Community Forum
March 10, 2004

Notes from Group C

Icebreaker - How you connect with 40th Street
- Can buy "Uncle Sam's" 3 wings for $1.50
- Being a merchant with access to diverse groups of people
- Would like to see a commercially diverse avenue that doesn't close at 6:00 pm (person who said this is new to the community, with limited experience)
- Likes shops and restaurants
- Fresh Grocer, proximity to home
- The supermarket draws people from quite a few areas (Center City residents); good prices, good selection
- Character, history, diversity, potential
- Philadanco performers come from all over the country
- Convenience, employees, clients, diversity of African Americans doing business there
- Fresh Grocer, The Bridge, "girl-watching" = safe corridor between Penn and public transportation
- Transportation is extremely easy/ medical emergencies, educational facilities

- Dental School employees
- University employees, students
- Residents of Center City
- Residents of the surrounding neighborhoods
- Consortium employees
- 3901 residents (senior citizens)
- Commuters, transients
- Presbyterian Hospital employees and people using their services
- People shopping for 2nd hand furniture
- People who want a real nice haircut - customers of "First Decision"
- People from outside of the country and their relatives, interstate as well
- Crack buyers
- University of the Sciences and the Science Center
- Recreational users - entertainment, bars, clubs, restaurants, movies…
- State Store patrons
- Kids of Section 8 Housing (participants want to ensure that "Section 8" is not categorically equated with any negative stereotyping about poor, Black people; rather considered as a significant makeup of the community)
- Police, safety agents
- Employees of Elwyn Incorporated

Uses - Past:
- Conveniences (transportation = bus, trolley, subway, taxis)
- Free Library
- McDonald's - one of the first inner city McDonald's
- Safety - wasn't allowed to go to 52nd Street, but was allowed to go to 40th Street as a child
- Farmers Market, grocery stores, butchers…shopping
- Drug store - used be called "Dirty Drugs" by neighbors
- Urban Outfitters
- Marty's everything store

Uses - Present:
- Still safe
- Still a lot of housing: elderly, Section 8, private
- Convenient transportation
- Red Cross
- More jobs
- Physically and mentally compromised/ challenged clients and service consumers
- Perception of safety, increased security and police presence
- Shopping
- The Bridge/ entertainment
- Corridor of health service providers (teeth, hair, herbs…)
- Social Security Administration, HHS
- Ronald McDonald House - first in the country
- U.C. Green - volunteer greening group
- Chestnut Place Clubhouse

Uses - Future:
- Extend to Powelton Avenue, into the community
- Preserving the culture - business owners are afraid of U-Penn swallowing them up
- Tourists can come like they do to South Street, Main Street in Manayunk
- Night life can be reinforced on both sides of the street: provides jobs for people in the community, entertainment for students, extending life-breath of the street another 8 hours
- Add arts and culture, exhibits, approved vendors, musicians
- Al fresco dining
- Recreation for kids

What makes use easier:
- Good transportation
- Adequate lighting - possible decorative lighting
- Parking
- Advertisement
- Walking distance
- Foot traffic
- Population density
- Streets are wide
- Concentration of public safety - diversity of security forces
- Parental involvement in promoting children's citizenship (future)
- 40th Street business association

What makes use difficult:
- Graffiti, litter (connect to children's citizenship concerns above)
- Crime
- Roll-down gates on the stores
- Traffic on Walnut, Chestnut, Market Streets
- Community frictions - between Penn and indigenous community not seeing eye-to-eye
- Cooperation with and from the city
- Coarse streets, street surfaces
- Loitering (around stores, on street - the negative kind); difficult problem behaviors vs. window shoppers
- Stereotyping of Black kids (who are not all bad) in surrounding residential areas
- Tensions, bad behaviors between classes and races, and people who live here vs. go to school here
- Lack of site control

- Inform and promote landlords - they are assets; communications between landlords and Block Captains (relates to site control)
- Marketing - ask the people who live here what they want (as well as the university)
- Have all the fun and excitement at the street level. Make the street itself exciting
- It's one thing to have something out in public, its another to have it separated out and in private
- Incentives - Keystone Opportunity Zones (KOZO)

© 2004, 40th Street Community Forum and Serendip