Community Forum
March 10, 2004

Notes from Group A

Participants in group and their stake in the process:
John - works here, eats here, has employees here
Ray - Penn alum, lives and volunteers here
Saburah - W.E.B. DuBois House, shops here
Dan - lives here and work for Penn, Penn alum, eat/shops here
Lisa - lives, works, shops, plays here, CO Rep
Sultan - Deputy Dir. Phila Park Authority
Dana - grad student at Penn writing a paper on the 40th St. process
Bill - live here, worked at Penn
Joseph - non-profit head, use 40th St., CO Rep
Mary Beth - manages the Ben and Jerry's, uses all services
Greg - works with Police Dept on safety issues, safety ambassadors, town watch,
CO Rep
Karen - lives in University City, shops, U.C. Community Council, CO Rep
Matt - lives, shops, movies, eats here

Question #1
Who are the users of 40th Street?

o Dominant users are Pedestrians
o Eaters
o People who need Services - dry cleaners, bike shop etc
o Residents
o People who need day care services
o Shoppers for groceries
o Students
o University/Institutional Employees
o Retail Employees
o Readers - library
o Commuters
o Transitory/Impermanent - students
o Walkers
o Moviegoers
o Post Office traffic
o Dental students
o People with pets- pet store

Question # 2
What uses of 40th Street - past, present, future - do you find most interesting or exciting?

Past Uses
o Had a live music venue, nightclub
o Had an arcade
o Very similar to present uses
o Culture has resisted change
o Culture has been anti-establishment
o Do NOT want Cliff's to move!

Present Uses

o Block by block there are different users
o Change has come with the grocery store and theater-brought more younger, diverse people
o Restaurants
o Parks
o Dry cleaners
o Hair salon
o Movie theater
o Convenience stores
o Bookstore
o Bike shop
o Coffee Places
o Bars
o Incense, oils shops
o Dental school
o Check cashing
o Parking lot
o Postal Service
o Library
o Travel Agency
o Pet Store
o Fresh Grocer
o News Stand
o Real estate business
o Locksmith
o Nail place
o Shoe repair
o Herb store
o Lottery store
o Ice cream store
o Flower shop
o Housing/apts
o Day care
o Video library

Future Uses

o Live Music? Cabaret?
o Services for the public
o Upscale entertainment at moderate prices
o Consumer electronic store like Best Buy
o More attractive - trees!

Question # 3
What factors make those uses more difficult?

o Culture of not wanting to change
o Footprint of building limits the space for bigger stores - Best Buy
o Age group issues
o Economic group issues
o History of Penn with the community to bulldoze folks out (Is this real change this time or are they disguising it better?)
o Penn blamed for gentrification
o Parking needed for shoppers to stores, etc
o Need new trolley route
o $$
o Need better traffic directions (1-way to 2-way needed) and better signage
o Safety - people don't feel safe
o Speeding cars
o Pedestrian signals need improvement
o Truck delivery to retail stores is a problem - no alleys

4. Guiding Principles

· Stay diversified in economic and racial/cultural ways by having a plan to keep smaller businesses and long term businesses (help with $$ to renovate facades and also $$ to stay in business)
· Need economic development that impacts at the community level - jobs for U. City kids
· Create jobs with a 'living wage'
· Homegrown businesses keep the $$$ here
· Preserve the CHARACTER of the neighborhood
· develop a plan to manage the vehicular traffic better for a variety of reasons -pedestrian safety, crossings, 2-way traffic, but not cut off traffic for cars
· Parking - maintain parking for businesses and improve parking on street- meters needed?
· Create an active route for the West Phila Trolley Loop
· Displacement- minimal displacement; no forced displacement; resources to prevent displacement; help for those displaced
· Method of communicating plans to the neighborhood needs to be advertised, publicized and have a REAL transparency to the process
· Business entrepreneurship help for existing businesses

© 2004, 40th Street Community Forum and Serendip