Neighborhood Slow Zone Program is Proposed at Harrowgate Civic Association Meeting

Kyle Hearing explains what the “Neighborhood Slow Zone” program could to for safety on Harrowgate’s residential streets. / Photo: T. Lineman / Juniata News

   Kyle Hearing brought the idea of a Neighborhood Slow Zone Program to the Harrowgate Civic Association at their monthly meeting at Heitzman Rec Center last Thursday night, January 3rd.

   A Slow Zone is a residential area that would be marked in which speed limits would be posted at 20 miles per hour and traffic calming (described to be like speed cushions) would be installed.

   The City is looking for a 6 block x 6 block residential area to create the Zone. The purpose of this, through the City’s Vision Zero Initiative, is to decrease the amount of pedestrians hit or killed by vehicles.

   According to the Vision Zero Initiative, 1 out of 10 people die when hit by a vehicle going 20 miles per hour. 5 out of 10 (or half) die when the vehicle is moving 30 miles per hour, and 9 out of 10 die when the vehicle is moving 40 miles per hour.

   The project would also take away some parking spots at the corners of streets (up to 20″ from the corner) to give drivers better visibility.

   Before the neighborhood applies to have a Slow Zone, the City would make all the benefits and possible problems known to residents. A Petition of Support was handed out to see if Harrowgate residents are interested. The would like complete support from the neighborhood.

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   Lt. Nick Coco of the 24th Police District, new to PSA 3, also attended the meeting, giving the local Crime Stats which included 1 homicide on the 3500 block of Jasper Street; 0 Rapes; 1 Strong Arm Robbery; 2 Robberies with a gun; 0 Aggravated Assaults with a gun; 1 Aggravated Assault (other); 3 Residential Burglaries, 0 Commercial Burglaries; 2 Theft from Auto (1 arrest); 2 Thefts; 7 Retail Thefts (4 arrests).

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     Eileen Smith and her granddaughter Mya were awarded a $25.00 gift card to Target for bringing in the most bandit signs – 47. Each month the Harrowgate Civic Association awards a gift card to the person who brings in the most bandit signs  (illegally posted signs such as “We buy Houses”). They get to choose from a variety of gift cards.

Eileen Smith and her granddaughter Mya received a $25.00 gift card to Target for their efforts of removing 47 bandit signs from the streets of Harrowgate.

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   Deep Roots Charter School is looking for a new home! Now situated in the old St. Joan of Arc School, which was most recently Ad Prima Charter School on Frankford Avenue, Deep Roots Charter School is setting bigger sights to hold an eventual 540+ students when their K-4 school grows into a K-8 school. The new Charter is in its first year, and is growing by one grade each year. The building that they are looking at to possibly move into is at Kensington and Castor Avenues, diagonally across the street from the Fire House. Logan Blyler, Deep Roots Charter School’s School Leader and Founder, joined with Chief Operating Officer Ashley McGrath in seeking support for the move.

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   “Green City, Clean Waters” is a program through the City of Philadelphia whose aim it is to keep pollution out of rivers and creeks. A brief slide-show explaining the locations of new environmentally friendly tools such as stormwater basins and tree trenches was shown. These tools keep water from overburdening the combined sewer system in Philadelphia, which pollutes our waterways.  Friends of Harrowgate Park noted that Harrowgate Park’s green stormwater infrastructure diverts approximately 5,713,000 gallons of water from Philadelphia’s sewer system each year. The “Green City, Clean Waters” program is in the 7th year of its 25 year plan.

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   Vickiana Perez announced that she is considering the possibility of opening a bakery at 3622 Frankford Avenue in a building that her mother owns. (between Castor & Venango, or more precisely on Frankford Ave. between Pacific Street and Victoria St.).  It was most recently an appliance store. She envisions a homestyle bakery with fresh pastries, sweets and breads, opening at 6:00 am for those heading off to school and work.  Vickiana said that she wants a classy and elegant bakery that would serve Italian and French pastries, along with the Spanish flavors from her heritage.

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   Cara Mea Bruno, the Divisional Coordinator of Community Services with the Managing Director’s Office, announced that 250 volunteers helped clean up around Elkin Elementary School on December 8th as part of the Philadelphia Resilience Project. The next cleanup will be around the area of Conwell Elementary School on Saturday, January 19th from 9:00 am to 12 noon. All volunteers are welcome.

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Rolando Sanchez invited everyone to the next Kensington & Allegheny Business Association meeting on Wednesday, January 16th. Guest speakers include Deputy managing Director Tom Conway and Claudia Strohm, Outreach Director at Oak Street Health on Aramingo Avenue, which serves seniors on Medicare and Medicaid. The meeting is held at Impact Services, 1952 E. Allegheny Avenue at 9:00 am.

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The next Harrowgate Civic Association meeting will be held at Heitzman Rec Center on Thursday, February 7th at 6:30 pm.

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