August 24, 2015 |
MY THURSDAY column about bogus towing in Bridesburg brought a lickety-split response from the 15th Police District. "There are to be no more tickets written for the block of Richmond Street between Buckius and Lefevre" streets, said Philly Police spokeswoman Christine O'Brien, referring to an order from district Capt. John McCloskey. "Also, Major Crimes is looking into the towing situation. If vehicles have been towed illegally, there could be arrests down the road for those incidents.
August 22, 2015 |
As Philadelphia suffered through the recession and its aftermath, the city fell behind in replenishing old and battered emergency vehicles. As a result, precious minutes often were lost by firefighters rushing to fires and accident victims being taken to hospitals. At one point in 2012, the fund to replace aging ladder trucks, pumper trucks, ambulances, and other vehicles sank to $98,000. Considering that a new ladder truck can cost 10 times that, it's important that the next mayor continue Mayor Nutter's plan to invest $36.5 million over the next five years in new emergency equipment.
August 20, 2015 |
Rachel De Barros launched her first car-related business while a student at Ohio University. She printed pink fliers with her name and phone number, promoting herself as a door-to-door mechanic. An oil change? Brake job? Simple repair? De Barros was for hire. No one called. "I would wait by the phone, like, Come on! I need money, " said De Barros, 37, of Feasterville, staring at a spot on the table where a phone would be. "So I changed the fliers, made them white, and wrote, 'Call Jimmy.' Then I started getting calls.
August 17, 2015 |
The Philadelphia medic noticed smoke rising from the engine just as he steered his ambulance off I-95. He and his partner were on their way to a medical emergency when their ambulance began to smoke. Then, a bang - a "loud explosion," the medic remembered. They pulled over and scrambled from their seats as the smoke grew heavy and thick. On the side of the road, they watched as flames licked up the side of the ambulance. In the year since that fire in 2014, sources and records obtained by The Inquirer indicate that accident wasn't an anomaly - that an ambulance bursting into flames is just an extreme example of the deteriorating, sometimes dangerous fleet operated by the Philadelphia Fire Department.
August 12, 2015 |
A 24-year-old woman and 30-year-old man were killed in a rollover crash in Crescentville early Monday, police said. Rosagna Galvez was driving a 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee southbound on Roosevelt Boulevard at a high speed, accompanied by a man identified as Jeifrey or Jeifry Chevez. She attempted a right turn at Adams Avenue at about 2:30 a.m., police said. The vehicle crossed the grassy median on the Boulevard and then hopped the curb. According to police investigators, the vehicle struck a sign on Adams Avenue and then hit a utility box with a concrete base.
June 23, 2015 |
Cars, cars, parked everywhere in South Philadelphia. On expansive lots below the Walt Whitman Bridge, on parcels at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. On Norfolk Southern Corp. rail land, and along the old Mustin military airfield now part of 200 acres known as Southport, at the eastern end of the Navy Yard. Since August 2010, when Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp. moved their vehicle-import business from Baltimore and Newark, N.J., ports to Philadelphia's waterfront, the number of shiny Hyundai Sonatas and Kia Sorentos rolling off ships has risen from 127,406 in 2011 to 143,258 in 2012 and 151,296 last year.
June 8, 2015 |
Dana Russell was driving up Roosevelt Boulevard on a freezing February afternoon in 2011 when he realized the car he just passed was his stolen Chevy Impala. Ten days before, two men had hijacked the burgundy sedan from his wife. "They all got guns on them, I know that for sure," Russell told the police dispatcher as he turned around and tailed his stolen car into North Philadelphia. The officer asked how he knew. " 'Cause my wife was robbed at gunpoint. " At the wheel of the 2000 Impala sat Frederick Bell, 41, an ex-con with a long rap sheet.
May 18, 2015 |
Adam Supplee drives his Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid each weekday from his Collegeville home to work in Phoenixville. Usually, he drops it off at the electric car charging station at the Phoenixville Municipal Building parking lot and walks to work. But when Supplee returned to the lot from a meeting Thursday afternoon, he found a Nissan Leaf and a Ford C-Max using both available plugs - a first since the free stations opened in October. "I was kind of pleasantly surprised," said Supplee, 42, a landscape architect.
May 7, 2015 |
Here's a clever way to secure a parking spot on Philadelphia's congested streets and help save the planet, too. Buy an electric vehicle. Under a little-publicized program, EV owners can apply to the Philadelphia Parking Authority to install a curbside charger in front of their homes. If approved, the PPA will mark the spot with EV-only parking signs. It's more effective than the time-honored trick of using lawn chairs to save a parking spot. And it's backed by the authority of legions of eager PPA enforcement officers.
March 28, 2015 |
SEPTA plans to spend $535 million next year to buy new vehicles, replace and repair rail bridges, upgrade train stations, and begin overhauling its Center City subway concourse. The proposed capital budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1 is $37 million, or 6.4 percent less than the current capital budget, which contained a one-time infusion of $85 million in federal funding. Among the projected spending is about $160 million earmarked to replace and overhaul vehicles. That will include 13 new locomotives, the first of 525 hybrid buses that will be purchased over five years, and the start of procuring about 45 bi-level railcars to increase capacity on the Regional Rail lines.