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  #14301  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2020, 2:04 PM
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DudeGuy DudeGuy is offline
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Originally Posted by summersm343 View Post
This part of the city is (and has been) blowing up. It's going to look completely different in 5 years.
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  #14302  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2020, 2:16 PM
Skintreesnail Skintreesnail is offline
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This part of the city is (and has been) blowing up. It's going to look completely different in 5 years.
yeah, a lot of great projects popping up. I haven't gotten over there since the pandemic, but really looking forward to checking it out soon to see the changes. I remember a decade or so ago when some friends bought over in fishtown it was still all bombed out. Great to see it still has a lot of momentum. Looks like francisville along ridge and brewerytown are also really active.
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  #14303  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2020, 2:23 PM
iamrobk iamrobk is offline
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Originally Posted by Skintreesnail View Post
So, the wealth of potholes and crumbling infrastructure I see first-hand is all in my head? Since Nutter left office, I’ve observed a notable decrease in the quality of our infrastructure. But that must be all in my head as well. I voted for Kenny and had high hopes he would walk the walk. I’m for the soda tax, but I really haven’t seen any tangible benefit from it. If you have examples, by all means let me know.
I don't blame Nutter for this (and overall I like him quite a bit), but this is no coincidence: Nutter specifically cut a lot of capital investment funding during the financial recession, which may not have been immediately noticeable, but has led to longer term issues with our roads, public buildings, parks, libraries, etc. (And it's not infrastructure per se, but lets not forget about cutting street sweeping.) A lot of this infrastructure spending is not "sexy" and doesn't garner headlines, but it's part of why you see headlines like "City budget increases X% under Kenney" while not seeing the tangible benefits from it. Well, a lot of that is because they've been restoring (and, in some cases, expanding upon) that "behind the scenes" type funding that should - hopefully - pay dividends in the future. I think that's basically their thought process on the pre-k stuff as well: The impact may not be immediately noticeable, but hopefully in the long term it will pay dividends.
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  #14304  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2020, 2:40 PM
Skintreesnail Skintreesnail is offline
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Originally Posted by iamrobk View Post
I don't blame Nutter for this (and overall I like him quite a bit), but this is no coincidence: Nutter specifically cut a lot of capital investment funding during the financial recession, which may not have been immediately noticeable, but has led to longer term issues with our roads, public buildings, parks, libraries, etc. (And it's not infrastructure per se, but lets not forget about cutting street sweeping.) A lot of this infrastructure spending is not "sexy" and doesn't garner headlines, but its part of why you see headlines like "City budget increases X% under Kenney" while not seeing the tangible benefits from it. Well, a lot of that is because they've been restoring (and, in some cases, expanding upon) that "behind the scenes" type funding that should - hopefully - pay dividends in the future.
I've heard this, and I assume the 2008 housing crisis was to blame for a lot of it. But, even so, why is everything, at least that I see, still in such bad repair after 5 years? If the budget has been increasing and the restoration has been underway, shouldn't things be getting better by now? Maybe I'm just impatient, but I want to see something; is there some breakdown somewhere of what's actively being done? Like project x to accomplish Y has gotten $z? That would go a long way in appeasing probably a lot of people in at least the short term. Also, some things like bike lanes, where some additional volume was promised; is there some breakdown of x was promised, so far y was delivered? The only thing I see and hear are the pains folks in various neighborhood groups need to go through and push-back from departments in the city to get things like protected bike lanes, crosswalks, funding for various pedestrian projects and neighborhood parks. Shouldn't I be hearing less of that if these type of projects are getting support? And why has something like the baseball field at the Marian Anderson rec center been under lock and key for the decade I've lived in this neighborhood? Isn't this a resource that should be available to the public? And if so, isn't it a simple matter to cut the lock? Are their other similar situations in other neighborhoods? This seems like some really low-hanging fruit if so.
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  #14305  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2020, 3:01 PM
iamrobk iamrobk is offline
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Originally Posted by Skintreesnail View Post
I've heard this, and I assume the 2008 housing crisis was to blame for a lot of it. But, even so, why is everything, at least that I see, still in such bad repair after 5 years? If the budget has been increasing and the restoration has been underway, shouldn't things be getting better by now? Maybe I'm just impatient, but I want to see something; is there some breakdown somewhere of what's actively being done? Like project x to accomplish Y has gotten $z? That would go a long way in appeasing probably a lot of people in at least the short term. Also, some things like bike lanes, where some additional volume was promised; is there some breakdown of x was promised, so far y was delivered? The only thing I see and hear are the pains folks in various neighborhood groups need to go through and push-back from departments in the city to get things like protected bike lanes, crosswalks, funding for various pedestrian projects and neighborhood parks. Shouldn't I be hearing less of that if these type of projects are getting support? And why has something like the baseball field at the Marian Anderson rec center been under lock and key for the decade I've lived in this neighborhood? Isn't this a resource that should be available to the public? And if so, isn't it a simple matter to cut the lock? Are their other similar situations in other neighborhoods? This seems like some really low-hanging fruit if so.
I don't necessarily disagree, though some things (i.e., bike lines) are far more political than they probably should be...

