Ben Franklin Parkway


InBox: City Posts Formal Notice for Resolution of Protest Camps

City Posts Formal Notice for Resolution of Protest Camps
  PHILADELPHIA – City officials today posted formal notice at the protest camps on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and on Ridge Avenue that the camps must resolve no later than Tuesday, August 18, 2020 at 9 a.m.

This is the second such posting for the Parkway camp. After the first, on July 10, Mayor Kenney postponed the action and personally interceded in the negotiations in order to reach an amicable resolution. “After several weeks of face-to-face discussions, and after more than two months of concerted efforts by our administration, I have come to the conclusion that further negotiations would be fruitless,” said Mayor Kenney. “I take this step again with a heavy heart, as a last resort, and in recognition of the growing health and safety concerns at the sites.

“As we have said from the onset, we respect the right of people to protest peacefully, and fully share the residents’ concerns about the lack of affordable housing,” the Mayor continued. “But we have also been clear that the encampment is not a long term solution. When I stepped into these discussions, I voiced the hope that a resolution was possible. I no longer harbor such hope.

“The continued shifting of camp leaders’ demands, and the fact that some of their repeated demands are out of the City’s control, or unachievable in the time frame that they demand, all contribute to this difficult decision,” the Mayor said. “I again thank our external partners who devoted many hours towards a solution and thank our Parkway neighbors and the Fairmount Sports Association for their patience during this period, as well as the community near the Ridge Avenue camp. Despite this outcome, my administration’s larger commitment to enacting meaningful reforms that help keep people in their homes, expand affordable housing options for those with low or no income and disabilities, and improve pathways to home ownership in the City of Philadelphia–especially for communities of color–will not waver.”

Throughout the negotiations, teams of homeless outreach workers continued to talk with and engage those people who were interested. On the Parkway, this included three weeks of Homeless Connect, an event with several service providers on site to let people know what options are available to them. Teams succeeded in getting more than 80 people into emergency, temporary housing, safe havens and the COVID Prevention Space. This includes several couples who have been housed together. However, outreach workers faced continued difficulties in being allowed to connect with residents of the camp, and the City now concludes that further outreach at the site is no longer productive. Outreach conducted at the camp on Ridge Avenue also had limited success.

“PHA, the City, and the encampment leaders all agree that everyone deserves decent housing and there is an affordable housing crisis. However, the encampment is not the solution. The encampment leaders  unreasonable demands would have required PHA to violate federal policies or regulations and that is not acceptable,” said Kelvin A. Jeremiah, President and CEO of the Philadelphia Housing Authority. “PHA is committed to the work we have planned with the Sharswood community and want to thank them as well as the Brewerytown Sharswood  Neighborhood  Advisory Committee for their patience and their continued support. PHA remains dedicated to serving our residents and to our mission of providing affordable housing throughout the city.” 

During the negotiations, the City, along with the Philadelphia Housing Authority, committed to a number of concrete actions, including but not limited to:

  • Sanctioned Encampments: The City is willing to consider establishing a temporary sanctioned encampment at another site, but it must have the support of the community residents and the District Council member for that use.
  • Tiny House Villages: The City agrees to support the establishment of a Tiny House Village this year. It will not replace any existing or future low-income housing funds.
  • Creation of new permanent housing units: The Office of Homeless Services (OHS) has issued an RFP dedicating ESG funds for Shared Housing and Project Based Rapid Rehousing. Another proposal for Shallow Rent will be forthcoming. The total funds on the table through these sources is more than $7M dollars.
  • The City agreed to and has opened 2 COVID prevention sites offering a total of 260 beds. To date, 17 people from JDT Camp have entered; more referrals are pending.
  • The City has made shelter, safe haven and treatment beds available. More than 80 individuals from the camp have been housed to date.
  • Support of a Community Land Trust: The City is willing to work with Philadelphia Housing Action members on establishing a Community Land Trust or Trusts in Philadelphia.
  • PHA Police: The Kenney Administration has announced and begun several measures to improve police department accountability. In order to address concerns about PHA Police conduct, PHA will fully participate in the police reform initiative.
  • Moratorium on Sales of PHA Properties: PHA agrees to institute a Property Sale Moratorium on new fair market value property sales via auction, brokers or direct sales until completion of independent study not to exceed 9 months.
  • Community Concerns about PHA Scattered Sites: PHA will designate a Scattered Site Ombudsman to serve as primary point of contact for inquiries or complaints regarding vacant PHA owned units and to administer the CCRP.
  • Need for continued collaboration: The City has committed to continuing to work with Philadelphia Housing Action on homeless and treatment system reforms and the expansion of available permanent housing.

During negotiations last week, leaders of the protest camp verbally committed to drawing up a written agreement reflecting these and other commitments by the City and PHA, as well as their own commitment to resolve the camp. That document, however, did not accurately reflect the written offers that the City had previously provided during the negotiations. The three organizations that created the camp stated their intention to remain at both sites unless the City and PHA agreed to all of their demands. This statement cemented the City’s perception that further negotiations would be futile and led to today’s decision to post formal notice.


#TRAFFICALERT The Parkway Is Going Get A Bit Tricky Through 2017

Benjamin Franklin Parkway Traffic Pattern Change Starts Friday Morning in Philadelphia for Bridge Construction

King of Prussia, PA – A traffic pattern change with accompanying lane restrictions will start Friday morning, October 23, on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway between 21st Street and 20th Street in Philadelphia for the replacement of the bridge carrying 20th Street and the Parkway over Interstate 676, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation said today.

