Wednesday Roundup

Things that are happening that I haven’t been able to catch up on yet:

  • If you live or work in West Philly, your trolleys have been diverting to 40th/Market since Friday night, and will continue doing so for the rest of this week, next week, and the weekend after that. Why? SEPTA Media Relations explains what is going on in the trolley tunnel:
  • The SEPTA Night Owl Subway trial has been extended from Labor Day to November 2nd, to see if the spectacular ridership numbers stay high enough to make rail service a permanent feature of our Friday and Saturday nights.
  • Friend of the Blog David Curtis is meeting with the arithmetically-challenged CEO of Dart First State, John Sisson, to discuss the petition Curtis spearheaded to make SEPTA service in the First State not resemble a giant middle finger.
  • Rep. Chaka Fattah wants to rename 30th Street Station after his mentor, Bill Gray. It would be a better tribute to Rep. Gray if he had something named for him that had a snowball’s chance in hell of actually associating with his name; every Philadelphian I’ve talked to has said that they intend to refer to the station as 30th Street in perpetuity, regardless of what Congress thinks. Meanwhile, Bennett Levin eviscerates the idea on the merits, or lack thereof.
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4 thoughts on “Wednesday Roundup”

  1. I applaud the approach SEPTA is taking with the “blitz”, it makes sense to me. What I don’t understand is why the pedestrian concourse connecting the BSL platforms to Suburban Station had to close as well. If workers had left the temporary walls in place through the “blitz”, why couldn’t that connection have stayed active w/o access to the trolleys?

  2. I don’t doubt that it will continue to be primarily called 30th St Station for the first decade after a name change, but after that all bets are off. Your “every Philadelphian I’ve talked to” includes zero people who moved to (or were born in) the city after its name was Bill Gray Station, and they’re who will determine whether the change sticks. There are some people who still say “Washington National Airport” rather than “Reagan National”, but it’s a diminishing number; I could see 30th St going the same way.

    I’m not saying it’s a lock; some old names have staying power, and some new names just never garner any support – “Avenue of the Americas” comes to mind. But I don’t think sampling Philadelphians circa 2014 can tell you much about 2034.

    1. This seems like an honorary renaming with no real consequence. There is a precedence here: Wilmington Station has been renamed after Joe Biden, and Secaucus Station has been renamed after Frank Lautenberg. Neither renaming has made it into official maps or schedules, so nobody uses the “new” names.

      Given the tendency of politicians to name things after other politicians, whether or not they really deserve such an honor, the whole practice really ought to be banned.

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