Originally Posted by 1487
The city didn't initiate or fund most of the project and it was a transportation project so it's not like you could take the money and just build something on North Broad or whatever you are proposing. Regardless of what you or anyone else thinks of the light posts the purpose was stated. You have to start somewhere to upgrade the corridor and the thinking was creating the unique lighting and some landscaping and sidewalk repairs would be a first step to attract more interest from the private sector. I'm not saying it will work, but apparently the co developer of the Divine Lorraine thought it was a unique and positive change to North Broad.
I don't want to start a battle over this issue, and we're pretty off-topic anyway. But I'm not sure why you think Blumenfeld and Procida's Divine Lorraine project was not planned well before these "lightpost" plans were finalized (and perhaps before they were envisioned). Eric has long talked about revitalizing North Broad. He first took steps some time ago -- around 2006 -- when renovating 640 N. Broad, the building that holds Vetri. And he had bought the Divine Lorraine by 2012. I have not heard any other developers praise the lightposts as a draw for them.
South Broad was once similarly disinvested, and it was transformed because Avenue of the Arts organization spent money on new sidewalks, brick crosswalks, planters, and much cheaper pedestrian-scale streetlights. The sidewalks on parts of North Broad have been reduced to gravel. Trash and abandoned cars pile up in vacant lots. The light posts were designed to be "art." Even if someone (inexplicably to me) thinks they look good, that money could have been spent on much more practical initiatives that would have done much more to make the streetscape cleaner, better lit, and nearer to reasonably attractive.
I'm also not sure how this was a transportation project. It was managed by Philadelphia's Department of Commerce and Streets in conjunction with Avenue of the Arts North and also involved (poorly executed and funded) landscaping and greening.
I'll move on from this now...