Report: Philadelphia Drivers Among the Worst in the U.S.

Allstate’s annual America’s Best Drivers Report is out, and Philadelphia doesn’t fare so well. Among the 200 cities Allstate ranks for safe driving, Philadelphia finished 192nd. In the report, Philadelphia ranks lowest of any city with more than 700,000 people.

To be fair, there are a few comparable East Coast cities with worse drivers than Philly: Boston ranks 199th (Worcester, Mass., is last), while Washington D.C. is 198th and Baltimore is 195th. Take that, other reasonably sized nearby cities! (Philly also beat some smaller cities: Glendale, Calif.; Alexandria, Virginia; Springfield, Mass.; and Providence.) Los Angeles ranked 188th, Pittsburgh 187th and New York City 155th.

Read more »

Hey Jerk! Use Your Freaking Turn Signal!

Shutterstock.com

Shutterstock.com

The other day on my way home from work, when I was a block away from my house, I pulled over and called my son Jake, who’s back from college for the summer. I asked him to come out to the front porch and check if my left-hand turn signal light was out. He emerged onto the porch as I pulled up, and turned two big thumbs up as I tested first my left-hand signal and then the right one. “Both working,” he assured me when I got out. “What’s up?”

“Some jerk pulled right out in front of me at the four-way stop at Wilson and Franklin,” I told him. “I absolutely had the right-of-way, and I had my left-hand turn signal on. And he still nearly plowed into me. I figured the light must be out.” Because, really, why else would somebody almost drive into my car like that?

Jake shrugged. “I don’t know what to tell you. He was an idiot, I guess.” Read more »

PA Bill Would Let Cops Use Radar to Capture Speeders

This is not happening in Pennsylvania.

This is not happening in Pennsylvania.

Here’s good news if you’re a speeder: Pennsylvania does’t do that much to slow you down —we’re the only state in the nation that doesn’t let local police use radar guns to capture speeders. (No, we didn’t know that either.)

Here’s the bad news for everybody else: Lots of people die in speed-related accidents. PennLive reports that the state saw 615 speed-related fatalities in 2012 — more than double the national average. (The report doesn’t say if that figure takes into account that Pennsylvania is one of the higher-population states. Still: That’s a lot.)

So legislators are considering — again — letting law enforcement officials in this state do what every other state does, and let officers use technology to deter and capture speeding motorists. (See the bill.)

Read more »

My Lousy Driving Is Costing You Money

bad-driving-940x540

When I drive I sometimes go over the speed limit. When I park in the city I sometimes overstay my time. On occasion I’ve been guilty of texting while driving.  I’m rarely caught. I hardly ever pay fines. Do you blame me? That’s understandable. But don’t just blame me. Blame the city. Blame your township. Blame Harrisburg. They’re not doing enough to catch guys like me when I do the wrong thing behind the wheel. All it takes is a little technology, a few changes in the law and a different approach:

Read more »

Maybe Philly Drivers and Bicyclists Actually Like Fighting With Each Other

drivers-vs-cyclists-2-940x540

A few weeks ago, after tipping back a few too many beers, a friend of mine opened up about his girlfriend and their loving but altogether contentious long-term relationship. The one constant? Non-stop arguing over topics big and small (mostly small). Though they’re rarely super-serious, purée-each-other’s-emotions heavyweight bouts, the scraps are consistent enough to merit front-and-center billing on the cute, weird Pinterest board that is their romantic life.

Talking, and drinking, about it helped him come to a realization.

“Dude,” he said, eyes bugging in terror like he’d just spotted the crest of Godzilla’s head rising from the bay. “I think she actually likes fighting.”

This got me thinking about two local groups whom I’ve long suspected secretly get kicks out of battling each other: Philadelphia’s motorists and Philadelphia’s bicyclists. Now that the weather’s finally broken, plenty of locals are pumping their tires and greasing their chains in preparation for three full seasons of city biking. And just as quickly as the bipedal crowd has emerged from the freeze, so too have the bad attitudes. Bikers screaming at drivers! Drivers screaming at bikers! Pedestrians screaming at both of them! Quick, everyone — corner the urbanite closest to you and tell them how much they fucking suck!

Read more »

Poll: Do You Want Speed Cameras In Philadelphia?

Family Struck on Highway

Pennsylvania State Senator Mike Stack has proposed legislation to install speed cameras in Northeast Philadelphia along the downright treacherous Roosevelt Boulevard. The idea is simple: You speed, a camera detects your infraction, and you get a ticket in the mail. And now it sounds like influential State Representative Brian Sims may be throwing his support behind Stack’s plan. Read more »

Shore Trip Confessional: Peeing on the Garden State Parkway

cape-may-940x540

Last week I played hooky from my day job and drove to Cape May. The goal: Lock myself into a hotel room facing the ocean and work on a possible book project while enjoying what I consider a profound luxury — room service.

I was more than halfway there, on the Garden State Parkway just over the bridge between Ocean City and Sea Isle, when the front passenger tire blew. I pulled off to the side of the road, and after the shaking in my hands stopped, reached into my wallet to pull out my AAA card.

Read more »

In Philadelphia, It’s the Worst Winter for Potholes — Ever

Utility trench or Pothole at 18th and walnut rittenhouse

On the heels of yesterdays’ news of our snowiest half-decade ever, there’s an interesting fact in this story by PlanPhilly’s Christine Fisher: The Philadelphia Streets Department has filled more potholes this winter than any one in history. Like, probably dating back to 1682 or something.

“It’s been an unusually tough winter, and with potholes being repaired at a record pace an increased investment in paving is being made in this capital budget,” said Andrew Stober, chief of staff at the Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities.

The Streets Department has already repaired more than 12,200 potholes.

Read more »

« Older Posts