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Friends of 40th Street 27 May 2005 Friends of 40th Street Meeting


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									Friends of 40th Street Meeting
Meeting Memo No. 10

Friends of 40th Street
27 May 2005
Friends of 40th Street
Meeting Memo No. 10
Date/Place/Time: 27 May 2005/ The Community Room – 3901 Market Street /8:00 a.m.
Attendance:       James S. Ayers (JA)          3901 Market Street (3901)

                  James Braxton (JB)           3901 Market Street (3901)

                  Ethel Briscoe (EB)           3901 Market Street (3901)

                  Glenn Bryan (GB)             Office of Community Relations, U of PA (OCR)

                  Shirley Carter (SC)          3901 Market Street (3901)

                  Joyce Caulley (JC)           3901 Market Street (3901)

                  Lynease Chapman (LC)         3901 Market Street (3901)

                  Ila Clark (IC)               3901 Market Street (3901)

                  Michael Pensler Cohen (MC)   3901 Market Street (3901)

                  Eugene Dixon (ED)            1234 Market Street

                  Julie Donofrio (JD)          Penn Praxis, U of PA (PP)

                  Ted Farrell (TFa)            University of Pennsylvania Police Depart. (UPPD)

                  Thomas Flynn (TFl)           Flynn’s Bar

                  Henry Fidler (HF)            3901 Market Street (3901)

                  Joe Fischer (JFi)            University of Pennsylvania Police Depart. (UPPD)

                  Dan Garofalo (DG)            Office of the University Architect, U of PA (OUA)

Friends of 40th Street Meeting
Meeting Memo No. 10

                  Lee Goode (LG)                3901 Market Street (3901)

                  Andrew Goodman (AG)           Student, U of PA

                  Will H. Hamlin (WH)

                  Beverley Harper (BH)          Portfolio Associates (PA)

                  Ajamu Johnson (AJ)            Peoples Emergency Center CDC (PECCDC)

                  Eleanor Johnson (EJ)          3901 Market Street (3901)

                  Frances Jones (FJ)            Southeastern Public Transportation Authority (SEPTA)

                  Lucy Kerman (LK)              President’s Office, U of PA (PO)

                  Kathy Laws (KL)               3901 Market Street (3901)

                  John Leatherberry (JL)        West Powelton Community Association (WPCA)

                  Walter Livingston, Jr. (WL)   Livingston/Meisel Group, Ltd.

                  Kenne Lyons (KLy)             Resident Service Coordinator, 3901 Market Street (3901)

                  Scott Maits (SM)              3500 Lancaster Avenue

                  Gabriel Mandujano (GM)        Enterprise Center (EC)

                  William McCollum (WM)         3901 Market Street (3901)

                  John J. McGarry (JM)          Office of Facilities and Real Estate, U of PA (FRES)

                  Mark Mills (MMi)              The Temple Group (TG)

                  Nancy Mosely (NMo)            3901 Market Street (3901)

                  Nezzie (N)                    Nezzie’s, 3901 Market, 2-A Front

                  Sia Rah (SR)                  3901 Market Street (3901)

                  Emory Random (ER)             3901 Market Street (3901)

                  Megan Ritchie (MR)            Student, U of PA

                  Paul Robinson (PR)            3901 Market Street (3901)

                  Richard Rogers (RR)           3901 Market Street (3901)

Friends of 40th Street Meeting
Meeting Memo No. 10

                  Hal Rosenberg (HR)              Free Library of Philadelphia (FLP)

                  Richard Sachs (RS)              King of Prussia Point

                  Esaul Sanchez (ES)              Office of Facilities and Real Estate, U of PA (FRES)

                  Debbie Sanford (DSa)            House of Our Own Bookstore (HOOOB)

                  Sheryl Simons (SS)              Powelton Post (PoPo)

                  Harris Sokoloff (HSo)           Graduate School of Education, U of PA (GSE)

                  Harris Steinberg (HSt)          Penn Praxis, U of PA (PP)

                  George Stevens (GS)             701 Graphics (701)

                  Doc Strange (DSt)               SEPTA Bus Operations (SEPTA)

                  Arthur Summers (AS)             3901 Market Street (3901)

                  Lynda Timbiens (LT)             3901 Market Street (3901)

                  Michael Tucker (MT)             Baker and Company, LLC

                  John Unger (JU)                 Peoples Emergency Center CDC (PECCDC)

                  Matthew Walker (MW)             The Partnership CDC (PCDC)

                  Lewis Wendell (LW)              University City District (UCD)

                  Elissa Westman (EWe)            3901 Market Street (3901)

                  Esther Wiesner (EWi)            University City District (UCD)

                  Judiann Winston (JW)            Assistant Community Manager, 3901 Market Street (3901)

                  Andrew Zitcer (AZ)              The Rotunda/Office of Facilities of Real Estate, U of PA

Purpose:          Monthly meeting of the Friends of 40th Street
Items Discussed:
1) Harris Sokoloff (HSo) opened the meeting by welcoming everyone. After introductions, he informed
   members that SEPTA representatives would be taping the meeting and asked if anyone objected to
   being taped. No one objected, so the meeting continued.
2) The minutes from the April meeting were reviewed and approved.

