March 25: Liddonfield redevelopment delayed | Philly Day Hiker | In defense of Trader Joe’s parking lots

Re­devel­op­ment of the former Lid­don­field Homes pub­lic hous­ing pro­ject at Tor­res­dale Av­en­ue and Megar­gee Street in Upper Holmesburg is delayed, reports William Kenny. The plan, which has support from the civic association and Councilman Bobby Henon’s office, hasn’t received PHA board approval yet. 

RJ Metrics designer Lauren Hallden created a new Philly Day Hiker site dedicated to compiling all the best hiking locations within a 90-minute drive of Center City, says Juliana Reyes.

In response to the kerfuffle over the Bernie Sanders mural, new L+I Commissioner Dave Perri promises the agency will be more responsive under Jim Kenney. “Making L&I more responsive is a priority of this administration,” Perri said, “We are public servants and our work product belongs to the public. In order to have credibility with the public we must admit and correct mistakes when they happen.”

Inga Saffron laments that the city’s efforts to fight food deserts are enabling auto-centric supermarket site plans that run counter to broader neighborhood revitalization goals. “Plaza Allegheny’s developer, David Groverman, insists a more urban form was impossible at Plaza Allegheny because of the parking ratios demanded by Sav-A-Lot, which still bases its numbers on suburban models. Yet Groverman’s own market research shows that nearly 40 percent of the shopping center’s customers are expected to come by foot.”

Relatedly, here is UCLA Professor Donald Shoup’s response to the Buzzfeed article cursing the small parking lots at Trader Joe’s. “Trader Joe’s is owned by a German family, which also owns Aldi…In Germany, their grocery stores aren’t surrounded by acres of asphalt. They come from a different tradition where, with urban stores in dense areas, you don’t give free parking to everyone. It would be a strange idea. It’s the American expectation that’s creating the problem.”

Mayors want more of a federal role in urban policy, but it’s mostly about Obama, whose administration has tried to throw more bones to cities than in times past writes Irina Zhorov. “Today, most of the federal money for cities comes through states, allowing them to retain more control over what happens within their borders… In surveys mayors just want states to be hands off, while they want more federal regulations.”

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