Route 35 One Step Closer to Oblivion
On May 22, SEPTA held a public hearing at the 5th District Police Station. The hearing was get comments on the proposed cuts to the Route 35. Few people outside Ridge Park Civic were aware of the meeting and only ten people attended.
Opposing the current route 35 were Ridge Park Civic and two neighbors from Silverwood and Fountain.
Supporting the route were four riders and a representative from an area transit group. Manayunk Neighborhood Council was unaware of the meeting.
We were able to get the record held open for additional comments. MNC and several others, including Councilman Nutter and the City of Philadelphia went on record opposing the changes.
The new route proposed by SEPTA will serve the Ridge Avenue Business District and ACME supermarket . The transit link at Wissahickon Transfer Center and access to the Shop Rite, Ivy Ridge, Andorra and all points in between will be lost.
These destinations can still be reached with a transfer to another bus. This introduces two hardships. One, transfers are not free. For many riders SEPTA's cut will result in a de-facto 50% fare increase. Two, every transfer adds uncertainty and delays. For all you drivers, imagine every time you went anywhere you had to stop and stand at the corner of Ridge and Fountain for 10 minutes to half an hour, no matter what the weather, before continuing. Don't forget to do it again on the way home.
Traffic and Parking are the two biggest complaints in Manayunk. The crowding continues to worsen as every square foot of open land is developed. It seems a poor strategy to cut transit at a time when it is needed most.
Now the Bad News. On June 19 the SEPTA hearing examiner issued his report and recommendation, based on the hearing. The report recommended cutting the Route 35.
It is now up to the SEPTA board. The next SEPTA board meeting will be held July 27 at 3 p.m. in SEPTA Headquarters, 1234 Market Street, Mezzanine Level, Philadelphia.
We need folks to come out to the board meeting and we need letters to the City representatives on the board and to the Mayor.
Christian A. DiCicco
Jettie D. Newkirk
Mayor John Street
5517 Ridge-Commerce Bank
This is a Coalition effort regarding a proposed bank at the corner of Ridge Avenue and Hermit (now an abandoned gas station). We had previously opposed them at zoning. Their plan was to tear down two adjoining houses and build their cookie cutter sprawl building with four drive-thru's. The Zoning Board told them they had to come up with a better design. Instead Commerce dropped their appeal.
Now they are back with the exact same plan so here we go again.
Commerce bank's Chestnut Hill project was shut down when they violated their zoning approval and started building a different building than what was approved. They will be back in zoning over that project July 25. Stay tuned for more details on the Ridge Avenue Project.
| Zoning (continued)
207 Rector Street
The Zoning Board approved the conversion of 207 Rector Street from Commercial to four condos. Manayunk Neighborhood Council and Central Roxborough Civic had opposed four units and had instead asked for two.
The developer did agree to market the space as two units for a limited period.
3 Rector Street
The Historical Commission has approved the depositing of a five story box on top of Labov's. Manayunk Neighborhood Council approved, in concept, grafting a new building over the original building. The proposed design, however, is too tall (towers over surrounding buildings) and neither the materials nor the design make any attempt to honor the historic character of the original building or the surrounding buildings. The Commission's Architectural Committee also recommended denial.
We asked the Commission to not approve the design. Instead, the developer should continue to work with Commission staff to create a reasonable design.
Flood of June 28 2006
Just like last October, heavy rains in the area caused the Schuylkill River to flood, including the Venice Island Lofts site (Leverington and Main-Under construction) and Cotton Street site. In a "you can't make this stuff up" moment, while watching the flood from the railroad bridge, over the Schuylkill, near Shurs Lane, we noticed a Venice Island Lofts sign floating down the river. See the photo gallery at http://www.manayunkcoucil.org.
Main Street was also flooded from just past Shurs Lane down towards Ridge Avenue.
