Made in America will stay on Parkway, but residents would prefer it didn't

Locals neighboring the event cite noise pollution, public urination, traffic

Hadas Kuznits
July 26, 2018 - 6:06 pm
Made in America

Tim Jimenez/KYW Newsradio, file

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — While it seems the city, the tourism community and others outside of the Philadelphia Museum of Art area are happy to be keeping Made In America on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway "for years to come," that doesn't change the fact that some of the neighbors will still have to deal with the noise and other issues stemming from the event. 

Neighbors noted Made In America is a private event during Labor Day weekend that commandeers the community's prime public throughway.

"There are a lot of neighbors who disagree," Mayor Jim Kenney countered. "They want it."

Kenney also noted the area is for public use: "This is a public space and I don't know how to explain to people that this is not your property, it's public property."

Drew Murray, president of the Logan Square Neighborhood Association, said neighbors would like to see the numbers.

"Is there a cost benefit to this event? Are tax dollars being used for a for-profit event?" he asked. "And one of the things we'd like the city to do is to do an economic impact study for this event specifically."

Although Jay-Z donates a portion of the profits to the United Way, Murray would like to see some of those funds invested back into the community in Philadelphia.

"We have plenty of parks and projects in and around the Parkway that could use investment," he added.

Murray said noise, public urination, traffic and parking are some of the nuisances cited by neighbors.

Kenney did not dispute that those issues are an "inconvenience," but there are ways to work around it.

"They can walk or bike. It's an inconvenience," he said, "but I don't want the festival to leave, and it's not going to leave."

Meanwhile, the mayor invited folks to reach out to him with their concerns either on social media, by email at james.kenney@phila.gov, or by calling his office at 215-686-2181.