 Traffic at 20th Street will be detoured close to the Franklin Institute so this side of the Parkway can be worked on

The Parkway Eastbound outer lanes will be closed

Crews will replace the 20th
Street/Parkway bridge in three construction stages through July 2017.
This structure, which is 96 feet long and 517 feet wide, is one of seven
structurally deficient bridges over I-676 that PennDOT is replacing as
part of a $64.8 million transportation improvement project that began in
April 2015.

The new construction traffic pattern, which
is scheduled to be in place by 5:00 AM Friday and continue until July
2016, will reduce the Parkway’s eastbound inner lanes from three lanes to two approaching 21st Street, and shift the two eastbound through lanes to the right onto temporary pavement to merge with Winter Street approaching the 20th Street intersection.

Three eastbound lanes will continue across 20th Street onto Logan Circle.

Westbound traffic will have two lanes coming from Logan Circle onto the Parkway at 20th Street. Motorists will follow the temporary construction traffic pattern to return to the Parkway’s westbound inner lanes where a third lane returns at 21st Street. The Parkway’s westbound outer lanes will remain open and unchanged.

Check out this periscope with me the man of confusing words, TG a photo tells a thousand words

The speed limit on the Parkway through the temporary construction traffic pattern will be 15 miles per hour. 

The road is closed in both directions on Parkway at 20th on the westbound side of the street for a block. The bridge is under this section and will be updated.

 In addition, motorists traveling north on 20th Street will experience a slight shift in the travel lanes when driving through the intersection with the Parkway.
The schedule for implementing the temporary construction traffic pattern is weather dependent.
The Parkway’s eastbound outer lanes remain closed at 21st Street. Motorists continue to be detoured over 21st Street and Winter Street.

The bridges carrying 20th Street/Parkway, 19th Street, and pedestrian walkways at the Free Library and former Family Court building are the first four of seven structures to be replaced under this project. PennDOT also will replace the deteriorating bridges carrying 22nd Street, 21st Street, and 18th Street.

Click above for video. Soon I will update my site and the videos will work here. yeah!

The seven bridges over I-676 are being replaced in two major stages to minimize traffic impacts. The entire project is scheduled to finish in fall 2019.


PHILADELPHIA FIREWORKS RAIN OR SHINE July 4th says City Representative Melanie Johnson

But before we get to that, on Thursday as part of the http://www.americasbirthday.com/ celebration the Ben Franklin Parkway played host once again to a “Fiesta on the Parkway”

I was there about 3PM when the event began as my Firm closed early for the July 4th Holiday )Thanks Joe), but I could see that in a few hours kids of all ages would enjoy lots of things to do andeatdolisten and dance but as I made my way down the Parkway I saw something new this year it was NBA on the Parkway?? It is a new day, where did that come from, was it on the schedule? I’ll look… “What’s more, the NBA Nation Presented by SPRITE tour bus will roll into Philly with interactive games, videos of the 50 greatest NBA plays and other hands-on activities. ” Yep there it was, as part of the Fiesta on the Parkway. Guess they weren’t going for any world record line dances this year, but these kids were breakdancing, do they still call it that?
but I was entertain by this. Lots of in the air dunks.
There was also an exhibit where you could compare your arm length to a few NBA players

or put your feet in their foot prints. Beverly was kind enough to try out Kobe Bryant’s SIZE 14 for me.
Then I made my way over to the stage on the Art Museum steps where the staging area was just about complete.

it seemed like only yesterday, er Tuesday when that they started putting it together. If you want to catch John Legend rehearsing for the big concert tonight, stop by about NOON, that’s when they usually run through the event.Breaking News: Here’s the new 2008, new administration logo on which the parade participants will stop and perform tonight. Gosh I hope it doesn’t rain again this year.
Promising to avoid a repeat of last year’s fireworks fiasco, City Representative Melanie Johnson said Philadelphia’s holiday display will go off rain or shine tomorrow night – on time, or with plenty of notice if there will be a delay.
The fireworks are set to begin at 11 over the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
Last year, with the threat of rain and lightning, those gathered on the Parkway waiting for the display were told to go home because the 10:45 p.m. show was canceled. About 40 minutes later, after the crowd dispersed, the fireworks began.
This year, the fireworks are set to begin after the R&B singer John Legend ends his set and leaves the stage.
But once again, the forecast threatens showers and thunderstorms, which could last throughout the weekend.
“Rain won’t stop us,” says Johnson. “The only thing that will delay the fireworks is if the weather is severe.”
And if that happens, Johnson promised to put the public announcement system to good use.
The Sunoco Sweet Sounds of Liberty Concert and Fireworks begins at 8:30 p.m. in front of the Art Museum with the sounds of Philly’s own Russell Tompkins Jr. and the New Stylistics, followed by Legend and ending in fireworks. (This will be my view again this year)


As far as parking is concern, take mass transit, or park in Center City and walk to the BF Parkway. Even if you did find parking, leaving after the event is a nightmare. (Update re: Parking: http://www.phillyblog.com/philly/fairmount-art-museum-brewerytown/20217-traffic-parking-4th-fairmount-ave.html has a good rundown of years past and parking on July 4th)
Happy Fourth of July, be safe and Happy Anniversary to my blog – 1 Year Old today!! (Almost 100ks hits in a year, pretty darn good for a blog I didn’t promote enough; this year that will all change)