But in terms of practical results, there have been noticeable (at least, IMO) improvements made to the roads over the last ~2 years (this website shows what's been completed recently and what is scheduled: https://streetsmartphl.phila.gov/), and Rebuild has been improving a lot of parks (https://www.phila.gov/programs/rebuild/project-sites/).

On a slightly different note, I was in DC this past weekend and my #1 goal is to get scooters (Lime, Bird, etc.) legalized in Philly. They were a ton of fun and honestly not nearly as much of an eyesore or a pain as I imagined they would be. I think they are technically illegal under state law here though, which is why it hasn't happened yet.
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  #14306  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2020, 3:12 PM
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Urbanthusiat Urbanthusiat is offline
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Originally Posted by iamrobk View Post
On a slightly different note, I was in DC this past weekend and my #1 goal is to get scooters (Lime, Bird, etc.) legalized in Philly. They were a ton of fun and honestly not nearly as much of an eyesore or a pain as I imagined they would be. I think they are technically illegal under state law here though, which is why it hasn't happened yet.
Not to be a negative Nancy or anything, but I don't think scooters would work nearly as well here as they do in DC. DC has many wide streets and sidewalks that have enough space for scooters to get around safely. I think it would be chaotic and far more dangerous on Philly's narrower, more crowded streets.
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  #14307  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2020, 3:31 PM
Larry King Larry King is offline
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Originally Posted by Urbanthusiat View Post
Not to be a negative Nancy or anything, but I don't think scooters would work nearly as well here as they do in DC. DC has many wide streets and sidewalks that have enough space for scooters to get around safely. I think it would be chaotic and far more dangerous on Philly's narrower, more crowded streets.
The fact that our streets are narrow and crowded (as in the cars can't go too fast) are precisely the reasons why scooters and e-bikes would work perfectly here.
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  #14308  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2020, 3:38 PM
iamrobk iamrobk is offline
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Originally Posted by Urbanthusiat View Post
Not to be a negative Nancy or anything, but I don't think scooters would work nearly as well here as they do in DC. DC has many wide streets and sidewalks that have enough space for scooters to get around safely. I think it would be chaotic and far more dangerous on Philly's narrower, more crowded streets.
I agree it would be at least a little more chaotic, but outside of a few specific streets in Center City (I'm specifically thinking of Chestnut, Walnut, and South) I don't think our streets and sidewalks are too congested for them to be effective here. Also, IMO the narrow streets argument is a bit of a red herring given we want to invest in and expand on bike infrastructure, which could also be used by scooters (specifically, bike lanes). Plus, I think it's the neighborhoods surrounding Center City where they'd see the most use, and while most of those neighborhoods have narrower streets than DC (or most other US cities), again I don't think they are prohibitively small or have so much congestion that it would render scooters to be useless or in the way of things too much.

