July 17: Demolition delay | Phantom tollbooths | Less affordable future?

Councilwoman Quiñones-Sánchez’s proposed inclusionary zoning bill looks ahead to a less affordable future, writes Jared Brey for NextCity. Brey looks at a similar bill introduced to council in 2007, inclusionary zoning policies across the country, and opponents’ arguments that requirements dampen overall production. Brey cites studies on other cities’ inclusionary policies and their impact on housing production and costs, some of which conclude that these provisions are having positive effects. Jake Blumgart provided an in-depth overview of Quiñones-Sánchez’s proposed legislation back in June.

Q+A with a highwayman—no, not British poet Alfed Noyes’s 18th century unnamed rider—HNTB’s transportation head Ananth Prasad, whose clientele includes SEPTA, PennDot and Amtrak. The former transportation secretary and highways chief of Florida discusses road construction costs, all-electronic tollbooths, and the technology and workforce revolutions with the Inquirer’s Joseph N. DiStefano. 

Marty Moss-Coane discusses urban farming culture, successes, and challenges with Bartram’s Garden’s Chris Bolden-Newsome, Neighborhood Gardens Trust’s Jenny Greenberg, and Local Roots Farm’s Eric Ellestad on RadioTimes. On the legislative end, WHYY’s Alan Yu looks into the Young Farmer Success Act, a bipartisan bill that proposes adding farmers to the public service loan forgiveness program.

The demolition of two neighborhood architectural fixtures—the New Macedonia Church in Fairmount and the New Light Beulah Baptist Church in Graduate Hospital—has begun, writes Hidden City’s Michael Bixler. The two churches’ fate “are just the most recent examples” of the legally unstoppable “spate of demolitions” happening in the city, according to the Preservation Alliance’s Paul Steinke. As less than three percent of the city’s buildings are listed on the local register, Steinke advocates for a demolition delay ordinance, a widely-used provision in other cities that “enables municipalities to place a temporary stay on demolition in order to evaluate the historical and cultural significance of a building slated for removal.”

Speaking of unique local architecture—Weber’s Root Beer Stand in Pennsauken, New Jersey is an irresistible mid-century relic of the Eisenhower-era happy days, declares Inga Saffron. Built in 1951, the Pennsauken drive-in affiliated with birthplace of the American hamburger (first served by Oscar Weber Bilby in Tulsa, Oklahoma) is now one of three Weber’s that survived nationwide. Saffron compliments the original details, including the pebbly orange tiles, plexiglass menu board, and angled roadside sign’s lollipop spinners.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal