May 10, 2016
To celebrate the first-year success of Indego, Philadelphia's bike-sharing program, its staff recently donned T-shirts sporting the slogan "Inbudget, Incontrol, Independent, Inshape. " Given the soaring popularity of Indego, which saw riders straddle its distinctive teal bicycles more than 420,000 times last year, the day may come when "In Every Zip Code" will be added to that list. But for that to happen, Indego's scope, ambition - and, yes, funding - will have to grow too. It was evident at Indego's first birthday celebration - which took place on the Race Street Pier, complete with a cake-cutting by Mayor Kenney - that there is substantial demand for a bike-sharing system that reaches deeper into city neighborhoods.
March 25, 2016 |
VISION ZERO, Complete Streets, Smart Growth or any other name it is called is an attack upon drivers. Vision Zero started in Sweden as an approach to minimizing traffic accidents and fatalities, including cars hitting bicyclists and pedestrians. This initiative is being heavily pushed by the Kenney administration and the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia. Basically, the initiative is designed to make life so miserable that people will not drive. The speed-camera aspect is the most outrageous one. Where these are used, the speed limits are artificially low and tickets go out to drivers just barely above the speed limit.
February 12, 2016
By Andrew Stober Last week, a woman and her two children, one 5 years old and the other an infant, were struck and injured in a hit-and-run while crossing a street around the corner from my home in South Philadelphia. On the same day, the Kenney administration announced plans to appoint a "complete streets commissioner. " In a single day, then, the city had seen a brutal example of its traffic violence crisis as well as some hope for a solution. Our neighbors and children are hit by vehicles while crossing Philadelphia's streets with alarming frequency.
January 28, 2016 |
A powerful ally has joined the region's battle to move and remove some of the trillion pounds of snow that has descended upon Philadelphia and its neighboring counties during the weekend: Nature. As signs of normality emerged from all those white mounds on Tuesday, afternoon temperatures well into the 40s subtly trimmed back snowbanks on the region's roads. Philadelphia reported 80 percent of its streets were passable. Nearly every school that remained closed was preparing to open Wednesday.
January 27, 2016
A look at the city's response to the storm this weekend: 1,800 miles of city streets plowed. 10,000 tons of salt used. 390 plows in operation. 1,600 city workers in Streets, Office of Emergency Management, and other offices. 23,000 police and fire responses over the weekend. 34 percent increase in fire and EMS calls. 102 homeless provided supportive services. 2,000 individuals in city shelters. 9,000 calls to the city's 311 center.
December 5, 2015 |
When a car hits another car, a person or a bike, don't call it an accident . That was the refrain at a conference Thursday about making Philadelphia's streets safer. "This is not an accident ," said Denise Goren, director of the Mayor's Office of Transportation and Utilities, of automobile crashes during one of the daylong event's panel discussions. "What we're talking about here are crashes we can avoid. " Vision Zero Philadelphia, hosted by the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia and Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, brought together city planners, elected officials, cops and staff from nonprofits.
December 4, 2015 |
Despite early assurances that the World Meeting of Families would pay all costs for the papal visit, the city said Wednesday that taxpayer dollars would cover nearly half the costs related to the event - about $8 million. The city spent $17 million on Pope Francis' visit in late September, according to the city's budget director, most of it to pay for police and fire services. The city has sent a bill to the World Meeting seeking nearly $9 million. City Controller Alan Butkovitz - a frequent critic of Mayor Nutter's - said the amount being billed to the World Meeting was far below his expectations.
October 14, 2015
WHO OWNS city streets? If it's those who live in the city, we should all get a say. Does anyone get a veto? I'll answer that a little later. The issue of who owns city streets arose after the Papal Lockdown emptied our downtown core of vehicles. No citizen had a say. The onetime "Francis Festival Grounds" gave some people the giddy joy of riding their bikes in the streets, or walking in them, or rolling in them, without cars. A fair reading of what some had to say seemed like it was a psychosexual or religious experience.
October 6, 2015 |
In Philadelphia's long history, there's not been an event that so captivated a national and global audience of millions as the awe-inspiring visit of Pope Francis. For two days, an eternity in the continuous news cycle of 21st-century media, this humble religious man with an entrancing smile was at the center of massive public events with the city's stunning streetscape framing his every move. Spectators and viewers were mesmerized. For this city and region, the publicity and brand exposure, if you will, is undoubtedly beyond calculation.
October 5, 2015 |
For Jake Liefer the most unexpected perk of the papal visit weekend happened not on the Parkway or at Independence Hall, but in the serene streets of the city, where he got to take his 1-year-old daughter with him on their first bicycle ride together. "I felt safe riding on these open streets with pedestrians and other bike riders and without having to worry about cars," the Point Breeze resident said. "It was so joyful without cars honking, engines revving. " There was also the yogi striking warrior poses on the middle of Race Street; the three friends lying on their stomachs at Broad and Locust smiling for a picture; and all the parents, who, like Liefer , took their children out to play in city streets typically too congested for such activities.