair

Welcome to the working week, Streeters. Hope you took advantage of the beautiful warm weekend. Here’s what we’re reading this Monday morning:

A vacant rowhouse collapsed in Ogontz last night, reports NBC10. “City records show the property, located at Limekiln Pike and Ogontz Avenue, has a history of violations related to garbage and extermination, but no history of violations related to its structure.” Demolition of the building by L&I contractors is underway.

The Mormon Church’s huge development at 17th and Vine will bring a confusing, tacky collage of architectural styles while delivering good urbanism. In her latest column Inga Saffron praises the Mormons for helping to create human-scale urbanism at the edge of the Vine Street Expressway by including ground-floor retail, rowhouses that wrap the base of the planned apartment tower, and walkable streetscapes. Still, she writes, “the collection of architectural pastiches promises to be one of the weirder ensembles produced in 21st-century America outside of Las Vegas.”

Which streets have the most pedestrian crashes in Philly? Jon Geeting and Azavea’s Daniel McGlone analyzed PennDOT data for crashes between 2008-2012 and found the 10 most dangerous spots for pedestrians in the city. Worst: Chestnut between 12th and 18th streets. Five major intersections at Broad Street rank as well.

Railroad companies have reached a voluntary agreement with federal regulators to slow down oil freight trains as they approach and pass through major cities, NewsWorks reports. Refineries like South Philadelphia’s Philadelphia Energy Solutions receive huge shipments of oil by rail daily, but recent derailments (like one on a bridge above the Schuylkill River earlier this year) are causing concern. Regulating speed is just one aspect that could keep cities safer as crude oil transport by rail increases.

PhillyRising is kicking off work in Southwest Germantown, as part of a new approach for the program. The Daily News notes that PhillyRising 2.0 will now include helping neighborhoods with good “social infrastructure” by supporting groups already active in trying to improve neighborhood quality of life and safety.

Patrick Kerkstra examines what Bill Green’s tenure as School Reform Commission chairman could bring. “Green is a high-risk, high-reward pick for one of the most demanding and important jobs in Philadelphia,” he notes in his Inquirer column.

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