November 13: Kenney picks Mike D for Managing Director | $17M for the Papal visit | Cartoon Donald Shoup

Jim Kenney announced a few key hires in an email this morning. As rumored, Mike DiBerardinis,  currently Deputy Mayor for Environmental and Community Resources and Commissioner of Parks and Recreation will be appointed Managing Director. Debbie Mahler, Kenney’s chief of staff on Council for nearly 20 years, will serve as as Deputy Mayor of Intergovernmental Affairs–the Mayor’s chief liaison to City Council, Harrisburg, and the federal government. Otis Hackney, Principal of South Philadelphia High School, will be Kenney’s Chief Education Officer, and Kenney campaign manager Jane Slusser will become chief of staff. 

For those keeping score, the currently-known cost of the Papal visit is around $17 million, reports Julia Terruso.

About 27% of Philadelphia households have children, according to a new analysis by Mike Maciag at Governing Magazine. It’s only 4.8 percentage points higher than the metro area surrounding Philly. Higher population density generally correlates with lower percentages of households with children.

Emily Previti talks to some economic development experts who think Bethlehem, PA was better off for waiting 20 years to redevelop the former Bethlehem Steel site. The site is now home to the award-winning Steel Stacks campus designed by Philly design firm WRT, which includes a concert venue and movie theater, an outdoor concert pavillion, a new PBS headquarters, and a new linear park that opened this spring.

In Allentown, developers are now planning to double the number of apartment units they originally pitched for the new waterfront campus.

Watch a cartoon Donald Shoup shed a tear for post-WWII city parking policies in this segment of TruTV’s “Adam Ruins Everything” series. 

The standard sales pitch for road expansion projects is that they’re necessary for reducing traffic congestion, but California’s DOT has updated their thinking on this, pointing to the evidence that adding lanes leads to predictable increases in driving that soon overwhelm any short-term congestion reduction. ” Eric Jaffe thinks this “creates something of a mission crisis for transportation agencies that spend most of their money on building new roads.” 

Joe Cortwright linkens federal funds for new highway construction to a “helicopter drop” of money from the Fed and asks why some Republicans support the former kind of subsidy but not the latter.

Sandy Smith visits SEPTA’s new traffic control center–an underrated piece of infrastructure for regulating city street traffic. 


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