April 1, 2015 |
Ben Bryant's love for Philadelphia's public pools started on a sweltering summer day. He slogged along South Street when people emerged from a brick facade at 26th Street that hides O'Connor Pool. They looked happy and refreshed. He was curious. The 33-year-old urban planner discovered Philadelphia boasted more outdoor public pools per capita than any other city in the country. Bryant started using Ridgeway Pool at 13th and Christian Streets with his son. He marveled at the recent rise of other public spaces in Philadelphia, and always had an idea for improving the city's pools.
March 14, 2015 |
A Philadelphia taxi ride used to be one of those luxurious indulgences where you could escape, however briefly, from your over-scheduled life and spend a few precious minutes staring out the window, lost in thought. Now every trip begins with a backseat television screen laying claim to your eyeballs. At least you still have the option of hitting the off button. If a bill sponsored by Councilman Mark Squilla is put to a final vote later this month, the mere act of walking through the streets of Center City will become a lot like a cab ride, but without the off button.
December 23, 2014 |
It may be time to reassess your priorities when a failure to take care of supposedly less important issues is affecting your primary goal. Take the "broken windows" approach to policing, which calls for minor crimes such as littering or disturbing the peace to be swiftly and appropriately punished, sending the message that no degree of criminality will be tolerated. Unfortunately, that hasn't been the way traffic violations have been handled in Philadelphia. Consequently, too many dangerous drivers who at least should have had their licenses taken away are still on the road, and other people have died as a result.
November 13, 2014 |
Phone apps that give heightened meaning to the phrase "prized parking space" are about to face pushback from the city. City Council's Streets and Services Committee on Wednesday advanced a bill aimed at shutting down phone apps that allow drivers to bid on and sell public parking spots. The bill amends the city's parking regulations to make it illegal to sell, lease, or reserve public parking spots. Boston, San Francisco, and Los Angeles have introduced or passed similar ordinances after apps such as Monkey Parking and Haystack started becoming popular in those cities, said Councilman William Greenlee, who sponsored the bill.
October 29, 2014 |
YOU KNOW THOSE pesky dirt bikes and all-terrain vehicles that zip around, weaving through traffic in the warmer months, making any drive through some Philadelphia neighborhoods a nightmare? Now there are about three dozen fewer of them on the streets, thanks to a daylong undercover bust around the city yesterday by Major Crimes Unit cops and other officers who are part of a detail aimed at getting the illegal vehicles off city streets. As yesterday's sting neared its end about 7 p.m., Chief Inspector Dennis Wilson, of Regional Operations Command North, said officers had seized 34 dirt bikes and ATVs.
September 27, 2014 |
Unlike so many of Philadelphia's polar-vortex-ravaged streets, the stretch of 22d between Spring Garden Street and Fairmount Avenue is as smooth and dark as a chocolate bar. It was repaved in August, and yet no white lines ruffle its silky surface. The way things are going, there won't be any for a long time. Perhaps if the Streets Department had simply presented the roadwork as an effort to calm traffic, reduce crashes, and make the street safer for pedestrians, those stripes and glyphs would have been painted on long ago. Instead, the department's traffic engineers made the mistake of mentioning the B-word - as in bike lane - and now the worthy improvement project is ensnared in the web of City Council politics.
August 21, 2014 |
For Anton Moore, engaging people through social media, word of mouth, and street-corner conversation has been a way of building bridges between people and communities. Concerned about violence this year between young men in his South Philadelphia community and those of Southwest Philadelphia, Moore, 28, thought of bridges. "What I wanted to do was open the dialogue up," Moore said last week, "to bring leaders together to build a rapport and get on a first-name basis so that we could work together.
August 7, 2014 |
Thomas A. Mills Sr., 84, of Northeast Philadelphia, an educator and longtime city administrator, died Saturday, Aug. 2, of complications from liver cancer at Paul's Run on Bustleton Avenue. In the 1960s and 1970s, under Mayors James H.J. Tate and Frank L. Rizzo, Dr. Mills served as Philadelphia's first deputy managing director and its chief deputy Common Pleas Court administrator. He served as Philadelphia's first deputy finance director in the 1980s under Mayors William J. Green III and W. Wilson Goode Sr. "My memory of Tom was that he was a good person, a great public servant, and the city was lucky to have him," Green said.
May 2, 2014 |
AS THE WEATHER warms, the sounds of summer are starting: birds singing, the ping of baseballs hitting bats, the chatter of children frolicking outdoors - and the roar of dirt bikes and ATVs tearing around city streets and parks. That last urban bane already has prompted Philadelphia police to issue their annual appeal to citizens: They want fans of four-wheelers and dirt bikes to stay off public property and residents to report scofflaws. "These vehicles are not legal to drive on the city streets.
March 24, 2014 |
ONLY ABOUT once every 30 years does Philadelphia see the kind of winter just past, with 19 separate snowfalls and extreme temperature fluctuations. And that's why the city is on track to fill the most potholes in its history, city officials say. Readers may have noticed the "Crater Philly" graphic that ran in the Daily News for weeks, with many writing in to share their tumultuous tales of breaks in the blacktop, with their cars taking the beating. Typical is this plea from Stacey Scanlan: "Please urgently fix the potholes on City Ave. from just before [St. Joseph's]