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Originally Posted by Larry King View Post
The fact that our streets are narrow and crowded (as in the cars can't go too fast) are precisely the reasons why scooters and e-bikes would work perfectly here.
Basically, this. Worth noting that at least in DC, the scooters are all speed limited per city ordinance (I think to 10mph) and there are areas you can't leave them (specifically, the national mall) or where you have to walk them (around the Capitol).
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  #14309  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2020, 3:55 PM
blorkishdork blorkishdork is offline
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Where are people going to keep the scooters once they are done? Strewn around randomly like I saw in Austin and Baltimore? No thank you, I will fight tooth and nail against that. If they have a set area for them to be left then I can be OK with them. But generally I hate them. They just took up sidewalk space and generally got in the way in Baltimore. Also, in Baltimore, I saw several of them just ripped apart/thrown into the harbor. I just think it is a terrible idea.
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  #14310  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2020, 4:00 PM
Skintreesnail Skintreesnail is offline
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Originally Posted by iamrobk View Post
I don't necessarily disagree, though some things (i.e., bike lines) are far more political than they probably should be...

But in terms of practical results, there have been noticeable (at least, IMO) improvements made to the roads over the last ~2 years (this website shows what's been completed recently and what is scheduled: https://streetsmartphl.phila.gov/), and Rebuild has been improving a lot of parks (https://www.phila.gov/programs/rebuild/project-sites/).

On a slightly different note, I was in DC this past weekend and my #1 goal is to get scooters (Lime, Bird, etc.) legalized in Philly. They were a ton of fun and honestly not nearly as much of an eyesore or a pain as I imagined they would be. I think they are technically illegal under state law here though, which is why it hasn't happened yet.
Thanks for posting those links; I do wish the rebuild effort had a little more transparency about how much is going where. I just remember reading something in the inquirer about something like 30% being doled out. That chart would be the perfect place to show the total in the fund and how much is going to each project. Maybe it's somewhere else on the site, though; I'll dig around.
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  #14311  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2020, 7:40 PM
cardeza cardeza is offline
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Originally Posted by iamrobk View Post
I don't blame Nutter for this (and overall I like him quite a bit), but this is no coincidence: Nutter specifically cut a lot of capital investment funding during the financial recession, which may not have been immediately noticeable, but has led to longer term issues with our roads, public buildings, parks, libraries, etc. (And it's not infrastructure per se, but lets not forget about cutting street sweeping.) A lot of this infrastructure spending is not "sexy" and doesn't garner headlines, but it's part of why you see headlines like "City budget increases X% under Kenney" while not seeing the tangible benefits from it. Well, a lot of that is because they've been restoring (and, in some cases, expanding upon) that "behind the scenes" type funding that should - hopefully - pay dividends in the future. I think that's basically their thought process on the pre-k stuff as well: The impact may not be immediately noticeable, but hopefully in the long term it will pay dividends.
Infrastructure doesn't crumble in 3 or 4 years. It takes decades. But it is true that Nutter cut back on things like street paving and street cleaning to save money. That doesnt fit in with the narrative here that Philly was Utopia before Kenney but it's true. I like Nutter but cutbacks have consequences and many of the people who claim to be big fans are now complaining about some of the consequences of the efficiencies he put into place to stave off financial disaster. I think there was one year during his tenure where they only paved like 20 or 30 miles of street in an entire paving season when they should be doing about 130 miles per year.
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  #14312  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2020, 7:45 PM
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Look, I don't know your demographic situation - your income - your housing - if you have kids - but my greener Pasteurs comment to you wasn't really all that tongue and cheek...for a lot of people that the city should be falling head over heels to keep (middle and upper middle class families) they do leave literally for that reason. So I do think you are in a minority, yes.

I'm almost 40 now - have 2 kids - and almost every one of my friends, my age, is leaving or has left - and these are high income earners who just get a bit tired of the QOL stuff without any sense of relief. It's a bummer.

I live in like a 6 block square 'hood of urban utopia - that's expensive - so staying is easy for me and my family. My kids don't walk past weeded lots, or along trash strewn streets, or underneath eye sores, power lines or past code violations. But it really shouldn't be this way. It shouldn't just be 6 square blocks of Fitler and Rittenhouse and Society Hill and parts of Old City. It shouldn't be this exclusive to have a great QOL for a broader swath of town, especially at the prices and cost of greater CC 'hoods.

Just out of curiosity, have you lived in any other city (like, real city)?

