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[Recap] – The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia Hosts Policy Forum on Leveraging Philadelphia’s Infrastructure

Posted Thursday, June 23rd, 2016

Member News, Advocacy, Press Releases, Roadmap

On June 21, the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia (the Chamber), through its Roadmap for Growth initiative, hosted a policy forum on leveraging Philadelphia’s infrastructure assets at Temple University’s Mitten Hall. Many ideas were highlighted in front of an audience of 125 attendees that included business executives, educators and service providers as well as neighborhood and civic organizations and City Council staff.

This policy forum featured a keynote address from Deputy Managing Director for Transportation and Infrastructure Clarena I.W. Tolson as well as remarks from William T. Bergman, Vice President of Public Affairs for Temple University; Jay A. Borkland, Vice President and Direct of National Waterways Services for Apex Companies; Craig A. Hoogstraten, Contracts Manager for James J. Anderson Construction Company, LLC; Chris Jandoli, Senior Project Manager for WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff; and Pam McCormick, Director of Legislative Affairs, SEPTA. Jim Rosenfield of NBC 10 moderated the discussion.

The purpose of the Roadmap’s policy forums this spring is to build a catalogue of short-term actionable ideas that Philadelphia’s business and civic community can work on in conjunction with the Kenney Administration and City Council. Each program features significant audience participation in bringing ideas to the forefront of the discussion. Some of the ideas highlighted included:

  • Encouraging and recognizing employers that treat all commute modes equally, potentially through reward programs, facilities and promotion of traffic safety;
  • Bolstering workforce development efforts for construction-related industries;
  • Upgrading the process used to select infrastructure projects by accounting for economic development and other goals;
  • Supporting SEPTA’s efforts to improve the 5th Street subway station through a TIGER grant as a means to support tourism and Market East redevelopment;
  • Accounting for both resiliency and community needs when rebuilding infrastructure; and
  • Planning for all modes of transportation, including rail, bike, car and pedestrian, when completely large scale projects.

Audience members, including Yocasta Lora of AARP, Jamie Gauthier of the Sustainable Business Network and Bob Previdi of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, posted their ideas for government to consider, including:

  • Creating a public-private partnership that works towards continued success in implementing the Green City Clean Waters plan for green stormwater infrastructure;
  • Integrating public art into more construction sites and new projects in the city;
  • Supporting a speed camera on Roosevelt Boulevard to reduce traffic speeds;
  • Anticipating technological advances in modes of transportation;
  • Finding the best ways to maintain and improve sidewalk quality, especially in neighborhoods;
  • Incorporating aging populations when creating transportation plans; and
  • Continuing to find ways to be inclusive of local residents in development projects.

Here’s what people had to say on Twitter, find more using #PhillyRoadmap:

The Roadmap for Growth launched in July 2014. Its activities have included eleven Listening Tour meetings, three Issue Forums, a live televised mayoral debate, fact-based demographic and economic analysis, and candidate questionnaires. In December, it released a second report to serve as the basis of a shared agenda with the Kenney Administration and City Council. The Roadmap has engaged with 145 civic organizations over the course of the campaign and added nearly 70 partners. More information about the Roadmap can found at www.roadmapforgrowth.com.

The Roadmap for Growth’s sponsors for 2015-2016 include Comcast, NBC10, Telemundo 62, PECO Energy, AT&T, Chubb, Apex, Citizens Bank, Griesing Law LLC, James J. Anderson Construction Company, North Highland, Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation, WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff, United Bank of Philadelphia and the University City Science Center. CRW Graphics is the Roadmap’s print sponsor.

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