While The Provence Casino is still just a proposal, the location on Broad Street at the old Philadelphia Inquirer building is
already causing a lot of concerns for nearby schools and businesses. Some of the concerns include traffic, parking and the negative repercussions that come with a casino such as alcohol abuse and gambling addiction.
The Mathematics, Civics, and Sciences Charter School is located approximately 170 yards away from the proposed location. In The Provence proposal, a hotel and parking garage would be located across the street from the school, raising traffic and parking concerns for the 11 school buses that line up outside the school to pick up the students each day.
“I have other issues besides the parking and traffic,” said Veronica Joyner, founder and Chief Administrative Officer of the Mathematics, Civics, and Sciences Charter School. “Some students have to walk around this area to take public transportation home.”
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Every Thursday night, the school runs a program that helps the homeless by collecting donations for food and clothing. Groups of students meet at the school on Thursday night to go through the donations and put together 500 sandwiches and 200 bags of clothing. Some students then walk down Broad Street to deliver the food and clothing to a shelter on Ridge Avenue at approximately 8 p.m. The safety of the young students is another concern because of the increased pedestrian activity at night from the potential casino and resort.
“Everyone would be taking the subway and public transportation to get to the casino,” said Philadelphia resident Danielle Staten. “It is already dangerous enough on the subway.”
Additionally, Joyner has fears that prostitution and litter will increase in the area if the casino is built.
“We already have had some problems with trash and paraphernalia on the side of the school,” said Joyner. “Sometimes after the weekend we have to clean up the area before the students come.”
Along with a hotel and parking garage, The Provence would have approximately 60,000 square feet of retail shops, a concert venue, a comedy club, a nightclub and eight restaurants. Several food trucks and pizza shops are located on Spring Garden Street right near the location and could be impacted by the restaurants and retail shops that would come with the casino.
“The restaurants and traffic could most likely cause a few problems for us,” said Mike Tate, owner of Mike’s Breakfast & Lunch Deluxe food truck that parks on Spring Garden Street near the proposed location. “Hopefully things remain the same for us here on this block.”
Text, Images and Video by Steve Thornton.