In my experience the top reason people with kids leave is for the schools and that is #1 by a HUGE margin. The reality is upper income families who can afford to move to a top suburban school district arent living in the slum like conditions many here seem to believe exist everyone outside of Center City and UC so they likely have a relatively decent QOL in Philly. The schools situation has been relatively the same for decades and anyone who can afford to drop their kids into an upper income district because they refuse to pay for private school or whatever is going to do so. Period. They could care less if the trash is picked up twice a week and all the potholes are filled. People have been leaving cities for yards and quiet and schools since the 1950s. it wont stop anytime soon and it happens in other "real" cities as well.
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  #14313  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2020, 7:47 PM
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It's not. Large chunks of Manhattan are canyons of trash bags and rivers of dog piss once a week. Boston and DC are cleaner but they're also smaller wealthier cities.

I think that virtually everyone here agrees that Philly needs to do better with street sweeping and that power lines should be buried when an opportunity arises to do so economically, but the idea that the poorest large city in the US should spend huge amounts of money to start digging up roads just to bury lines so some rich people don't need to look at them is some seriously bizarre entitlement. I won't say that no one has ever left the city due to power lines because this world has all kinds of crazy, but this is not an issue of any significance.
blaspheme! Major hardship for some people!
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  #14314  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2020, 7:58 PM
cardeza cardeza is offline
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Well, I did add the caveat that my post was exaggerated to some degree, but SEPTA is nothing like what it can and should be. Just because something is better than it was 40 or so years ago shouldn’t give them a pass. They are still low performing in many areas compared to other peer cities (train headways, on-time performance of all modes, etc.). And the fact that they are finally coming into the 21st century (or attempting to) is no cause to celebrate. They do have some good plans on the board (bus system redesign, trolley modernization, NHSL spur) but the amount of capital required for these changes lead me to question whether they’ll get it done. A lot of the issues can be attributed to the fact that they are constantly battling to obtain any sort of steady stream of funding and the fact that they are constantly threatening to cut service is a symptom of this. I believe that public transportation is an essential service and needs to be publicly supported without any BS about trying to make it privatized or self-sufficient.



So, the wealth of potholes and crumbling infrastructure I see first-hand is all in my head? Since Nutter left office, I’ve observed a notable decrease in the quality of our infrastructure. But that must be all in my head as well. I voted for Kenny and had high hopes he would walk the walk. I’m for the soda tax, but I really haven’t seen any tangible benefit from it. If you have examples, by all means let me know.



I don’t hate Kenney, just very disappointed. He’s platformed on things he just hasn’t delivered. Not sure where the 2-3 years figure fits in. He’s been in office for almost 5. Granted, COVID has thrown a wrench in things, so I’ll give you 4. 4 years should be enough time to address this stuff, otherwise why platform on anything at all if you can’t do anything in one term. And if that is the reality, then platform on gutting the bureaucracy that’s standing in the way of getting this stuff done.

At no point did I mention giving SEPTA a pass. I said it has improved in virtually every aspect over the past 10-15 years and I also said they have only had a long overdue influx of funding for 6 years. They also did a lot with the stimulus money they got from Obama as part of the ARRA. You offered up SEPTA as one of the examples of stagnation and low standards and I was merely pointing out that by objective measures SEPTA is trending upwards, largely due to getting more capital money. Headways are not a mark of how well a transit agency is run, that is a reflection of many factors such as ridership, # of vehicles, line capacity, funding, safety regulations etc. For example, the EL cannot run tighter headways than it does at rush hour based on # of vehicles, signaling and other factors. Someone may see a crowded MFL train (pre-COVID) when they are already running 4 min headways and say the fact that crowding exists means there must be mismanagement but that is merely a reflection of constrained supply and elevated demand for the El.

SEPTA is not constantly threatening to cut service, they did in 2012 and 2013 to make the valid case that their capital funding was woefully inadequate and recently they have warned that if PA doesn't come up with long term solution to the turnpike funding debacle cuts may become necessary. That is just reality.

