Pete Buttigieg says federal dollars should help mend Philadelphia’s Chinatown

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A news release from Philadelphia’s Office of Transportation and Infrastructure Systems said “significant portions” of the neighborhood were demolished in the construction process.
“​​The Chinatown community and surrounding neighborhoods have long suffered the ill effects of the Vine Street Expressway I-676,” the press release said. “With over 100,000 vehicles a day passing through, the expressway presents ongoing problems including traffic crashes, threats to pedestrian safety, traffic congestion, and air and noise pollution. Clearly, an infrastructure solution is needed to address these harms.”
Chin said the Chinatown Stitch would help cover over the functioning expressway with more open space and green space, as well as adding bike lanes to the area.
John Chin, executive director of a community-based nonprofit group, the Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corp. U.S. Department of Transportation
“This heals some of the difficult challenges we’ve had in separating our community,” said Harry Leong, president of the Philadelphia Suns, a local nonprofit group that aims to foster community through sports and volunteering.
Buttigieg said the harm that the Chinatown community has long faced is particularly striking, as it “played out in slow motion.”
“Residents talk about trying to change or fight what was happening to them going back all the way to 1966,” he said. “The question, of course, is what we can do in our time that will make a difference. And in many of these communities, there’s a vision also from the community about what to do next.”
Cecilia Moy Yep. PCDC
He added that community feedback is a necessary part of any future projects and building trust with those who have faced decades of harm.
“Matter of fact, we won’t support a project that hasn’t gone through the appropriate steps to engage members of the community,” he said. “It doesn’t mean 100% of people can align on a particular plan 100% of the time, but it certainly means that a project cannot be forced on residents in the way that we saw far too often in the past.”
Neeta Patel, a Chinatown advocate and board member of nonprofit group Asian Americans United, said the change is “long overdue.” She also applauded organizations like the Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corp., which are involved in the planning, for listening to community concerns and collecting feedback from residents.

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