Friends of 40th Street Meeting
Meeting Memo No. 10

3) HSo introduced Lewis Wendell (LW), the new executive director of University City District (UCD).
   LW told the group a little about himself, what he envisions as the future of UCD and how the Friends
   fit into that future.
    a) LW explained that the UCD’s mission in its first seven years of existence has been to maintain a
       level of cleanliness and safety in West Philadelphia while also improving the marketing of the area
       and its neighborhood initiatives.
    b) He said that he would like to see UCD grow as an organization, particularly in its involvement in
       building University City infrastructure, but only as long as it can still fulfill its original mission.
    c) He also said that he would like to be more involved with the Friends because of the unique
       combination of different community groups represented in it. He is eager to see how UCD can
       better collaborate with these groups and meet the community’s needs.
    d) There were no questions for LW.
4) Harris Steinberg (HSt) then introduced Dan Garofalo (DG), Senior Facilities Planner with the Office of
   the University Architect at the University of Pennsylvania. DG gave a presentation on Penn’s plans for
   redeveloping the existing single-story shopping center on the 3900 block of Walnut Street.
    a) Using a large map that depicted the University’s 25-year master plan for the campus, DG explained
       that Penn was inviting third party developers to consider how to use the 3900 Walnut strip to fulfill
       the University’s goal of providing hundreds of new housing units for students of better quality than
       the off-campus Victorian homes that typically are owned by absentee landlords and therefore not
       very well-maintained.
    b) Developers are being asked to come up with a new plan for the site that would include a mix of
       retail on the ground floor with student apartments above. DG said that this will bring students
       closer to campus and reduce their need for off-campus housing; this decreased student demand
       could in turn encourage landlords to sell these neighborhood houses to families.
    c) DG said that this development will add 450-550 beds for student living, but that the apartments are
       open anyone to rent and will merely be marketed for Penn students.
    d) DG also highlighted that this development was in its early stages, so while Penn is working with the
       current retail in the 3900 Walnut center, no physical changes will likely occur until the summer of
       2006. The complex is scheduled to open in the fall of 2007.
    e) Richard Rogers (RR) asked about specific names of developers working on this project. At this
       stage, no developers have been selected. Rather, several developers have been asked to submit
       plans. DG said that he did not know all of them, but that they have experience with this type of
    f) Scott Maits (SM) expressed the hope that the new center would be a green building and asked if the
       developers were taking transportation concerns into consideration while planning this apartment
       complex. DG said that there are no concrete plans yet, but that he does not foresee increased
       congestion or demand for parking being an issue in this area, as the garage at 40th and Walnut
       Streets is still underused and students typically do not bring cars to campus.
    g) Esther Wiesner (EWi) asked if the current merchants are aware of Penn’s redevelopment plans.
       DG answered affirmatively and said that there was discussion with most of the businesses about
       either staying in their current place or moving to the upcoming development on 40th and Chestnut

Friends of 40th Street Meeting
Meeting Memo No. 10

    h) SM asked if Penn’s development group would be willing to keep their meetings open, in
       conjunction with the principles of the Friends group that encourage public dialogue on issues that
       affect the entire community. DG said that Penn has already has a plan for community input that
       includes focus groups and appearing at the meetings of such groups as the Friends of 40th Street.
       This process will begin once the developers have been chosen.
5) HSo then introduced the team of SEPTA representatives to the meeting, starting with Frances Jones
   (FJ), SEPTA’s Assistant General Manager of Government Affairs.
    a) FJ presented a quick overview of SEPTA’s “ambitious and challenging” project of reconstructing
       the blue subway line from 46th Street to 63rd Street. She said that SEPTA is already in the process
       of reconstructing the guideway to 69th Street and five stations (the ones located at 46th St., 52nd St.,
       56th St., 60th St., and 63rd St.) in between.
         i)   FJ said that SEPTA is tearing down everything and replacing it with a state-of-the-art system.
         ii) In order to reconstruct the line in a timely manner, SEPTA will be shutting down this part of
             the blue line. For four weekends in June and nine weekends this fall, the Market El will stop at
             the 40th Street station and shuttle buses will transport passengers for the rest of the line. This
             could bring new challenges to the 40th Street corridor, which is why SEPTA presented at the
             Friends group – to show what its role would be in allaying any side effects of the construction
             that may affect the 40th Street community.
6) The next presenter for SEPTA was Beverly Harper (BH), President of Portfolio Associates, Inc. (PA).
   She explained to group members the contents of the information packets that SEPTA representatives
   were handing out at the door.