It seems that in the minds of some, other cities and their respective agencies have zero problems. WMATA is far newer than SEPTA and has had MAJOR issues with safety, governance, deferred maintenance, service, etc. It looks much better than SEPTA but it hasn't been managed any better, in fact many would argue it was run worse which led to major shakeups and leadership changes. People in NYC dont feel MTA has been well run no matter how much folks here would likely claim it's running circles around SEPTA. There is no point in comparing smaller, newer systems in the south and west with SEPTA. Basically apples and oranges when you consider some of SEPTA's infrastructure (which was inherited in shitty condition) dates back to the 19th century.
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  #14315  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2020, 8:36 PM
allovertown allovertown is online now
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It's not. Large chunks of Manhattan are canyons of trash bags and rivers of dog piss once a week. Boston and DC are cleaner but they're also smaller wealthier cities.

I think that virtually everyone here agrees that Philly needs to do better with street sweeping and that power lines should be buried when an opportunity arises to do so economically, but the idea that the poorest large city in the US should spend huge amounts of money to start digging up roads just to bury lines so some rich people don't need to look at them is some seriously bizarre entitlement. I won't say that no one has ever left the city due to power lines because this world has all kinds of crazy, but this is not an issue of any significance.
Haha agree. And to be clear, I love new york! In fact, considering my list of favorite cities includes cities like New York, Rome and Philly, it could be argued that I might even be especially drawn to filthy cities that reek of urine.

But yea I 100% percent agree. We can do better and we should absolutely strive to do better. But completely mystified by those acting like these are the biggest or most important issues Philly faces.
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  #14316  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2020, 10:31 PM
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Jayfar Jayfar is offline
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It's not. Large chunks of Manhattan are canyons of trash bags and rivers of dog piss once a week.
And look what just popped up in my NY Times feed:

150 Big Businesses Warn Mayor of ‘Widespread Anxiety’ Over N.Y.C.’s Future | NY Times

More than 150 powerful business leaders in New York City joined together on Thursday to implore Mayor Bill de Blasio to address public safety and other quality-of-life issues that they said were jeopardizing the city’s economic recovery.

Chief executives of companies like Goldman Sachs, Vornado Realty Trust and JetBlue sent a letter to the mayor portraying a bleak assessment of life in New York City during the pandemic, and suggesting a vote of no confidence in the mayor’s ability to correct it.

The letter asserted that there was “widespread anxiety over public safety, cleanliness and other quality of life issues that are contributing to deteriorating conditions in commercial districts and neighborhoods across the five boroughs.”

And if the mayor did not address those issues, the business leaders warned that people who have left the city would be slow to return because of legitimate concerns over “security and the livability of our communities.”

[snip]
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  #14317  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2020, 11:04 PM
Londonee Londonee is offline
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In my experience the top reason people with kids leave is for the schools and that is #1 by a HUGE margin. The reality is upper income families who can afford to move to a top suburban school district arent living in the slum like conditions many here seem to believe exist everyone outside of Center City and UC so they likely have a relatively decent QOL in Philly. The schools situation has been relatively the same for decades and anyone who can afford to drop their kids into an upper income district because they refuse to pay for private school or whatever is going to do so. Period. They could care less if the trash is picked up twice a week and all the potholes are filled. People have been leaving cities for yards and quiet and schools since the 1950s. it wont stop anytime soon and it happens in other "real" cities as well.
Again, i don't know where you live - or what your demographics are...but...the "it's the schools" excuse is widely overblown - in my experience. Most ppl of means (which are the 100k + earners that i'm talking about which is a statistically decent swath of greater CC), if they love where they live, can still send their kids to private schools, but prefer above all else to enjoy their lifestyle. My kids go to Greenfield - which is exemplary - but half of Fitler Square still attends The Philadelphia School at $30k/year.

But, my friends are cashing out homes in places like Fishtown, Bella Vista (Meredith!!!) GHo (Stanton) and South Philly (EPX) for $600 - $700K. The money available to them is simply too great and, for staying, the QOL return here as 30+ somethings who can't do the nightlife thing like they used to just isn't worth it to them. That type of $$ buys you a nice spot in Conestoga SD.

