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Monthly Archives: October 2012

Streets in and around Port Richmond officially prohibited to truck traffic. (Map by .chris & SEENO)

I recently gave a short presentation at a Port Richmond neighborhood group on some updates from the air quality monitoring we completed this summer. We do air monitoring in the hopes of improving air quality in the neighborhood, and as I’ve mentioned quite a bit, a lot of the air quality issues in the area we assume are related to the highway and truck traffic.

Above is a map of streets that trucks are not allowed to drive on and below is a guide for making those restrictions. Many of these restrictions are either unknown to drivers or unenforced by local authorities. Many of the routes haven’t been amended in decades and are usually scattered throughout the community, only established when residents petition to the City.

Trucks snake in and out of the neighborhood, blow past truck route signs, and clog even the large arterial streets with extreme amounts of traffic congestion. There hasn’t been much planning dedicated to addressing this issue, and we are unsure what affect the highway expansion will have on congestion.

Traffic has to move through and along the neighborhood, but Philadelphia hasn’t really thought about exactly where it should go. Truckers, too, are unsure, meandering through the neighborhood looking for the correct truck entry point, burning more fuel and releasing more particles than they need to in the process.

So, where do we want to put these trucks?

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.chris

If you are in the Port Richmond area this weekend, come check out our Photo Exhibition. Clean Air Council and Portside Arts worked with neighborhood residents and youth to photograph our perceptions of the local environment. Bright green parrots, large diesel trucks, lush green parkscapes, lost and abandoned car tires: our contributing photographers present the neighborhood in every way, both good and bad.

We think this is a great contribution to thinking more about environmental quality in the Port Richmond area. Air monitoring collects useful data on the amount and type of particles floating around in the air, but it doesn’t tell us how it affects the everyday lives of those breathing that air. It also tells us only about air, and tends to forget things like discarded iced tea cartons, mosquitoes, railway underpasses, flowers, city skylines, and sidewalk etchings: all important parts of the neighborhood environment.

We’re looking forward to this event and hope that you are, too.

.chris