    a) BH said that the packet included feedback questionnaires, forms for community members if they
       have questions about the project, progress reports on the El construction, contact info for SEPTA’s
       Community Information Center and pictures of what the five new El stations will look like when
       construction is completed.

    b) BH also noted that PA hands out notices about the upcoming construction at Market El station stops
       “on a very regular basis” so passengers are fully aware of the changes.

7) Next to present was Michael Tucker (MT), a Project Manager for Baker and Company, LLC. He went
   through a PowerPoint slideshow that described the different stages of the construction process.

    a) MT noted that the weekend shutdowns that begin in June will begin at 8pm on Friday night and end
       at 5am on Monday morning. During this time, there will be around-the-clock construction to
       ensure that consistent progress is made.

    b) MT did not go into the details of every PowerPoint slide, but gave Friends copies of the full
       presentation to keep and read.

8) The final presenter was Doc Strange (DSt), Assistant Director of Transportation for SEPTA Bus
   Operations. He spoke briefly about the shuttle bus services, diagramming their routes and explaining
   SEPTA’s strategy to ensure safe bus travel.

    a) DSt said that the buses will begin on Filbert Street, then proceed to 40th Street, where they will
       make a right onto Market Street. The shuttle will drive on Market until it reaches 44th Street, where
       it will turn and drive down to Walnut Street. It will travel on Walnut until 63rd Street, when it will
       drive back up to Market and proceed to the 69th Street Terminal. When driving east, the bus will

Friends of 40th Street Meeting
Meeting Memo No. 10

         drive on Chestnut between 63rd and 56th Streets because Walnut Street is one-way in the wrong

    b) DSt expects eleven shuttle buses to run out of 40th Street per hour. The buses will only make stops
       at the El train stations.

    c) He noted that the buses would stop at both the near and the far side of the 40th and Market Streets
       corner right at the steps of the train station to ensure easy access.

    d) To keep Market Street traffic flowing, DSt said that SEPTA will remove the parking meters on the
       corner so that buses can pull onto the curb when they are idle. No buses will block the entryway to
       the 3901 Market Street complex.

    e) DSt also said that there will also be nine-day “extended” train outages, the first one of which will
       begin on July 15th.

9) BH then opened up the floor to questions.

    a) SM asked two questions: how the buses will manage on Filbert Street given its narrowness and if
       the trolley will be able to get by the buses. DSt said that cars will still be able to get by on Filbert
       Street because the buses will be up on the curb, and also that SEPTA plans to switch the trolley to
       the tunnel at 36th Street because it would not be able to pass the shuttle buses.

    b) Another Friends member asked about the cleanliness and safety of the 40th and Market Streets
       corner and how that will change due to the increased traffic it is bound to get with the SEPTA
       outages. FJ said that SEPTA considers both issues a priority and that it sees the community as its
       “eyes and ears” on these matters. FJ said that SEPTA is releasing a phone number for community
       members to call if a particular buildup of debris needs to be removed.

    c) Kathy Laws (KL) asked if any provisions were being made so that the influx of pedestrians and
       buses on the corner would not hinder the ability of the handicapped and elderly to move about the
       corner. FJ said that SEPTA will have Ambassadors similar to those employed by UCD to help
       move people to the shuttle buses as quickly as possible in order to ensure pedestrian accessibility.

    d) Glenn Bryan (GB) asked if Market Street could be made into a two-lane road during the shutdown
       time. Joe Fischer (JFi) said that the chances of that happening were slim.

    e) JFi asked if SEPTA was planning on dedicating police officers of its own to increase security at the
       40th Street corner. DSt thanked the Philadelphia and University of Pennsylvania Police
       Departments for their hard work thus far, and said that 1-2 SEPTA policemen would be on site in a
       car during the shutdown periods.

    f) George Stevens (GS) asked what role SEPTA would play in stopping drug activity on the 40th
       Street corner, as the increase in traffic will make it easier to transact. FJ said that all it was doing
       was adding the SEPTA policemen in the car on the corner.

         i)   She emphasized that SEPTA’s lone responsibility is to ensure safety in their transit system
              only; the drug problems at 40th Street existed before the SEPTA construction project and is
              therefore “not SEPTA’s problem.”

