February 3: Kenney appointing Complete Streets Commissioner | Papal parking | MRP’s Bourse plans

Jim Kenney is creating a Complete Streets Commissioner position to advocate for multimodal design in street planning, reports Holly Otterbein, remarking on how quickly local transportation politics seem to have tilted in favor of multi-modalism in recent years. As long as City Council remains in the driver’s seat on most complete streets projects, it’s hard to know what the practical effects will be. But as Otterbein says, the real significance seems to be that bikers and urbanists have become “a recognized political constituency in the city, deemed deserving of virtually their own commissioner.”

William Wasser, the PPA’s digital outreach coordinator, pens an article on PPA’s parking management strategy during the Papal visit [PDF] for the International Parking Institute’s newsletter. PPA deputy executive director Richard Dickson credits PPA’s communication strategy for “a 90 percent compliance rate for areas where parking prohibitions were in effect. That’s almost unheard of. In the past when we needed to clear streets for large events, we had 75 percent compliance at best.” PPA expected to tow about 1,500 vehicles, but in fact towed a little over 600. (h/t Katie Bohri)

Via Philly Mag, JKRP Architects released new renderings for the Hale building restoration project at 13th and Juniper, along with a timeline of how the Chestnut Street entrance has changed with the times. “Hale modified his own building within the first ten years,” added [JKRP principal Jonathan] Broh. “That move kind of made it easy to remove the entrance piece and replace it with the styles of the time. We found a modification that Hale did to the original building from 1909, which gave us the massing for our addition.”

Washington, DC-based firm MRP Realty bought a controlling stake in the 121-year old Bourse building on Independence Mall, reports Jacob Adelman. They’re planning an upgrade to the ground-floor retail offerings in line with something like the Gansevoort Market in New York City’s Meatpacking District. 

Harry Campbell of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation cheers Pennsylvania’s first regional stormwater authority in York County—an important step forward for regional planning in a state with a notoriously fractured local governance structure.

Angie Schmitt isn’t quite feeling the Bern after reviewing Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’s transportation plans. “There are significant increases for the multi-modal TIGER program and intercity rail, and the establishment of a national infrastructure bank, but the resources set aside for those programs would be dwarfed by the new money available for highway-centric state DOTs.”

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