Jim Kenney: The Pedestrian’s Mayor-To-Be

 

“Jim Kenney at 15th and Chestnut Streets. He has long denounced sidewalk closures at construction sites across the city.” | Photo: Michael Bryant, for The Inquirer

“Jim Kenney at 15th and Chestnut Streets. He has long denounced sidewalk closures at construction sites across the city.” | Photo: Michael Bryant, for The Inquirer

  • Inga Saffron traverses Center City with mayor-in-waiting Jim Kenney, who is as adamant as ever in his call for construction sites to cater to the convenience and safety of pedestrians. As councilman in 2008, he passed legislation that was hoped to deter undue sidewalk closures by imposing an annual $50,000 fee for every blockface closed to pedestrians, but such an imposition has proven paltry enough for the builders of the W Hotel at 15th & Chestnut to justify the cost of a private parking lot, and the Streets Department continues to be short-staffed of inspectors. Kenny previews the progressive urbanist policy that he plans to bring to City Hall next year, generally embracing Vision Zero guidelines meant to reduce pedestrian fatalities, budgeting for more on-site inspections, and mandating the creation of crosswalks.
  • In November Philadelphia is expected to become the first—and for the foreseeable future, the only—American city to receive the United Nation’s designation as a World Heritage City, says the Business Journal. Described as “a Sister Cities program on steroids” by Zabeth Teelucksingh, executive director of the Global Philadelphia Association, the distinction would be a ready-made international brand that would be graciously employed by city leaders to promote tourism and business relationships.
About the author

Stephen Currall recently received his BA in history from Arcadia University. Before beginning doctoral studies, he is pursuing his interest in local history, specifically just how Philadelphians engage their vibrant past. Besides skimming through 18th century letters, Steve is also interested in music and travel.

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