Councilwoman Cindy Bass

Councilwoman Bass Introduces Bill to Raise over $3.4 million for Street Calming Efforts

Improving walkability can boost Germantown’s commercial corridors, in addition to saving lives. Today, Councilwoman Cindy Bass introduced a bill to raise an estimated $3.4 million for street calming efforts in the City. More about the bill is included in the press release below, issued by the Office of Councilwoman Cindy Bass.


Pictured: Chelten Ave & Wayne Ave in Germantown, listed in a recent report as one of the top 10 intersections in Philly for most pedestrian involved crashes. Photo by Emaleigh Doley.

Councilwoman Bass Introduces Bill to Raise over $3.4 million for Street Calming Efforts

PHILADELPHIA – Today, Councilwoman Cindy Bass (8th District) introduced a bill that will raise an estimated $3.47 million for street calming measures throughout the City of Philadelphia.

The ordinance, which would take effect in July 2016, would add an additional $5 fee to vehicles registered to an address in the City of Philadelphia. Drivers would pay the fee at the time a vehicle is registered or when the registration is renewed.

In 2013, the state legislature passed Act 89, which authorized counties across the Commonwealth to add this fee to registrations. The additional funds would be collected by PennDot and subsequently distributed to the county.

“Every part of our City has been impacted by senseless traffic fatalities,” said Councilwoman Bass. In light of all the traffic deaths and injuries, devoting more resources to slowing cars down will protect all those who use our public thoroughfares—motorists, pedestrians, cyclists, and mass transit riders.”

According to the 2015 Vision Zero report produced by the Bicycle Coalition, Philadelphia has one of the highest rates of pedestrian traffic fatalities in the country. A recent list from the Bicycle Coalition listed three intersections in the 8th Council District: Broad & Olney, Broad & Lehigh, and Chelten & Wayne in the top 10 for most pedestrian involved crashes. The report also highlights an additional $1 billion that traffic crashes cost the City ever year. If passed, the additional funding provided for traffic calming measures like speed cushions will save lives and save money for the City every year.

Since Act 89 went into effect in January 2015, only three counties—Cumberland, Blair and Fulton—have taken advantage of this new measure, which requires a local ordinance to trigger the funding.

“There are certainly more steps for our City to take to reach the goal of zero traffic deaths, but providing additional money for proven street safety measures is a step in the right direction,” Bass added. “We will continue working with the Streets Department and the Police Department to make sure every roadway is safe for motorists and pedestrians alike.”

Councilwoman Cindy Bass represents the 8th Council District, which includes Germantown, Mt. Airy, Nicetown, Tioga, Chestnut Hill, portions of Logan, and West Oak Lane. She is Chair of Council’s committee on Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs.

YWCA Update: Councilwoman Bass uses NTI Funds to Support the YWCA

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Councilwoman Bass uses NTI Funds to Support the YWCA

As the Councilwoman for the 8th district it is my job to advocate for every neighborhood, keeping in mind the unique perspectives of residents while recognizing community treasures.

When I took office in 2012, the question of what to do about the YWCA loomed large, as this building is an integral part of the neighborhood’s history. And while we are still working towards a final answer, I am beyond pleased that we have endeavored to explore additional options. I am most impressed with the creativity of the ideas that have been presented thus far, and nothing less should be expected in and for Germantown.

While we await the Request for Proposals (“RFP”) to be issued by the Pennsylvania Redevelopment Authority (“PRA”) this Spring, I will continue to speak with local developers and discuss their bold and unique visions for Germantown. Some of the concepts suggested thus far include full market-rate condominiums and/or rental units, office space, retail options and recreation uses. These suggestions have been presented both individually and in various combinations, and I am excited about the possibilities ahead. We are seeking developers that have the capacity to move quickly, who have a plan to involve the community in the process, and who take into account the importance of environmental sustainability. The RFP will be an open and transparent process, with an emphasis on preservation.

But beyond what goes into the YWCA, we must address the building’s condition and the recent concerns brought forward at a community meeting around this topic back in January. As rumors began flying about the building’s condition, (i.e., instability), it was critical that we operated on the facts. Working with the Department of Licenses and Inspection, and private consultants including former L & I Commissioner Bennett Levin, we got those facts which I am pleased to report.

I am happy to announce the YWCA is not imminently dangerous, and I have committed $2.2 million of my Neighborhood Transformation Initiative (“NTI”) funds to rehab the property and make the building safe and stable. With additional funds from the PRA, totaling approximately $4 million, we are able to provide the resources to protect and weatherize the property to prevent the building from any further structural deterioration. We will also be able to provide the much needed ‘curb appeal’ to make the property more marketable, and aid in stabilizing the commercial corridor.

We have to be thoughtful and deliberate about development in Germantown-just as we have in Mt. Airy and Chestnut Hill. Nothing less will be acceptable. With the NTI funds I am committing to this project, it will help make the site more attractive to developers while protecting a vital part of our City’s history. The building is currently in poor condition, but with our subsidy from NTI and the PRA, it will be saved and developed.

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