Look, as an old Millenial - there's a lot of my friends of significant means - who aren't sticking around and it's not b/c of the schools. Putting up with trash and filth and a "low-ambition" city gets pretty frustrating. Still, the good news is that the city is still retaining a larger % of 30+ something residents - like myself and my family - than it has in probably 2 generations, so the growth is real.
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  #14318  
Old Posted Sep 11, 2020, 12:05 AM
allovertown allovertown is online now
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Again, i don't know where you live - or what your demographics are...but...the "it's the schools" excuse is widely overblown - in my experience. Most ppl of means (which are the 100k + earners that i'm talking about which is a statistically decent swath of greater CC), if they love where they live, can still send their kids to private schools, but prefer above all else to enjoy their lifestyle. My kids go to Greenfield - which is exemplary - but half of Fitler Square still attends The Philadelphia School at $30k/year.

But, my friends are cashing out homes in places like Fishtown, Bella Vista (Meredith!!!) GHo (Stanton) and South Philly (EPX) for $600 - $700K. The money available to them is simply too great and, for staying, the QOL return here as 30+ somethings who can't do the nightlife thing like they used to just isn't worth it to them. That type of $$ buys you a nice spot in Conestoga SD.

Look, as an old Millenial - there's a lot of my friends of significant means - who aren't sticking around and it's not b/c of the schools. Putting up with trash and filth and a "low-ambition" city gets pretty frustrating. Still, the good news is that the city is still retaining a larger % of 30+ something residents - like myself and my family - than it has in probably 2 generations, so the growth is real.
I'm going to assume by 100k+ you mean two earners making that much, but even at 200k a year, private school is a tough route to take when you consider how expensive real estate is in the desirable parts of philly. Especially when you consider how far that type of salary will take you in the burbs where a good public school is baked into the equation.

If you actually mean 100k a year for a household, forget about it. It is not even remotely enough to live in a desirable part of the city and send a child (much less multiple children) to private school. 400-500k for a house, plus private schooling, and you're doing this on 100k a year how exactly?

Besides what we are talking about has absolutely nothing to do with Philly as a whole where the median household income is 45k. It's school over powerlines by a factor of roughly a million and I can't even imagine how you could have insulated yourself so much to come to the opposite conclusion.
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  #14319  
Old Posted Sep 11, 2020, 3:59 AM
Frontst17 Frontst17 is offline
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Originally Posted by Londonee View Post
Again, i don't know where you live - or what your demographics are...but...the "it's the schools" excuse is widely overblown - in my experience. Most ppl of means (which are the 100k + earners that i'm talking about which is a statistically decent swath of greater CC), if they love where they live, can still send their kids to private schools, but prefer above all else to enjoy their lifestyle. My kids go to Greenfield - which is exemplary - but half of Fitler Square still attends The Philadelphia School at $30k/year.

But, my friends are cashing out homes in places like Fishtown, Bella Vista (Meredith!!!) GHo (Stanton) and South Philly (EPX) for $600 - $700K. The money available to them is simply too great and, for staying, the QOL return here as 30+ somethings who can't do the nightlife thing like they used to just isn't worth it to them. That type of $$ buys you a nice spot in Conestoga SD.

Look, as an old Millenial - there's a lot of my friends of significant means - who aren't sticking around and it's not b/c of the schools. Putting up with trash and filth and a "low-ambition" city gets pretty frustrating. Still, the good news is that the city is still retaining a larger % of 30+ something residents - like myself and my family - than it has in probably 2 generations, so the growth is real.
Yeah no offense but I could care less about the opinions of those living in fitler square or those with significant means especially when it comes to QOL. They moved to that neighborhood for a reason and can move to whatever neighborhood has a good private school for 30k a year. That’s not at all representative of the rest of the city and schools tend to still be a major issue. I’ve never heard a sidewalk or power line complaint until this forum. You’re entitlement is blinding
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  #14320  
Old Posted Sep 11, 2020, 12:23 PM
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Obviously trash is a quality of life issues that even for someone of modest means can be annoying. However as Front Street said if people for making 100k+ that is their main issue with the city they are really out of touch. We have a murder rate that is skyrocketing, K&A is in the worst shape I have seen in my life being in that area and the opioid crisis is growing, persistent deep poverty, many failing schools. The city should absolutely 100% institute citywide street sweeping. Also it really comes from a place of privilege to complain about trash in a neighborhood like Fitler Square when that is definitely one of the cleaner neighborhoods of the city and covid has been spreading within the trash collection department and they are dealing with massive backup throughout the city.
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