November 4: Benjamin Franklin Bridge ramp delay | PREIT coy Outlet tenants | Saffron on Venturi

SEPTA Strike Day 4: NewsWorks has the latest.

Plans to build a new ramp to help bicycles and wheelchairs cross the Benjamin Franklin Bridge are delayed. The Courier-Post reports that bids for the project came in at double the estimated cost of $4 million.

PREIT announced it has tenants for half the revamped Gallery mall, being reworked as the Fashion Outlets of Philadelphia, reports Jacob Adelman. Among them “are two ‘flagship stores’ of a ‘type that would be new to the Philadelphia market,’ as well as an ‘entertainment use’ and ‘a number of off-price retailers’.” But mum’s the word – PREIT wants the news to “pop” when it’s ready to let it drop.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Philadelphia architect Robert Venturi’s book “Complexity and Contradiction” and in her Friday column Inga Saffron connects Venturi’s work disrupting architecture to Jane Jacobs’ upending of master planning. “The philosophical congruences between Venturi and Jacobs are fascinating. In his manifesto, Venturi, who is now 91, challenged orthodox modernism for its focus on placeless, unadorned, freestanding buildings – those Corbusian towers-in-a-park. At a time when urban renewal was mowing down vast swaths of American cities, Venturi and Jacobs championed the importance of maintaining older buildings. He spoke about the ‘messy vitality,’ or complexity, that comes from a jumble of styles and urban facades. The phrase echoes Jacobs’ ‘sidewalk ballet’ performed by strangers who interacted as they went about their daily business on city.” Next weekend marks a celebration of this anniversary in New York and Philadelphia.

Jared Brey on plans to use municipal buildings as billboards: “Maybe the revised proposal will be slightly better. But it won’t be good. It will be bad, and sad, and ugly. Because a proposal like this is bad, sad, and ugly by nature.”

Keystone Crossroads’ Lindsay Lazarski visited Pennsylvania’s most gerrymandered districts and explains how electoral districts really do rig our elections.

How do our personal politics influence our choices about places to live? The Upshot explores the patterns: “Beyond our disagreements about taxes, welfare or health care, partisans also fundamentally favor different kinds of places.”

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