This wasn’t the best day for my editor to ask if I wanted to write about driving on the Schuylkill Expressway. Today it took me an hour and 39 minutes to get from my front door to the parking garage across the street from our office building — a total distance of 37 of the most heavily traveled highway miles in the United States. That’s not bad. It’s about average, in fact, for my morning ride. Along the way, I encountered four pothole crews, three miscellaneous lane restrictions, two disabled vehicles, eight dead deer, countless rotting raccoons, and the same sweet company I have every single morning and night on this road.
Then again, this morning, for the first time in the 20-plus years I’ve made this commute, I found myself forming my hand into the shape of a gun and firing it at another driver. So yeah, maybe this is the right day to introduce you to my favorite traveling companions. In ascending order of assholedom, here are the 10 Worst Drivers on the Schuylkill Expressway. Read more »
If you drive a giant, appallingly ugly Hummer around Philadelphia, is it hard to sleep at night? Do all your neighbors hate you? Or is it heavenly because you can soar over potholes without feeling a thing?
If you’ve ever asked yourself these questions, author Doug DeMuro, who writes for Jalopnik, has answers for you. Read more »
On Earth Day last week, we told you about the saga of a Philly Hummer owner being berated by his neighbor in an anonymous letter.
Author Doug DeMuro, who writes for Jalopnik, received a nasty note on his ugly, yellow Hummer parked outside of his home in Northern Liberties. It read, “This is not an appropriate parking spot for this huge vehicle. It blocks traffic, is an eye sore to the neighborhood and also blocks street vision. Please move it.”
DeMuro, in turn, called out the letter writer in a column, saying that, among other things, “The neighbor’s final complaint is that the Hummer blocks street vision. Unfortunately, this makes no sense: street vision is not a real thing, because the street does not have eyes. It is a street.”
Since then, we’ve talked to DeMuro — and he has good news for his Anony-neighbor.
Read more »
Millennials hate cars. They’re all about Uber and bicycles and subways, right? Well, apparently the conventional wisdom is now wrong. Like really wrong. According to a Bloomberg report out this week, there’s been a steep rise in Gen-Y car buyers over the past five years:
They’ve zoomed past Gen X to become the second-largest group of new car buyers after their boomer parents. Millennials are starting to find jobs and relocating to the suburbs and smaller cities, where public transport is spotty.
Citing J.D. Power & Associates data, Bloomberg writes that in 2010, Millennials accounted for 18 percent of new car sales in the U.S.; in 2014, they were buying 27 percent of cars sold. This suggests that Millennials weren’t steering clear of cars because they preferred life as pedestrians, but rather because they couldn’t afford cars, what with the dismal job market and the Great Recession. Now that wages and employment are picking up for Millennials, they’re the fastest-growing market for auto-sales. Read more »
Fair warning: If you own a hideous, environment-killing, yellow Hummer in Philadelphia, your neighbor may anonymously leave a mean note on your car, call it an “eye sore,” and urge you to move it from the spot outside your house where you, quite reasonably, park it.
That’s what happened to author/columnist Doug DeMuro, who writes for Jalopnik, on Friday. Read more »
The Spot parking app is coming to Philly.
Picture this. You’re driving around Center City looking for a parking space. Forget about finding a free one, that’s just not going to happen. So you look for a metered spot. No luck. After 15 minutes of circling the block, you give up and park in a garage or lot.
When you exit the lot, you pass a private parking lot that’s empty. Why couldn’t I have just parked there? Soon, you’ll be able to with Spot. Read more »
For the first time since 2008, Americans logged more than 3 trillion miles of driving last year. That’s according to new data released by the Federal Highway Administration, which shows driving mileage increased 1.7 percent nationwide in 2014 — faster growth than we’ve seen in a decade. Our collective lead foot hastened even as more Americans also rode public transportation last year.
But in Philly, there’s reason to think that our driving habits remain an exception to this broader surge.
Read more »
Gas prices plummeted in 2014, but they’ve already gone up in Pennsylvania in the new year.
That’s due to a rise in the gas tax that added almost 10 cents per gallon in Pennsylvania in 2015.
In 2013, the legislature passed Act 89, which overhauled transportation funding. Before this year, the tax was capped — only the first $1.25 of gasoline prices per gallon was taxed. Now, the full price of gasoline at the pump is taxed.
This is meant as a way to tax the gas giants, but it’s going to hit drivers at the pump instead. “I can’t identify any example in any state in the United States where a tax on the wholesaler was not passed on… ultimately to the consumer,” Gasbuddy.com’s Gregg Laskoski told the York Dispatch.
Read more »
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.
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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 »