October 14: Air quality improved during Papal visit | Virtual Reality streetview | Vision Zero and Philly’s next top cop

David Gambacorta’s sources say Philadephia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey will announce his retirement today. He mentions Deputy Commissioner Richard Ross or SEPTA Police Chief Tom Nestel as possible replacements. From the perspective of planning politics, the next Mayor’s choice of Police Commissioner will be a big deal for the success of Vision Zero efforts. On a cultural level, getting police buy-in for stepped up enforcement of traffic rules has been a challenge in New York City and other cities.

Holly Otterbein reports “levels of nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide fell by 42 percent and 17 percent, respectively” on the first day of the Papal visit, according to measurements from the city’s Department of Public Health. 

2,800 janitors at 170 Center City buildings could strike Friday if a contract agreement isn’t reached, reports Bobby Allyn. At issue are employee health care costs and proposed pensions changes.

The Water Department is presenting plans this week for green stormwater projects at East Poplar Playground and Wharton Square. Angelly Carrion has the meeting details. 

Thomas Weir at The Spirit says the EPA will be making a decision within the next few months about whether they’ll clean up lead contamination in Kensington. 

Learn all about funding and developing trails on The Circuit with the Bicycle Coalition next week in Philly and DelCo.

The Mayors of the three largest Lehigh Valley cities want passenger rail service restored to New York City and Philadelphia, as the regional planning commission continues making the case for Bus Rapid Transit policies within the region.

Google Streetview is now compatible with some virtual reality headsets, writes Linda Poon, enabling virtual strolling around world cities. 

Aaron Renn makes the case that the preponderence of single-family zoning in Detroit is partly responsible for Motown Records.

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