I couldn't be happier that this is a by-right project. If the neighbors who live in Yorktown are so concerned with their precious parking, then they should argue for these four things:
- Request that Yorktown become a permit-parking area
- Join Temple in the fight for discounted Anywhere TrailPasses for the year for students
- Simultaneously increase the rate of parking on Temple's campus
- Push politicians to support bike lanes on 12th and 13th Street
This would solve the parking "problem" in Yorktown, which isn't even a problem; one does not have a "right" to park in front of their place of residence, and Yorktown typically contains wider streets and houses with garages. The REAL problem comes with people who have multiple cars, similar to what occurs in South Philly. Also, most students don't even drive to campus. With 11 bus routes, 3 Broad Street Line stops (with Girard serving the express and Ridge-Spur trains in addition to local service), a Regional Rail stop, a large biking population, and a large on/off-campus population, many students do not need a car to reach campus.
As a Temple student, it almost seems like the neighbors feel like we don't have a right to exist in North Philadelphia at times. Even though some have been there for a while, cities are dynamic and change over time; after all, Cecil B. Moore Avenue (Columbia Avenue back in the day) used to be a thriving retail corridor, and the surrounding neighborhood was once home to the Nouveau-Riche at one point in its history. I do understand the outrage that comes with loud music, parties, and trash, as I have spent many crazy nights partying on Gratz Street; however, ANYONE has a right to live in any neighborhood within the city. This is nothing more than the sound of "Old Philadelphia" taking its last gasp of air before change arrives. By "Old Philadelphia", I mean the culmination of outdated ideas, such accommodations for cars being necessary in one of the most walkable, dense, and transit-rich cities in the United States.
On a totally unrelated note, I think that Wawa would be the perfect ground-floor tenant for this project. It can be a pain in the ass to take the Broad Street Line to Center City when I have a craving for Wawa at times, and many other students feel the same way. Also, I REALLY dislike 7-Eleven. I know that 7-Eleven has an agreement with Temple to limit competition around campus, but I wonder if this site falls outside of the purview of said agreement.