South Jersey’s pedestrian hostility on full display

Sometimes I get asked why I care so much about urbanism and transportation choice. There are several reasons, but one of the most important to me is this simple axiom: cars kill. South Jerseyist ran this post on December 29th, but a similar post could be written on almost any day of the year, anywhere in America.

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 injuries and deaths on its roadways.

Here’s what’s been happening.

On Sunday, December 28th, at 7pm in Franklin Township, Gloucester County, a police cruiser struck and killed a 10-year old boy “as he walked to a friend’s house for a sleepover.”

Delsea Drive (Route 47) near Elmer Street

Also on Sunday the 28th, in Mount Laurel, Burlington Township, a man walking along South Church Street was struck and killed by a car at 5:25pm.

South Church Street in Mount Laurel South Church Street in Mount Laurel

On Saturday, December 27th, another incident occurred in Franklin Township, Gloucester County, when a man in a…

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News roundup

Sorry to everyone still waiting on Part III of the Pittsburgh Trilogy, but I’m currently fighting off Mutant Death Plague, on liquids and bedrest, and not very good at writing or analytical thinking. Meanwhile, there’s too much news today to let it all go past without mentioning.

  • Inga Saffron, the Philadelphia Inquirer‘s Architecture Critic and unofficial dean of the Philadelphia Urbanism Scribblers’ Corps, is the winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize in Criticism. It’s an honor long overdue. Congratulations, Ms. Saffron!
  • While you have your champagne flutes handy, pour out a small libation for Conrad Benner: SEPTA is announcing the return of all-night subway service on Fridays and Saturdays, starting in mid-June and running through at least Labor Day as a pilot.
  • For anyone not obsessively following this through other channels, the TWU and SEPTA continue to negotiate, and a strike is NOT imminent.
  • SEPTA Budget Hearing season is about to kick off with operating budget hearings in all five counties, starting with Bucks County on Wednesday. Unlike last year’s hearings, which included a triennial major fare hike, this year’s hearings are expected to be quiet and uneventful.

I promise I’ll have Pittsburgh Part III out by Thursday at the latest, and likely earlier.

No, really, I don’t know, and I need one now

The winter of 2013-2014 is shaping up to be the “Winter of the Sneckdown”. The urban-space nerd’s portmanteau of “snowy neckdown” has suddenly become ubiquitous, with Friend of the Blog Jon Geeting’s photoessay on sneckdowns on East Passyunk Ave on This Old City going viral nationally. As the awareness (and buzz) has grown around unplowed snow next to curbs in intersections, the next step was clearly to expand the genre to unplowed islands of snow in the middle of streets: a potential pedestrian plowza. (This from the same twisted mind that gave us honku.)

But I find myself without a snappy, wintry, portmanteau hashtag for the snowy mess that is a Philadelphia bus (or trolley) boarding zone after a snowstorm. And I think I really need one, because there’s as many (or more) of them as there are sneckdowns, at least in my part of North Philly. Any clever wordsmiths out there with a word to spare?

…and a third group expects a joke about binary numbers

I am extraordinarily well-lubricated tonight, having been to both an author interview with Fortune‘s Leigh Gallagher and the Inquirer‘s Inga Saffron, and then Philly Nerd Nite with presentations by SEPTA and MOTU. I have been up many hours, so I won’t be writing things up tonight, but I did want to leave one thought before passing out:

There are two types of people: those who can read a book like Gallagher’s The End Of The Suburbs, and be either cheered or untroubled by it, and those who react strongly negatively because they see an existential threat to their way of life. I and, there’s a strong assumption here, you, are in the first group, as was virtually everyone in the room. The second group has shut down the Federal Government and is threatening default on its financial obligations.

That is way more political than I would like to be with this blog, but there is a cultural-political gap here, the other side of which is poorly represented in these circles. Something to think about tomorrow, anyway.