July 27, 2015 |
A casual observer of Philadelphia's papal preparations could be forgiven for wondering whether the city is girding for a sharknado - or some other disaster as improbable as the one featured in the Syfy channel's C movies. With officials planning to close Center City and more to vehicles, dramatically restrict mass transit, and corral crowds behind 8-foot fences, it sounds as if little will be mobile besides the popemobile. Last week brought more cause for reflection, not to say prayer, when SEPTA's sale of special Regional Rail passes failed to leave the station.
June 18, 2015 |
To cope with the unprecedented crowds anticipated for Pope Francis' visit in September, SEPTA plans to double its rail and subway capacity, limit train stops, and carry only Regional Rail passengers who purchased special passes in advance. Officials of SEPTA, Amtrak, PATCO, and other agencies joined Mayor Nutter at City Hall on Tuesday to outline transportation plans for the papal visit and the World Meeting of Families. As many as two million people are expected to jam the Benjamin Franklin Parkway to see the pope at a Saturday festival and again at a Sunday Mass on Sept.
May 27, 2015
ISSUE | SCHOOLS Priorities skewed It's ironic that the School District is spending more than $1.37 million to suppress an employee's freedom of speech while one of its neighborhood schools, with which I am familiar - Emlen Elementary - has to rely on charity and volunteers to provide its students with a school library ("Blow the whistle," May 21). |Deborah Grill, Philadelphia ISSUE | NEW JAIL Different pocket Although Jim Kenney objects to building a new House of Correction because the schools need the money, the funds to build would come from the capital budget - not the operating budget, where money for school funding emanates.
September 19, 2014 |
Like cartoon thought bubbles, a series of bold, red decals will be appearing on sidewalks around Philadelphia this week. City transit planners are hoping the decals will inspire passersby to think about - and give feedback on - the potential of the 85 tagged sites as station locations for the city's long-awaited bike-share system. The stickers, designed by Mural Arts Program artist Eurhi Jones, are part of a high-tech and, according to the city, unprecedented effort to incorporate public opinion in shaping the system, which will launch in May with 600 bikes and 60 docking stations over 8.28 square miles.
March 14, 2014
When New Jersey Turnpike officials complete a massive widening project stretching from South Jersey to New Brunswick, there will be plenty of additional elbow room for motorists. In fact, the now heavily used expressway might get downright lonely at times. The same could be true of a new Delaware River bridge near Trenton, as well as additional interchanges on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. While the region's engineers once predicted substantial increases in traffic in coming years - for the Jersey artery, projections called for southbound traffic to nearly double in less than three decades - real-time reports show volumes are flat or even falling.
March 12, 2014 |
Ridership on buses, trains, and subways in 2013 was the highest in 57 years, the American Public Transportation Association said Monday. The growth in transit ridership continued a 20-year trend attributed to higher gasoline prices, a shift by young adults away from automobiles, increased use of mobile technology, and the increasing allure of urban areas. "There is a fundamental shift going on in the way we move about our communities," said APTA president Michael Melaniphy. In 2013, riders made 10.7 billion trips on U.S. public transit systems, up 1.1 percent from 2012.
February 4, 2014 |
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - By the time the fifth train from Secaucus rolled into MetLife Stadium with another thousand fans Sunday, both sides of this very Jersey Super Bowl were already defeated. By Secaucus. They slumped off the train silently, overheated, claustrophobic, transformed from upbeat football fans from out West into huddled masses of East Coast commuters, bitter and sarcastic about their long commute on NJ Transit. "Jersey sucks!" they had shouted in unison while stuck for 90 minutes in a Secaucus stairwell, some with only their Seattle Skittles to sustain them, dour demeanors in contrast to the bright sherbet colors of Bronco orange and Seahawk lime.
December 13, 2013
(WITH APOLOGIES to Joyce Kilmer.) I THINK THAT I shall never like Anything as much as my bike. A bike that makes me feel so free, Because the laws don't apply to me. I go through lights of red, you've seen, It doesn't matter 'cause I'm green. Your sidewalks are made for me, And on them I park for free. At no stop signs do I halt. If you hit me - it's your fault. I'll ride forever, there's no doubt. (Or until 40, when knees give out.)
December 9, 2013 |
Connor Barwin lives in the shadows of Philadelphia's skyline with a silhouette of Detroit's skyline etched on his right biceps. His Twitter profile lists two locations: "Detroit, Philadelphia. " The Detroit area is his hometown. Philadelphia is now his home. Barwin is not one who just passes through wherever he's living. The son of a city manager, Barwin yearns to be engaged with a sense of civic pride that is sometimes rare in such a transient industry. He played sports on both sides of 8 Mile Road while growing up around Detroit.