October 16, 2013
New evidence that proximity to a rail station can increase a home's value underscores mass transit's importance to Pennsylvania's economy. A study commissioned by SEPTA found that homes near train stations in Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Bucks Counties are worth an average of $7,900 more as a result. According to the study, conducted by Econsult Solutions, homes within a half-mile of a rail station are worth about 10 percent more than those that are at least three miles away. Stations with more service, like ample parking and frequent rush-hour trains, have a greater effect on property prices.
October 14, 2013 |
HARRISBURG - The coming week could determine the fate of billions of dollars in new funding for roads, bridges, and mass transit in Pennsylvania. Republicans who control the House of Representatives have been working behind the scenes with Democratic colleagues and the Corbett administration to negotiate a transportation funding plan with enough support to finally pass the chamber. GOP House officials said they expected to reach an agreement in days, and bring it up for a full floor vote the week of Oct. 21. If they can't, the odds of reviving the bill this year or next are slim - and "the transportation issue is probably over," said Dave Thomas, legal counsel to House Speaker Sam Smith (R., Jefferson)
October 3, 2013
HOW YOU ENJOYING your government shutdown thus far? What's that? You say your government's been shut down? Oh, you must be thinking about this Congress passing the fewest bills of any Congress since it began keeping such stats 66 years ago. And, of course, acting like wood-headed puppets in a never-ending production from The Theatre of the Absurd. No budgets, no raising the debt ceiling, no peace, no hope, just "The Myth of Sisyphus. " Or maybe you're referring to the state Legislature's ongoing failure to deal with anything more substantial than a resolution designating October as "Wine, Wineries and Grape Month.
September 12, 2013
THE LATEST evidence about the importance of mass transit to the region comes from a Center City District release this week that revealed that nearly 70 percent of workers who live in Center City use public transportation to get to work. Imagine the traffic nightmare if they all decided tomorrow to drive their cars to get to their jobs. Major roads would become parking lots. And don't even talk about the Schuylkill Expressway. It seems a self-evident truth that SEPTA, with its 337 million riders a year, is a vital part of the region's economy.
August 20, 2013
No doubt reports of the demise of car ownership in Philadelphia and other metropolitan areas are premature - just ask any driver idling away a rush hour on the Schuylkill. But the gathering evidence that driving is being seen as something less than a required rite of youthful passage should be welcome in Philadelphia and other cities that offer so many ways to get around - and in regions whose air quality can only benefit from a drop in the number of people behind the wheel. Driver licensing among 19-year-olds has fallen 20 percent over the last two decades, and nearly half of that decline took place in the last few years.
August 12, 2013 |
CONSTRUCTION ON the eagerly awaited boardwalk extension of the Schuylkill Banks trail is chugging along, with its slated completion date of August 2014 mostly intact. Weather delays this winter, however, could add a month or two to the contraction timeline, said Lane Fike, director of capital programs at the Schuylkill River Development Corporation. "They have to pour the concrete on the deck, and that is dependent on weather," he explained. "We're pretty happy with the progress.
August 11, 2013
Wrong recourse for elusive justice The horror that occurred in Saylorsburg last week is a tragedy plain and simple ("Poconos shooter had other options, neighbors say," Aug. 8). That no one has the right to gun down others is also clear, both morally and legally. But coverage of the fatal shootings at a municipal building missed an opportunity to talk about access to justice, and the consequences of a society that makes justice and participatory democracy an illusion. Our Constitution creates the foundation for a system to allow ordinary citizens a voice and civilized recourse to settle disputes.
July 1, 2013 |
They might as well be on different planets. For all the talk of the youth vote, the growing electoral power of Latinos, and the gender gap, demographers know that the sharpest divide in American politics lies between urban and rural areas. Downstate Illinois resents Chicago. Outstate Michigan hates Detroit. Upstate New York is none too fond of the city of the same name. Then there's Pennsylvania. Right now, the most powerful current feeding Harrisburg's gridlock on the budget, transportation funding, and Medicaid expansion may well be the fear and loathing many upstate lawmakers have of the state's largest city.