Friends of 40th Street Meeting
Meeting Memo No. 10

    g) HSt asked what will go inside the new stations now that there is room freed up by the removal of
       the double-column superstructure and the insertion of a single-column one in its stead. FJ said that
       SEPTA would like to learn how to maximize transit space, but found after surveying the
       community that the idea of putting retail space in the train stations was not well-received.

         i)   FJ added that there will be small stall-like spaces for vendors at the 52nd and 60th Street stations,
              but nothing very significant, as SEPTA’s main function is still to move people.

         ii) BH noted here that SEPTA has developed an Art in Transit program which will provide
             artwork in all the new train stations.

    h) Matt Walker (MW) asked how many new people will be moving on the corner of 40th and Market
       Streets during the shutdown, as the traffic could mean a boost to local businesses. DSt said that
       there will be about 11 buses running each hour with each holding 50 people, so about 500 people
       per hour.

         i)   However, DSt emphasized that since shuttle buses will be sitting on the corner waiting for
              passengers of the El, which will run every six minutes, those in transit will rarely walk around
              the area. They will simply sit on the station steps and leave when a bus arrives.

         ii) Someone asked DSt to clarify those numbers, and DSt responded by saying that the shutdowns
             would lead to 1500 Market El passengers getting off the train at 40th Street on a typical
             weekend day and 3000 passengers on a typical weekday.

    i)   Ethel Briscoe (EB) asked if it would be necessary to find a new bus schedule for this shuttle
         service. DSt said that new schedules come out for all bus lines on June 12th and that SEPTA will
         bring a package of them to the 3901 Market Street building for residents.

10) Andrew Zitcer (AZ) gave an update on the progress of the Arts task force.

    a) AZ said the group’s main focus at the moment is working with the Philadelphia Fringe Festival to
       better promote West Philadelphia performing arts opportunities. The Festival showcases local
       talent and takes place every fall in Old City, but is holding at least 10 events in West Philadelphia
       this year because downtown space is becoming too expensive for artists to maintain.

         i)   At the moment, four Festival events are planned for the Rotunda. Other venues that will be
              used include International House, the Community Education Center and local art galleries.

         ii) The Arts task force will work with the Fringe Festival in two ways: it will help them think of
             ways to better market West Philadelphia as a nearby area that will interest Festival-goers, and
             also help them update their maps so any depiction of West Philadelphia is accurate.

    b) The Arts task force is also working on designing a map of all the arts and culture organizations in
       West Philadelphia. Ideally, it would display all performing centers, nightclubs, art galleries and the
       like with enough scale to read everything.

         i)   Lucy Kerman (LK) noted here that once the map was completed, she would bring in a
              computer and projector so the Friends could see the online version.

    c) AZ also said that the task force will be developing a mission statement in its coming meetings.

Friends of 40th Street Meeting
Meeting Memo No. 10

11) KL and HSt gave a report on the Steering Committee meeting, which was held last Friday morning at
    the Rotunda. Items that were discussed included the 40th-and-Chestunut high-rise development, issues
    of certain vendors around the 40th-and-Market corner impairing pedestrian mobility outside their stores,
    and SM heading up a new Transportation task force for the Friends.

      a) KL and HSt at this point introduced Andrew Goodman (AG), a Penn student who will be
         coordinating and advertising the monthly Friends of 40th Street meetings this summer. All greeted

12) MW said that the main focus of the Quality of Life task force has been to get updates on the safety of
    the 40th St. corner, since it appears to be worsening. He said that SEPTA looks to be doing an
    “adequate” job addressing the issue of safety, but he would like to see the Friends address the issue

      a) MW also noted the goal of reaching out to vendors to get their input on how to improve the quality
         of life on the 40th-and-Market corner.

13) HSt gave an update on the work of the Development task force. He said that the group’s meeting with
    Bob Hoe, developer of the high-rise that will be built on 40th and Chestnut Streets, was cancelled, but
    that it looks like the demolition will begin shortly.

      a) He noted that parking spaces in front of the construction were no longer available, but then the
         sidewalk on the other side of Chestnut Street was. As the construction continues, both sidewalks
         will be cut off and a walking space will be set up in the street.

      b) He said that he will attend a meeting on June 8 at the UCD office in which an update on the
         construction will be given. He will report any news back to the Friends.

14) The next meeting will occur on Friday, June 24th, 2005, at 8:00 a.m. at 3901 Market St.
15) Standing meetings will be held the last Friday of each month with the exception of August and
    December. Meetings are open to the community and members are urged to invite neighbors and
    friends to participate.

Submitted by:

Andrew Goodman
Friends of 40th Street Coordinator

Cc:       Those in Attendance
          Friends of 40th Street


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