Platt Bridge mess | ATV roundup | softer Fishtown | NoLibs not inevitable

For the 50,000 cars that traverse the Platt Bridge daily, construction on the bridge has made the trip a “thrill ride” – a bit scarier and certainly grimmer. The Inquirer checks in on the Platt Bridge project, geared at making sure the bridge doesn’t become yet another of Pennsylvania’s “structurally deficient” bridges. Construction, expected to be finished in June 2014, is eight months behind schedule.

Police seized 23 ATVs and dirt bikes from Kensington and parts of North Philadelphia on Sunday morning as part of a crackdown on illegal riding, reports the Daily News. Tickets were issued, but no arrests were made.

Some of Fishtown’s tough ways may be softening, and that’s okay with Herb Shallcross IV. Writing for Metropolis, Shallcross reflects on growing up in ‘80s and ‘90s Fishtown, and what has (and hasn’t) changed since then. He writes: “As much as I considered myself an outsider growing up here, I can’t imagine settling down anywhere but Fishtown. The suburbs are dead. Downtown is hollow. Fishtown is alive and so full it’s almost too much to take in. So I care about what happens to my old neighborhood. Yet, even as I find myself identifying more and more with the Old Fishtowners, I still find their loyalties vexing.”

The transformation of Northern Liberties from desolate post-industrial ruin into a vital urban hub wasn’t inevitable even after decades of urban pioneering, Hidden City Daily’s Nathaniel Popkin reminds us. It was a long, slow road. It took decades of creativity and effort by artists, activists, and small-scale developers to set the stage for Bart Blatstein’s major developments that eventually tipped the neighborhood’s scales.


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