The water came within inches (topping at at 1.5 feet above flood level) of going over the wall at the back of the Brew Pub at Shurs Lane.
|JUST A FEW MINUTES . . .||
May 3, 2006
Kevin called the meeting to order at 7:30. Election results were announced. The current board was reelected with the exception of Dave West who will become Executive Director of the Manayunk Development Corp. in July.
Fairmount Park Commission made a presentation on the Manayunk Canal. John March, with Pennoni Assoc., reviewed current work completed, and spoke about future plans. Canal restoration began 11 years ago. The first half of the funding was from a state economic development grant. The second half is from federal grants
Phase 1 included bridge and minor canal repairs. In Phase 2A canal walls and the boardwalk between Lock St. and Fountain St. were repaired
The current phase includes sediment removal from Parker Ave to downstream of the sluice house, which will be stabilized, cleaned, repaired, and repointed. This will improve water flow and runoff from streams. The towpath will be improved to enable emergency vehicles easy access
Special materials will be used to reduce sediment pile-up and water flow will remain fairly constant Sediment will be examined for toxicity to determine disposal methods. Construction is expected to start in fall 2007 and be completed summer 2009
Plans for Doc Macgrogan's Oyster & Seafood House were presented byDan Neducsin owner of the property which was formerly Mainly Shoes, and Dave Magrogan owner of Kildare's
Dave plans to attract those in the 30 to 60 age bracket and those who will spend money on Main St. The building will reflect a Victorian era and open on the Canal
Members were concerned about more bar space than restaurant seating. The bars would be outfited with televisions. Remarks were made about Kildare's as it was opened as a restaurant yet now seems to be a bar. Piercing questions followed about why Doc Magrogan's would not turn into another Kildare's No detailed answer was given. This is significant since the menu is heavily laden with appetizers instead of main course selections. Proposed hours are 11 -2 A.M. Members asked for the restaurant to close at 11:00 to decrease late night activity in the neighborhood. Dave would not consider this proposal.
More questions followed about parking. Dave replied most of his Kildare patrons park in the Carson St. lot.
Live entertainment is planned at Macgrogan's on weekends and Monday nights. An offer was made to support it as a BYOB. Dave refused to consider this. More discussion followed about how disappointing Kildare's is: open until 2A.M., loud music, special drink prices, large crowds and boisterous patrons.
After Dave refused to consider the groups concerns, a motion was made to oppose Doc Magrogan's. It passed 32 -2.
Annette Long proposes to open Therapeutic Touch Massage Center. Employees would be licensed massage therapists. The business will focus on individual therapy with customized massage
Health issues will be addressed such as emphysema and sciatica. The establishment will be wheel-chair friendly. Massage will be health oriented, and directed to individual medical histories. Some members mentioned how helpful massage has been for them. 4219 Main St., formerly "Salon on Main," next to "Riverside Pizza." will be the site of the business. A motion was made to support the proposal. It passed unanimously.
A hearing for ACT 39 Beer Take-Out was held yesterday regarding beer tale-out on Main Street. Due to procedural problems no action was taken. Stay tuned
Discussion followed about a price war developing on beer, if places like Doc Magrogan's open.
Pretzel Park events are being worked out. Park benches will be supplied by the Rec. Dept
Bike race plans are underway.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:10
Pretzel Park Samba: Pretzel Park, July 12, 7:30PM to 8:30PM, Brazilian music band MINAS, sponsored by MNC
Arum Recording/Brian Wetzal is planning a concert in Pretzel Park for July 29. Contact Brian for details. http://arumrecording.com
PRETZEL PARK SAMBA!
The Manayunk Neighborhood Council will present Pretzel Park Samba on Wednesday, July 12, at 7:30 pm. Minas, is one of the most sought after Brazilian bands in the United States. Minas has appeared at Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, the Mann Center and the Mellon Jazz Festival. They were voted best of Philly twice by Philadelphia Magazine.
Pretzel Park Samba is free and open to everyone. Bring your lawn chairs and picnic blankets or sit on the park benches. A port-a-pot will be provided.
Pretzel Park is located just one block above Main St., between Cotton and Rector Streets.