Northeast Times

Big changes for the area discussed at PRCG meeting

A Port Rich­mond Com­munity Group Meet­ing dis­cussed changes in pub­lic trans­port­a­tion, the neigh­bor­hood's re­vitil­iz­a­tion plan, and en­ergy use is­sues the up­com­ing winter sea­son.

Changes to a loc­al SEPTA bus route were one of the items dis­cussed at the PRCG meet­ing last month. WIKI­ME­DIA COM­MONS

Changes, both def­in­ite and im­me­di­ate as well as tent­at­ive and even­tu­al were dis­cussed at the Nov. 21 meet­ing of the Port Rich­mond Com­munity Group.

First, the def­in­ite and im­me­di­ate — Lu­cille Song­hai, a rep­res­ent­at­ive from SEPTA was present to dis­cuss the changes to the Route 15 line. 

Be­gin­ning around Dec. 23, Rich­mond Street will be­come com­pletely off-lim­its to all traffic due to the I-95 con­struc­tion in the area. SEPTA has had to move Route 15 shuttle bus from Rich­mond Street. Now, the Route 15 bus will fol­low this route:

The bus will pick up in Port Rich­mond at Rich­mond Street and West­mo­re­land Street, go south down Rich­mond Street to Al­legheny, and will now make a right onto Al­legheny Av­en­ue in­stead of con­tinu­ing down Rich­mond Street. It will then turn left onto Bel­grade Street, con­tinu­ing to Ara­mingo Av­en­ue, and then con­tin­ue down Ara­mingo Av­en­ue to where it splits at I-95 South to con­tin­ue onto Gir­ard Av­en­ue. It will con­tin­ue down Gir­ard Av­en­ue to Front Street, where the trol­ley picks up at Front Street and Gir­ard Av­en­ue. 

On the way back from Front Street an d Gir­ard Av­en­ue, the 15 will go down Gir­ard Av­en­ue, con­tin­ue to Ara­mingo Av­en­ue and York Street right next to the Port Rich­mond Vil­lage shop­ping cen­ter, con­tin­ue up Thompson Street un­til it makes a right on Al­legheny Av­en­ue, go down Al­legheny to Rich­mond Street, will take a left on Rich­mond Street, and back up to the West­mo­re­land Street loop, where Byrne’s Tav­ern is. 

SEPTA will be­gin work­ing on re­vital­iz­ing the new roads on which the 15 will travel between now and Dec. 23. Some of the more res­id­en­tial roads on the route need fix­ing up due to potholes and oth­er is­sues. 

For more in­form­a­tion on the new route, which will last ap­prox­im­ately two years, vis­it septa.org/alert/15.html.

As far as tent­at­ive and even­tu­al plans for the PRCG gen­er­al area, An­gela Taurino of NK­CDC was present at the meet­ing to dis­cuss a po­ten­tial grant NK­CDC could re­ceive which will re­vital­ize an area of the city that shares bor­ders with PRCG.

If NK­CDC is awar­ded grant money for its “North of Le­high” re­vital­iz­a­tion plan, the area bound by Le­high Av­en­ue to the south, Clear­field Street to the north, Ara­mingo Av­en­ue to the east and Kens­ing­ton Av­en­ue to the west will see tre­mend­ous changes in­clud­ing land use, light­ing, pub­lic space and build­ing renov­a­tions and re­use.

Port Rich­mond shares a gen­er­al bor­der with this pro­posed area, par­tic­u­larly along Ara­mingo Av­en­ue. 

The NK­CDC plan for North of Le­high study area is ap­prox­im­ately 259 acres in size and is made up of 188 blocks, ac­cord­ing to the pro­posed plan. Said Taurino,  “The plan­ning pro­cess in­cor­por­ated the com­munity’s voice through com­munity in­put meet­ings, door-to-door sur­vey­ing of 200 res­id­ents, and is heav­ily data-driv­en.”

The plan is in­cluded in a grant ap­plic­a­tion for Wells Fargo; NK­CDC will know if it is  awar­ded the funds by early 2014. 

NK­CDC has col­lec­ted some very in­ter­est­ing facts about the area from its study, like:

—The com­mer­cial type of land use that num­bers the highest, at 33, is auto re­pair and sales. 

—In the study area, there are enough va­cant lots to cre­ate 29 foot­ball fields. 

—There are 3,708 build­ings in the study area, and eight per­cent of them are qual­i­fied as “dis­tressed” and in need of ma­jor re­pairs. The ma­jor­ity of build­ings, 57 per­cent, are con­sidered in “av­er­age” con­di­tion, with minor re­pairs needed. There is a great­er col­lec­tion of build­ings lis­ted in “above av­er­age” con­di­tion along Ara­mingo Av­en­ue, to­ward Clear­field Street. 

Also at the meet­ing, En­ergy Co­ordin­at­ing Agency rep­res­ent­at­ive El­len Chap­man spoke to at­tendees about en­ergy use is­sues, as winter ap­proaches. 

Two im­port­ant things Chap­man men­tioned:

For low-in­come fam­il­ies, with an in­come of up to $35,280 for a fam­ily of four, there is a heat­er hot­line avail­able — if dur­ing the winter your home’s heat­er breaks, ECA may be able to re­pair or re­place your heat­ing sys­tem for lower rates. The hot­line num­ber is 215-609-1028. 

Fam­il­ies can also be­ne­fit from a “weather­iz­a­tion” pro­gram to weath­er strip areas of their homes where heat is leak­ing out. PGW is giv­ing re­bates and in­cent­ives to some homeown­ers who take ad­vant­age of such meas­ures. The weather­iz­a­tion pro­gram hot­line can be reached at 215-427-0350.

You can reach at mjamison@bsmphilly.com.

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