Press "Enter" to skip to content

Thinking Big in 2021 During the Biden Administration – NBC10 Philadelphia

Harris Steinberg, a longtime city growth knowledgeable in Philadelphia, sees a possibility for the total Philadelphia area now that President Joe Biden is in cost of the federal authorities.

Take public transit, says Steinberg, the govt director of Drexel University’s Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation.

“The more we can invest in public transit, the better off we’ll be. There is a pretty intense traffic problem right now,” Steinberg mentioned of Philadelphia. “(In) any mature city like Paris, New York or London, you have a much more robust system.”

A Democrat in the White House might imply transformative modifications to vitality manufacturing, transit methods, public training and concrete renewal efforts.

Philadelphia and its bustling suburbs, from the Jersey Shore to the Lehigh Valley, have loads of these alternatives ready for the kind of stimulus that solely federal funding can present (ie a whole lot of hundreds of thousands, even billions, of {dollars}).

Here is a snapshot of 5 tasks that might invigorate the native economic system and alter the panorama for many years to return:

SEPTA Expansion: South Philadelphia and Montgomery County


A SEPTA Regional Rail practice at the Overbrook station. (File photograph)

Officials at the area’s largest transit company have for years mentioned enlargement of practice service to King of Prussia and the extension of the subway to the Navy Yard south of the stadium complicated. Neither have come to fruition for an company now a decade and counting into its fare know-how improve. The KOP extension of SEPTA’s Norristown High-Speed Line remains in its “preliminary engineering phase.”

But the ascension of Pete Buttegieg to go of the U.S. Transportation Department might result in what he calls “generational” change in the manner Americans commute. The ever-present roadblocks to any bold SEPTA enlargement is the value — billions for many tasks — and a historical past of meager political willpower by native elected leaders to push for public transit over automobiles.

Steinberg mentioned Mayor Jim Kenney could possibly be a power in gathering political assist to petition the Biden administration for funding, however Kenney hasn’t proven a lot curiosity publicly but.

“It would benefit from the mayor to get behind it and having a vision,” Steinberg mentioned of any infrastructure push. “Maybe that’s coming. I think the fact that President Biden is moving quickly on COVID and then a stimulus gives everyone the chance to push for it.”

“This could be our moment,” Steinberg mentioned.

One large alternative is staring the area in the face, and that could be a sure patch of Philadelphia 1/4 the dimension of Center City and ready to be fully reimagined.

South Philly Refinery: Creating a New Neighborhood

Eduardo Munoz Alvarez

The former Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery in South Philadelphia in 2019. (Photo by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images)

The 1,400-acre web site alongside the Schuylkill River could possibly be linked to the remainder of Philadelphia by an enlargement of SEPTA (see above). But Steinberg says there’s an much more inventive strategy to combine the redevelopment behemoth with the remainder of South Philadelphia: rip up the Schuykill Expressway (Interstate 76) and switch it right into a boulevard.

“If that were made into a boulevard, you could connect Point Breeze with the refinery site so it’s connected to the rest of the city grid,” Steinberg mentioned.

He pointed to a proposal for $10 billion in federal funding that was included in the stimulus proposal introduced by Democrats in Congress not too long ago. It’s known as Highways to Boulevards, and it’s already a movement amongst city builders.

“That could be a transformative project,” Steinberg mentioned of tearing aside I-76 and the refinery growth total. “It’s going to be transformed whether we like it or not. It could be a centerpiece project for the entire region.”

The pure fuel refinery closed in 2019 as a result of it exploded, placing an finish to a century as Philadelphia’s largest polluter. The new proprietor, Hilco Redevelopment Partners, purchased the web site for $240 million in January 2020, and the company has a historical past of turning industrial websites into new city developments. A plan to redevelop the web site announced last year would take a decade to complete.

Wind Farms Off the Jersey Shore: Turbines on the Horizon

Fishing Vs Offshore Wind

Michael Dwyer/AP, File

Wind generators off Block Island, R.I. (AP file picture)

European vitality corporations and American utilities, with the urging of East Coast governors, have positioned themselves to make the 2020s the decade of wind energy in the Atlantic Ocean.

A dozen tasks calling for a whole lot of large wind generators off the coast from South Carolina to Maine are ready for approval by the federal authorities and states.

That contains two proposals for wind farms off the Jersey Shore, which mixed would come with 200 generators and generate as much as 2,500 megawatts of energy. Gov. Phil Murphy has known as for 3,500 megawatts of wind energy by 2030, which might be sufficient to energy a 3rd of the state.

The Interior Department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management did not act on any proposals throughout President Trump’s 4 years in office, however clear vitality proponents are extra looking forward to the wind farms throughout the Biden administration.

Many business fishermen and a few constitution fishing captains stay adamantly against the wind farms due to their doable disruption to the sea-based industries in the Mid-Atlantic Bight. It is one in all the most essential fisheries in the United States, and one in all the most unusual aquatic ecosystems in the world.

Faster, More Frequent Amtrak: Connecting Philly to Washington D.C. and New York City

DFW 7Day pm 031215

NBC 5 News

An Amtrak practice at thirtieth Street Station in Philadelphia. (AP file photograph)

SEPTA is not the solely transit system that serves the Philadelphia area and will definitely use a lift. The nationwide rail system, Amtrak, needs billions in federal funding to become a true 21st century high-speed service.

Proponents have known as for an Amtrak stimulus for greater than a decade to extend velocity and capability as uncared for rail infrastructure has truly decreased these two essential areas of enlargement.

Public transportation consultants assume that if Amtrak cannot get expanded funding when a president generally known as “Amtrak Joe” is in office, it probably by no means will.

thirtieth Street Station, the Schuylkill River and Interstate 95: Changing Philadelphia’s Landscape

thirtieth Street Station in Philadelphia. (Photo by Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto through Getty Images)

Yearslong discussions over the way forward for growth round the thirtieth Street Station and different well-known options of the area’s metropolis haven’t spurred on any signature mega-deal on the scope of, say, New York City’s Hudson Yards or Dallas’ The Central districts.

As not too long ago as 2017, Philadelphia ranked 17th in metropolitan areas for new construction starts.

A plan to redevelop 88 acres around 30th Street Station has been in the works for years, however at the current pace could take decades to finish.

Philadelphians are also continuously asking about the Schuylkill River and Interstate 95, an elevated freeway and artifact of final century’s imaginative and prescient for a contemporary metropolis.

Mayor Kenney’s deputy managing director for the Office of Transportion and Infrastructure, Mike Carroll, mentioned in an interview that the Kenney administration will proceed pushing for developments like the thirtieth Street Station District and public transit enlargement. But, he added, these items take a very long time.

“It’s not necessarily going to happen in four years, but I am confident they will keep moving forward,” Carroll mentioned. “There is a lot of work involved and it’s not going to be cheap. There is a lot to be accomplished if we do focus on infrastructure around places like 30th Street Station.”