PlanPhilly

October 6: Point Breeze fire | Beyond ‘hyperengaged urbanists’ | PA AG sues Navient

A vacant church at 21st and Reed Streets in Point Breeze went up in flames early Friday morning, CBS reports. Officials are investigating the cause of the fire, which broke out around 2:30am.

The city is working to engage Philadelphians—beyond the “small clique of hyperengaged urbanists and transit advocates”— on street safety by collecting feedback where communities naturally congregate, writes Jared Brey. The Office of Transportation and Infrastructure Systems (OTIS) aims to design transparent and holistic Vision Zero policies based on residents’ shared concerns of traffic fatalities, pursuit of safe streets for their children, and other quality of life metrics that don’t just benefit “a self-selected group of advocates.” For further details, Jim Saksa covers the Vision Zero Task Force’s newly released three-year action plan.

Meanwhile in Delaware, Governor John Carney signed two bicycle-friendly bills Thursday, WHYY’s Shirley Min reports. The ‘Bicycle Friendly Delaware Act’ allows bicyclists to yield at stop signs, “prohibits drivers from honking their horns at cyclists,…and requires drivers to change lanes when passing cyclists.” The bill also calls for the installation of bicycle-specific traffic lights as a safety countermeasure geared towards “intersections where most fatal bicycle crashes occur.”

CBRE announced Thursday that the Philadelphia County court district will be leaving 1401 Arch Street to make way for an apartment-conversion plan, Jacob Adelman reports. The First Judicial District of Pennsylvania’s probation and pretrial divisions “now has the opportunity to vacate a building that was functionally obsolete” and will relocate to 714 Market Street.

Attorney General Josh Shapiro is suing Navient, accusing the country's largest student loan servicer of predatory lending practices, WHYY’s Bobby Allyn reports. The suit claims that employees at Navient, formerly Sallie Mae, discouraged student borrowers from entering affordable repayment plans offered by the federal government and were “actively undermining efforts to help students pay their loan debts.”

About the author

Diana Lu, Community Engagement Editor

Diana runs PlanPhilly’s community outreach and engagement online and in real life. She has spent more than ten years in the non-profit and public sectors working on urban development issues including environmental justice, design-based manufacturing, and community and economic development.  Prior to joining PlanPhilly, Diana worked as the Director of Partnerships and Outreach for 10,000 Small Businesses, a public-private initiative focused strengthening local businesses through revenue generation and local job creation.  Follow Diana on instagram @dianaluwho and email her at dlu@whyy.org.



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    Photo Credit: Joe Leonard/WHYY

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