June 12: Toms on PA’s environment | L+I’s demolition budget raided | pre-SEPTA | Taming 10th/Reed/Passyunk

Good morning, Streeters. Here’s what we’re reading:

The Toms, Corbett and Wolf, offered differing views of Pennsylvania’s environment in Philly last night, the Daily News reports. Governor Corbett defended his record on shale gas and supporting energy jobs, while gubernatorial challenger Wolf called for a new tax on fracking to fund schools and for greater attention to climate change. Their campaigns, Will Bunch notes, will each be backed by different energy financiers – Corbett boosted by oil and gas while Wolf supported by a billionaire “global-warming crusader.”

Does the Department of Licenses and Inspections’ emergency demolition budget get raided for economic development? City Paper’s Ryan Briggs finds that L+I’s steps in to do demolition work for nonprofit owners, which may never pay L+I for the service. To wit: the costly demolition of St Boniface Church on Norris Square to make way for a development by Norris Square Civic Association. It may make sense to have the city deal with these demolitions, but L+I’s emergency demolition budget is small given the ever-growing backlog of demo-worthy buildings the city is already struggling to keep up.

What was SEPTA before it was SEPTA? As our transit agency celebrates its 50th anniversary, PhillyMag offers a look back at how SEPTA came together – by consolidating disparate pieces of transportation infrastructure and holding it all together “with duct tape and baling wire” just to keep going. Fascinating.

The scary intersection of 10th, Reed and Passyunk is getting tamed through pro-pedestrian makeover with curb bumpouts and pedestrian signals, Passyunk Post reports. So far these areas won’t be greened up, but we hope Passyunk Avenue Revitalization Corporation and the city can work together to beautify the place too. 

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