Shooting has little impact Students said last night that despite Wednesday's shooting in front of McDonald's at 40th and Walnut streets they would not change their walking patterns or avoid the northwestern edge of campus. "Just because a few bad guys decided to have a shootout around there doesn't change anything," Engineering sophomore Urrich Kausch said last night. "It is one incident that happened . . . This is West Philly, you just need general awareness and to be careful." Police are still looking for a man who shot and killed another man outside McDonald's at about 10:25 p.m. Wednesday night. And University Police Commissioner John Kuprevich said he thinks the incident could have happened anywhere in the city. "It literally could have happened anywhere," Kuprevich said last night. "[There is] no indication that it occured because of the area." The corner -- which is infamous on the University's campus for housing what students casually label McDeath and Burglar King -- has been the site of University safety improvements in the past few years. Most recently, the University has planned constructing a new police station joined with a parking garage on the parking lot across the street from McDonald's. The planned construction has been halted due to the current building moratorium. "The idea is that by putting the police station in the project, just by its presence, it would change the way the whole corner operates," University Real Estate Director Christopher Mason said. Mason and Executive Vice President Marna Whittington added that several years ago, the University considered putting the McDonald's in the same structure to further increase the safety of the neighborhood. However, it was later decided that the McDonald's move would not be feasible due to financial reasons and the difficulty of installing a McDonald's "Drive Thru" window in the ground floor of the parking garage. Several years ago, the University also negotiated with McDonald's to reduce their hours from 24 hours to closed evenings. "We have changed a number of things in the retail establishments by working with them," Whittington said. The University has also improved the safety of the area by negotiating with the two nearby movie theaters to stagger the times of the movies. The University does not own the property or building in which McDonald's is housed, but, through University City Associates, it controls the property east of the nearby video game arcade to the Hardee's/Roy Rogers restaurant at 39th and Walnut streets. The University has also attempted to change the area through a land swap with the Free Library of Philadelphia. The current deal gives the University control of the land and library building, while giving the library a modern location inside the new structure for 99 years at a nominal fee. Many members of the neighborhood have publicly opposed the land swap, which has been complicated since the party which donated the land to the city stipulated that if the library leaves the property its value must be given to the party's heirs. Staff writer Stephanie Desmon contributed to this story.Comments powered by Disqus
Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.