Stefan Zajic for Democratic Committee Person in Ward 18, Division 11 (Fishtown)
Bio: I’ve lived in Philadelphia for over 15 years, and I work in Camden, NJ as a health researcher. I live with my wife and our two young kids in Fishtown. Among neighborhood causes, our schools are particularly important to me. I was a founding member of Friends of Adaire, a group supporting Fishtown’s public K-8 school, I've been a board member for the last five years, and I also started and run the chess club at Adaire.
1. What street in your neighborhood is most in need of improved conditions for pedestrians and people on bikes? What would you do as committeeperson to make it better?
Frankford Ave is an amazing corridor in Fishtown, but it can be really challenging to navigate for pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers. There aren’t many crossings, cars travel fast, construction pushes people and bikes into traffic, and despite lots of use by cyclists, there aren’t bike lanes. As committee person, I’d work to build neighborhood support for making our streets safer for everyone using them.
2. What street, public space, or building in your neighborhood has the best urbanism? What makes this space successful, however you define that?
In my tiny 3-by-4-block division, it’s the “six points” intersection of Cedar, Susquehanna, and Norris with great businesses such as Loco Pez, Reanimator Coffee, and Cedar Point. On a nice day it’s full of neighbors, a natural gathering place. We’re working to make it even better with the addition of a pedestrian plaza.
3. How would you use this neighborhood leadership position to advance urbanist political causes in Philadelphia?
For me, the most important part of being a committee person is voicing neighborhood concerns. Too many cars is an issue for almost everyone in Fishtown: for drivers (and businesses seeking those drivers as customers) because they can’t find a place to park, and for pedestrians and cyclists when cars block crosswalks, sidewalks, or travel lanes. What tools might help? Transit-oriented development, so fewer neighbors need to own a car. Bike lanes - Fishtown and Kensington are a bike lane desert. Plus time-tested solutions like parking meters in business districts, so spots turn over, and law enforcement, so legal parking become the norm.