Philly gets $12 million to complete Schuylkill River Trail expansion

Philadelphia got the final $12 million it needs to complete the $36 million Schuylkill River Trail expansion, PhillyVoice reports. With the political backing of U.S. Sens. Bob Casey, D-Pa. and Pat Toomey,R-Pa., the city received a U.S. Department of Transportation TIGER grant to connect the trail with the Grays Ferry Crescent Trail, slated to undergo construction in 2020.  The state, the city, the William Penn Foundation, and other funders will cover remaining project costs. PlanPhilly reported in November 2017 that Conrail donated the Schuylkill swing bridge to be repurposed as a pedestrian and bicycle bridge connecting Gray’s Ferry Crescent and Bartram’s Mile. The ultimate goal is a totally connected Schuylkill River Trail from the Delaware River through Montgomery County and beyond.

Temple ends stadium town hall amidst protests

Temple University’s stadium town hall held on Tuesday lasted 45 minutes into university president Richard Englert’s introductory remarks before the university "decided to call it quits for the evening" WHYY News’ Emily Scott reports. Security guards escorted Englert out of the room as protesters in the audience shouted “up with community, down with the stadium.” 

Temple laid out an agenda with Englert’s speech, a presentation by the university's construction project administrator, and lastly, questions from the audience. The format did not sit well with residents, even those that came to hear out the university. Gail Loney, a block captain and member of the Stadium Stompers pointed out that “the university should reconsider the way it talks with the community,” and not start with “You got to sit here and listen to me for 45 minutes before you get to talk.’ ” While Englert tried to explain Temple’s rationale for a new stadium, neighbors were disappointed that they did not get a chance to voice concerns and ask questions. In addition to community concerns such as accessibility issues for residents at the neighboring housing facility for older adults and people with disabilities, residents were dismayed to have not received communications from university officials or hear about the stadium project until November. Temple needs the final approval from City Council President Darrell Clarke, in whose district the university falls. Clarke did not attend the meeting on Tuesday, nor a forum held by the Stadium Stompers last week.

Frances Anne Wister: A woman every Philadelphian should know.

In honor of Women’s History Month, Hidden City pays tribute to Frances Anne Wister, “a veritable one-woman restoration crusader.” Mickey Herr outlines some of Frances Anne’s early victories, including the successful case to preserve the Academy of Music on Broad Street but focuses on Wister’s advocacy in the 1930s and 40s to undertake an architectural survey and rehabilitate what became Society Hill as a district. Wister helped found The Philadelphia Society for the Preservation of Landmarks in 1931, serving as the first president for the remainder of her life. Her work and vision, Herr writes, “set the stage for everything that came after” for the work of “Edmund Bacon, Charles Peterson, and the many men credited with transforming Philadelphia’s built environment in the 1950s.”

Winter is coming…again.

Before we’ve had a chance to pick up all the fallen trees from the nor’easter’s blustery winds, we’re back to winter storm take two. Expect buses to run on limited schedule with some delays, and detours for some routes. Service on bus route 35 has been suspended. Most SEPTA regional rail lines will operate on a Saturday schedule. Driving? All parked cars must be moved off snow emergency routes for plowing. Get storm updates throughout the day with WHYY News.

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

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