Remediate I-95, Society Hill sidewalks, nature and design at Washington Avenue Green, reprieve for six Catholic elementary schools

In her column today Inga Saffron revisits the topic of removing part of I-95 along the Delaware River. Even if large-scale removal is not feasible – due to scarce federal funding and Deputy Mayor Rina Cutler’s opposition – Saffron thinks Philadelphia should get serious about cheaper interventions to cap or remove the sunken stretch of highway along Center City’s historic neighborhoods. “Adding five or 10 minutes to a trip to the airport seems like a small price to pay for reuniting Philadelphia with its historic waterfront and opening the river to new, tax-generating development.” (Talk shop about highway removal with experts at an event this Thursday at the Academy of Natural Sciences.)

Work on Society Hill’s sidewalk renovation project could be delayed until next year, reports PlanPhilly’s Kellie Patrick Gates. As PlanPhilly previously reported, when work started in 2011 to create more accessible sidewalk ramps, the Society Hill Civic Association and the Preservation Alliance urged the city to come up with a design that was more sensitive to the neighborhood’s historic fabric. The design changes have prompted the contractor to revise its bid, but if the city and contractor can’t come to terms the project will have to be rebid causing further delay.

On Metropolis’ blog Point of View, Joseph Brin wrote his impressions of Washington Avenue Green, and the experience of the reclaimed landscape as ecological habitat. There he finds “design as something imprinted within inches of the ground. A sort of ground plane nature lab.”

At least six of the city’s Catholic elementary schools slated to close were granted a reprieve. St. Gabriel in Grays Ferry, St. George in Port Richmond, St. Laurentius in Fishtown, St. Matthew in Mayfair, St. Richard in South Philly, and St. Cecilia in Fox Chase won their appeals, the Daily News reports. Decisions on Catholic high schools will be pushed back one week.


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