What is your Big Idea for Philadelphia?
More Effective Transit to Nurture a Philadelphia in Renaissance
Philadelphia, long in decline has turned the corner in the last decade, as can be seen from renovations and new construction expanding outwards from center city. There is still a lot of work to be done in improving the quality of life in our city. In the nation’s fifth largest city, it is still possible to bicycle (or sometimes walk) from one corner of the city to another faster than any means of public transportation. What about the many who do not feel safe or cannot bicycle, how do they get around easily day to day? It is time to begin pursuing an enviable transportation future for our city.
Philadelphia has inherited from its great past many open and underused spaces: abandoned railroad right of ways, wide boulevards with excess capacity, abandoned factories and vacant lots. It is possible to string these spaces together to form right of ways for new dedicated inner city light-rail transportation in areas that are currently underserved.
This would make it easier for many to travel to and from work, shopping and save countless hours of productivity lost waiting for bus transfers. It would spur and nurture investment around new and existing transit stations. The resulting increase in investment and property values would greatly contribute to the tax base and help to fund its own construction.
Jeff Brauer grew up in Central New Jersey and has lived in several towns and cities throughout the Northeast since. He is a 2008 graduate of the architectural studies program at Hobart College and earned his Masters of Architecture in 2012 from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Jeff moved to Philadelphia from Boston a year and a half ago to work with the PACO Group as a designer for Amtrak’s Accessible Station Development Program (ASDP). This is a nation-wide renovation effort to make Amtrak’s stations easier, safer and friendlier to use for the disabled, elderly and everyone else.