Improving Germantown Ave | city resident tax burden drops | ‘Open Air’ v. dark sky | tougher ATV penalties | subway shooting

Two stretches of Germantown Avenue – in North Philadelphia around Lehigh Avenue and in Germantown at Chelten Avenue – are targeted for improvement, reports Amy Z. Quinn for PlanPhilly/NewsWorks. In Germantown the plan focuses on creating a cleaner, safer, greener, more attractive environment along the area’s commercial corridors. In North Philadelphia, the Along the Avenue Economic Development Strategic Plan prioritizes ways stabilize and beautify the struggling area between 8th and 12th Streets, York Street and Glenwood Avenue. The Planning Commission approved both plans Tuesday.

A Pew report released this week found that Philadelphians (at least hypothetically) have a lower tax burden than their suburban counterparts, representing a major shift from 10 years ago, reports Ryan Briggs for Next American City. One major reason: Philadelphia’s property values rose over the last decade but the city’s dysfunctional property tax system has not kept pace.

Tonight Raphael Lozano-Hemmer’s “Open Air” interactive light installation will officially debut, and the temporary project’s light pollution has created some debate in astronomy and “dark sky” advocacy circles, the Inquirer reports. One activist has even pulled a permit to protest the light pollution created by the large searchlights. But the Franklin Institute’s chief astronomer, Derrick Pitts, plans to use the searchlights to point out features of the night sky during a “Planetarium on the Parkway” star party on October 2.

The Nutter administration is proposing tougher penalties for anyone using/parking/stopping an ATV anywhere public – including parks and rec centers. The Daily News reports that the proposed legislation, to be introduced in City Council today, would enable police to seize ATVs and either destroy them or issue a $2,000 fine.

What’s scarier than teenagers fighting in a crowded subway car? A teen opening fire on a Broad Street Line subway car in the middle of the afternoon. Police believe that students from Simon Gratz High School, Samuel Fels High School, and John F. Hartranft, started arguing on the platform, which continued in the subway car. And when the southbound train arrived at the Susquehanna-Dauphin station, someone fired a gun from the platform into the crowded car injuring two students. Police are still seeking the shooter.


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