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PSA1 Meeting – Frankford and Bridesburg Join Forces

The PSA1 meeting is usually held at Aria Hospital on the last Thursday of the month at 7 PM. It had been mentioned during the December meeting that moving it to Bridesburg would bring out more folks from Bridesburg who hesitate to come to Frankford. In truth, parking is harder around the hospital. It was decided to try this idea at the January meeting. The meeting for February 25 would be held at the Bridesburg Boys and Girls Club. This would also be a Captain’s Town Hall meeting as Captain McCloskey would be attending.

For those of you unfamiliar with the PSA1 meeting, this is an opportunity to meet directly with the 15th District Police to discuss your concerns and hear what the police are doing in the community.

You know that while Philadelphia is a city of neighborhoods, we tend to stay within our own boundaries. But soon you realize that the concerns we share are the same. Over 40 people attended the meeting.

Captain John McCloskey, Pete Specos, Officer Crosson and Officer Kennelly

Captain John McCloskey, Pete Specos, Officer Crosson and Officer Kennelly

We heard about the lack of police presence and how long it takes for officers to respond to 911 calls, fights in front of bars where patrons are told to go home by the police but come right back or are there the next night again, for sure, and parents’ concerns walking kids home from school passing cars where the oldest and, probably, first business is being conducted in parked cars. Squatters in homes, illegal parking, drug dealers scurrying inside when police are near but boldly outside again once the coast is clear continues. Cars going way too fast in the neighborhoods and people wonder why nothing ever changes.

A good crowd of Bridesburg and Frankford residents together

A good crowd of Bridsburg and Frankford residents together

These meetings can get heated and people want to make phone calls and protest and that will get attention. But does that only work for the short term? The attention span of the news media is even quicker than ours moving on to the next “big” story.

So, great ideas are born and take shape. Let us be real – the 15th Police District is the largest geographically in the city and it has the most crime. Maybe those DistrictMapThumbnail-15thtwo facts are related but either way, we know our problems won’t get better left alone. What can we do to support the 15th Police District and its officers? Bill Lorch of Bridesburg, Veronica Daniel of Frankford and myself, Pat Smiley, suggested we involve all of our stakeholders in a larger meeting. Let’s see if PSA2 and PSA3 are interested in working together. Let’s invite our community and elected officials to work on real strategies and solutions to our problems. It seems we talk and tell our concerns but never get to real resolution. What will that take? All of us working together. Before leaving, those gathered shared their contact information for future follow-up.

Left Bill Lorch speaks with Rep. John Taylor as the police officers talk with another participant.

Left Bill Lorch speaks with Rep. John Taylor as the police officers talk with another participant.

State Representative John Taylor was there that night and he was scheduled to meet with Mayor Kenney on  Friday, 2/26, in the afternoon. We drafted a letter in time for him to deliver it personally to the Mayor. Letters were also written and mailed on Friday to State Senator Tina Tartaglione, State Representative Jason Dawkins, City Councilman Bobby Henon, City Councilwoman Maria D. Quiñones-Sanchez and Police Commissioner Richard Ross.

We know the power of the Frankford Gazette. If anyone from PSA2 and PSA3 is reading this, please reach out to us. We have calls in to contact you.

We’re sharing our letter because we want you to be a part of this, too. If you would like to read it, click here. We’re convinced, like our Founders’ were, that the power lies with the people but we must use it. Our power lies in our united voices. We will keep you posted.



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Zoning Hearing for 2580 Church Street

From one of our tipsters in Bridesburg in reference to the proposed Aramingo Rail Transfer Waste Terminal :

GREAT NEWS!!!!!! ART has just abandoned their permit to the zoning board! What that means is that they have turned in the zoning permit and are no longer planning to build a trash transfer station on Church Street. Alan spoke to John Ryan himself and we have an actual copy of the letter that was sent to the zoning board. Thank you all for your support. It has been a tough fight, but great to see what we can do together as a community.

When push comes to shove, can Frankford do this?

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Zoning Issue in Frankford and Bridesburg

Back in December of 2010 we posted the news about the proposed Aramingo Rail Transfer Station.  There is an zoning appeal hearing on August 10th at 1PM.  This falls into the area between our two great neighborhoods and effects many people who use the businesses along Aramingo Avenue.


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Off Topic: Is Bridesburg in the Northeast?

As a followup question when I asked Jack McCarthy whether Frankford was in the Northeast, I asked him whether Bridesburg was in the Northeast too.   Here’s what he said:

Bridesburg is an interesting – and confusing – case. Originally, there was a sharp bend in Frankford Creek as it approached Bridesburg, so that Bridesburg was positioned south of the Creek and thus technically not part of the NE. However, the area at the bend was prone to heavy flooding and in the 1950s the Creek was straightened out so that it ran directly to the Delaware River without bending. Since then, Bridesburg has been north of the Creek and so could be considered within the boundaries of NE Phila.

If you consult that City Planning Commission publication, however, you will see that they don’t include Bridesburg in NE, but include it in a Bridesburg/Richmond/Kensington district.

Many people do consider Bridesburg part of the NE and technically it should be considered as such, but you could also make an argument that historically it was not part of the NE and that the City Planning Commission does not consider it in the NE.

I’m about 100% sure that anyone with a real estate interest in Bridesburg would consider themselves to be a river ward and not want to be associated with the Northeast.  I know the crew over on the Pridesburg forum like to consider themselves an island unto themselves.

Full disclosure: My father (and this site’s founder) grew up in Bridesburg, and I’m sure will chime in.

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Frankford Civic Meeting

NEastPhilly has a good report on the Frankford Civic meeting last week.  The proposed new trash transfer facility at Aramingo Avenue near Church St. was approved by the local civic as a construction waste facility and now has morphed into a major municipal waste facility.  The impact would be major to local residents.  Read all about it here.