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We, the undersigned, are concerned about the construction of a new headhouse at Franklin Square as a part of the Franklin Square PATCO station re-opening in the Chinatown and Old City neighborhoods, for the benefit of the commuters from New Jersey, who already have adequate mass transit access at nearby 8th and Market PATCO station.
New: PlanPhilly has published our piece about why we must #ProtectFranklinSquare: http://bit.ly/NothingAboutUsWithoutUs
New: The Inquirer has published a piece by Sarah Yeung, Carol Wong, co-signed by Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation, Asian Americans United, FACT School, and Asian Americans United: http://bit.ly/ListenToParkUsers
Franklin Square PATCO station has a long and troubled history. In the 1930s, Franklin Square park lost half of its trees to construct Franklin Square PATCO station. Over time, taxpayers have paid to open, close, and re-open this station 1943-1946, 1952-1953 and 1976-1979.
For the past ten years, DRPA has discussed re-opening Franklin Square PATCO station. However, past feasibility studies, costing taxpayers $500,000 each, have recommended against re-opening the station, concluding that “ridership would be too low to justify reopening the station." (Community groups and residents have filed a Right to Know for all past and recent feasibility studies.)
Last fall, DRPA unveiled to its board new plans which depicted a larger glass headhouse, with a nearly $30 million price tag. We ask DRPA to accomplish ADA accessibility without the destruction of our park's already limited green space. The construction of the currently proposed headhouse will adversely impact:
- local residents, including the historically marginalized Chinatown community, for whom Franklin Square is our only park and green space;
- 2,500 children who visit the park daily from nearby K-8 and early childhood education programs;
- 5,000 citywide school children who particulate in Historic Philadelphia's Full Day Field Trip program;
- and disrupt 80 free community events held at the park.
Since September 25, 2019, through Councilmember Mark Squilla, residents and community-serving organizations have asked DRPA to hold a community meeting with language interpreters to answer questions about the project's environmental, health, and other impacts. On October 25, 2019, DRPA responded that there are no further meetings scheduled for this year. We have been told that different DRPA board members will schedule a meeting with us. As of November 15, Councilmember Squilla's office has not been contacted to schedule that meeting.
We respectfully ask that DRPA and PATCO meet with residents and community-serving organizations as soon as possible; develop alternate plans to prevent environmental destruction; share all feasibility and environmental studies with the public immediately; and commit to partnering with local residents and community-serving organizations to ensure the project is consistent with the U.S. Department of Transportation's strategy of environmental justice.
自2019年9月25日以来，居民和社区服务组织已通过议员Mark Squilla要求DRPA与语言翻译举行社区会议，以回答有关项目环境，健康和其他影响的问题。 DRPA于2019年10月25日回应说，今年没有安排进一步的会议。我们被告知，DRPA的其他董事会成员将安排与我们开会。截至11月15日，尚未联系国会议员Squilla的办公室安排此次会议。
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