Twitter helpdesks are too valuable to be turned off so early

I’d like to write an enormous longform piece on how, in the first five weeks of this year, SEPTA and PATCO have been handling the disruptions of winter weather, for better and for worse. In lieu of the time to crank out the 10,000+ words the subject could take, let me take some time this …

South Jersey’s pedestrian hostility on full display

Originally posted on South Jerseyist:
When you think about what’s been going on in the world for the past week, you might be thinking more about Christmas than pedestrian fatalities, but the latter took no holiday this year. Over the course of the past week, South Jersey has seen an astonishing number of serious pedestrian…

I’m supporting The 5th Square. You should too.

Last Monday’s big local news was the announcement of The 5th Square, a new PAC aimed at bringing Philadelphia’s urban space politics into the 21st Century — dragging it kicking and screaming, if necessary. In a year where the exciting transportation news was virtually guaranteed to come out of 1234 Market Street, and the landscape …

Looking back, looking ahead: New Year’s roundup 2015

In the last night of the year, five things we’ll remember from 2014: The year of citizen action.  I have to admit, I wasn’t expecting much when Conrad Benner launched a change.org petition to get SEPTA to run the subways overnight.  But it worked, and now another petition has sparked progress on a second front, in …

December schedule change will carry first fruits of #SEPTAWILM campaign

Back in July, Wilmington-based grad student David Curtis launched an online petition asking Delaware for increased SEPTA Regional Rail service to Wilmington. This week, we are seeing the first results of that show of public support with two new trains to Delaware each weekday. It’s a very promising start. Curtis and I both estimated the …

How do we stop Civil Engineers from killing people?

A young girl is in the hospital, not expected to survive. Her cousin has leg and head injuries, and her mother is also injured. And mild-mannered Minnesotan Chuck Marohn is in a white-hot rage about it. I don’t fundamentally disagree with his point that we’ve shielded civil engineers from our liability- and litigation-happy traditions, and …

Whose roads? Our roads! An introduction to American highway blockade

As the country recoiled Monday night from the injustice of the non-indictment in Ferguson, something genuinely new happened. At first, here in Philadelphia, it was like any other of the sickeningly familiar outpourings of grief and anger that have motivated people into the streets before, with a large mass of people starting at City Hall …

The TWU deal resolves nothing, and that’s fine

When in doubt, punt. The two year contract signed by TWU Local 234 and SEPTA at 11:00 last night is a truce, not a peace treaty. It includes a 5% raise over the two years of the contract term, which is higher than what management was offering and lower than what the union was demanding, …

SEPTA/TWU Strike Kremlinology

The steady drip, drip, drip of signs and portents leaking out of this week’s round of negotiations between SEPTA and its biggest union have finally ended in a press conference that fills me with despair for entirely non-strike-related reasons. The key bit is this: There will not be a strike next Monday. Election Day on …