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The end of the shopping mall?

This article on discusses the future of the mega shopping malls.  The future seems to be uncertain both due to the current economic slowdown but also because the recent radical fluctuations in the price of gas has made people think about using their cars wastefully.  Get that, people are actually thinking now.  Those collective decisions played some part in the tanking of the price of gas over the last few months.

People in Europe have been dealing with sky high gas prices for a long time now and it shows in how their cities have developed.  You find good mass transit and walkable communities where you can step out your door and shop for most of your needs.

Frankford is well positioned along a major mass transit corridor.  Thinking people even now, can see that the future lies here.

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Philly Car Share at the Frankford Transportation Center

Previously, we’ve shown you Philly Car Share’s  cars at Margarette/Orthodox, and now that we’ve found where they hide their cars at the Frankford Transportation Center, we have pics of those also.  A Prius liftback and Dodge Caravan are available, although on our stop we only found the Prius.  I found the pod a bit hard to locate.  It’s located at 1A in the large parking structure next to the FTC.  The easiest way seems to be to take the pedestrian stairs at the corner of Bridge and Bustleton that lead up to the parking garage.  You can’t miss the signs.

Philly Car Share at the FTC

Philly Car Share at the FTC

Prius liftback at the FTC

Prius liftback at the FTC

PhillyCarShare is a non-profit organization that provides members with access to a fleet of vehicles on an hourly basis.  A tromendous resource for city dwellers that wish to shed their car payments and insurance and embrace transit oriented development.  A search of their website shows that for all of northeast Philly, and for the hundreds of locations citywide, the farthest Philly Car Share goes into the northeast is Bridge and Pratt streets.  That speaks volumes to me.  While Frankford is down, it’s on pace with the rest of the new city’s future.

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Office of Neighborhood and Business Services

Diane Prokop of the Northeast Times this week brings us an interview with Kevin Dow, the newly appointed deputy director for the city’s Office of Neighborhood and Business Services.  So what does this have to do with Frankford.  Well, read the entire story here and you will find out.

Ever wonder how the city evolved into what it is today.  Believe it or not but somebody actually planned it that way.  OK not every single brick but the broad strokes.  Looking back, some of it worked and some didn’t but there was a plan.

Dow will work to bring that same ease of service to community organizations as they move forward with plans for their neighborhoods.
“Plan and develop from the same blueprint. The idea is to bring it all together with a strategic approach and engage neighborhoods in the same type of process,” Dow said.
Frankford residents have heard all about plans for their neighborhood’s comeback and don’t necessarily want to hear about another.
Previously the vice president of community affairs for the northern region of Wachovia Bank, the Fairmount resident has worked with more than 300 organizations, including the Frankford and Kensington CDCs, as well as Impact services and Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement, giving him a bit of understanding about the history of the many Frankford plans.
“There just needs to be one plan,” Dow said. “Having several plans doesn’t allow for coordinated action. With all going after the same resources, you dilute those resources to prevent having any significant impact.”
That’s a claim also heard by many in Frankford’s large non-profit pool.
The latest plan for Frankford is the Transportation and Community Development Initiative (TCDI). The project assessed the potential for commercial revitalization around the Frankford Avenue transportation corridor. Dow believes that its key components (which can be found at can be incorporated in an overall community plan.

Frankford is a transportatation hub and that gives us a unique niche in the city.  The plan referenced above is designed to take advantage of that niche.  What we need is leadership to finalize a plan and leadership to ensure that it is implemented.

Don’t focus on what Frankford is not today.  Look at what Frankford can be tomorrow.  it’s the final game of the World Series, “you gotta believe”.

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Councilman Dan Savage

This week’s Northeast Times brings us an article on Dan Savage’s accomplishment’s during his time in office. It does a better job than I could in listing them and I have to admit I did not know about all of the things noted in the story.

The most important thing he has given Frankford is some long needed attention. He clearly sees Frankford as important to the health of the Northeast and has worked hard to get some things done.

From the very visible things like the Deni Playground and derelict building demolition to the less exciting but very important Transit-Oriented Development zoning changes. So far he has introduced or co-sponsored 38 bills in City Council and he has not left office yet. I’m sure we will be hearing from Dan in the future.

Now let’s hope Maria Quinones-Sanchez hits the deck running and keep the momentum going.