The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Thursday, February 27, 2003  

Mayor Street to Reopen Chestnut Street

Victory at last!

In a blow to the paranoid management of the National Park Service, Philadelphia Mayor John F. Street (D) announced today that the 500 block of Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, would reopen as normal on April 1, the Philadelphia Inquirer is reporting this afternoon. ("Mayor to Reopen Chestnut Street," by Linda K. Harris.)

"I have looked at this issue. I took a great personal interest in it. . . . There is one inescapable conclusion that I think almost any reasonable person has to reach and that is, simply closing off Chestnut Street does not do a whole lot to preserve and protect Independence Hall from people who might be determined to destroy it," Mayor Street said.

Yes, Mayor Street took a "great personal interest" in this issue, visiting the closed block of Chestnut Street earlier this month for the first time since September 2001, 17 months after the city, in conjunction with the National Park Service, closed the short but crucial block to pedestrian and vehicular traffic in response to perceived potential terrorist threats to the historic area, which includes such national treasures as Independence Hall, Independence Park, Congress Hall, Old City Hall, and the Liberty Bell Pavilion.

Regardless, this nonsense is over.

The campaign to reopen Chestnut Street, spearheaded by the Free Chestnut Street Coalition, and an issue about which the Review reported on February 18 and February 4, and about which TRR: The Lighter Side of Rittenhouse reported on January 21, has been a resounding success, a victory not only for the city of Philadelphia and its residents but for the entire nation.

Could this a sign that the tide of national insanity is turning?

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