Shore Trip Confessional: Peeing on the Garden State Parkway


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.

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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.

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The 5 Worst Wawa Parking Lots in the Philly Area

3-headhouseOh my dear Wawa. I love your coffee. I love your hoagies. I love that I can leave my house and be at two of you within 10 minutes.

But you’re far from perfect. I hate that you closed down some of your shore locations because they couldn’t sell gas. I hate that you took so long to repair those shore Wawas after Sandy.

But most of all, I hate Wawa parking lots.

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The 8 Habits of Lousy Philadelphia Drivers

Last Thursday at around 6 a.m., a pickup truck drove into Hymie’s, the popular Main Line deli. For anyone who knows where Hymie’s is located, this was quite an impressive move.

Hymie’s is not at an intersection. Nor at the end of a road. The restaurant is right smack in the middle of a group of shops, behind a row of parking meters with a wide sidewalk in front of it. The driver of the truck somehow made his vehicle take a sharp, perpendicular turn (was it left or right?) in the middle of a quiet, almost deserted, early morning thoroughfare and plow it through the restaurant’s main window and into its dining room. No one inside was seriously hurt, thank goodness. I still can’t find a complete explanation of how this happened. But I’ll say one thing: That’s one lousy Philly driver.
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PA to Drivers: Please Stop Being Such Raging A-Holes

Understand, neither the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania nor the Philadelphia Inquirer used the phrase “raging a-holes” to describe a forthcoming crackdown on “aggressive drivers” in today’s paper. But that’s totally what they meant, because here’s how they describe those “aggressive drivers”:

Tailgating. Running red lights. Weaving. Giving too little space to cyclists and pedestrians. And, of course, there are more directly aggressive moves – honking, flipping the bird, yelling, even assault – associated with road rage.

See? Total, raging a-hole behavior. And if you’re driving in Pennsylvania over the next few months, well, the authorities are going to take a dim view of it. “For the next month, law enforcement agencies along the 350-mile Route 30 corridor will work overtime to target and ticket aggressive drivers,” the Inquirer reports.

Why Route 30? Because, the Delco Times reports, the road is a perfect breeding ground for raging a-holes:

PennDOT officials at the Monday event said that Route 30, otherwise know on the Main Line as Lancaster Avenue, is a great location for the aggressive driving campaign because of the way the road has been designed.

“US 30 is a perfect location for this discussion. It’s a historic road and as such it can be frustrating to drive. It was clearly never designed for the volumes that it experiences. So many traffic signals, parking issues, no room for turn lanes … and so many pedestrians along it. Driving US 30 requires patience and caution and not adrenalin and aggression,” said Lou Belmonte, district traffic engineer with PennDOT.

In other words: The state designed the road poorly. Now it’s going to punish you for getting angry about it. Which also seems to be the behavior of a raging a-hole, when you think about it. But that’s OK, because this stepped-up enforcement is scheduled to last only a month or so—after which everybody can go back to being a-holes as usual.


Cops Cracking Down on Seat Belts…For a Couple Weeks

Alright motorists, you better wear your seatbelts. Because cops are ramping up enforcement. For…the next two weeks.

The initiatives are part of the national “click it or ticket” campaign. State police in Pennsylvania and New Jersey say they will focus on motorists violating seat belt laws, and educate people about the importance of using seat belts and child safety seats. The “click it or ticket” initiative runs statewide in Pennsylvania and New Jersey from Monday through June 2.



Man Drives Car into Schuylkill in Fatal Plunge

NBC 10 reports:

Police say the unidentified driver was going eastbound (towards Center City) on Kelly Drive when he cut right in front of another vehicle crossing from the left lane into the right and then up on the curb about 30 yards before Boathouse Row. A passerby saw the crash and jumped in to try and free the driver but was unable to get the man out. Police say the Good Samaritan also was hospitalized with non-life-threatening cuts on his wrist, shoulder and chest.

The 73-year-old man was pulled out at 12:50 p.m. today near Boathouse Row and declared dead at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania 29 minutes later. [NBC 10]

PhillyCarShare Is (Finally) Dead. Long Live Enterprise CarShare?

Two years after the formerly non-profit PhillyCarShare sold to the decidedly for profit Enterprise, the transition is complete. PhillyCarShare members received this letter today:

We are excited to announce that PhillyCarShare will soon become Enterprise CarShare, an extension of your friendly Enterprise neighborhood network.

We want to thank you for your membership and commitment to car sharing in Philadelphia. Though our name is changing, we will remain dedicated to providing you the city’s leading car-sharing program. We understand your need for cars when you want them, and at great rates, without sacrificing the customer service you deserve.

Continue to make all your reservations at and use your fob to access the vehicles. Over the next few weeks, you’ll notice Enterprise CarShare parking signs, vehicle decals and a new website with enhanced features. As part of these changes, we’re also standardizing our membership policies to make them easier to understand. Please visit for details.

We appreciate your patience during the transition to Enterprise CarShare. Please be sure to add info@EnterpriseCarShare to your safe sender list. Should you have any questions, or need additional information, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Again: The sale was made two years ago. It appears that the main changes here are for branding purposes.

WATCH: PPA Video Touts Benefits Of Red Light Cameras

This is a pretty straightforward video about the benefits of red light cameras in Philly, put out today by the Philadelphia Parking Authority. Mostly, though, it’s awesome for the epic music at the beginning, which signals that the city is preparing for an invasion. “They can take our license plates! But they can’t have our red light cameraaaaaaas!” Or something.

PPA adds: “The first cameras were installed at Grant Avenue, Red Lion Road and Cottman Avenue along Roosevelt Boulevard. Since the program’s inception, cameras have also been installed at 34th Street and Grays Ferry Avenue, Broad Street and Oregon Avenue, Broad Street and Hunting Park Avenue, 58th and Walnut Streets, Broad and Vine Streets, Broad Street and South Penn Square, Broad Street and John F. Kennedy Boulevard around City Hall, Henry Avenue and Walnut Lane, Rising Sun and Adams Avenues, Aramingo Avenue and York Street, Aramingo and Castor Avenues, and Lindbergh Boulevard and Island Avenue. There are also cameras at Welsh, Southampton, Mascher, Levick, Rhawn and 9th Streets along Roosevelt Boulevard. The most recent red light camera intersections are located at Academy Road and Grant Avenue, Woodhaven and Knights Roads, and Bustleton Avenue and Byberry Road. Philadelphia’s Red Light Camera Program was recently extended until 2017.”

Cherry Hill Fighting to Keep Subaru Headquarters in Town

Subaru of America is thinking of moving its headquarters out of Cherry Hill, NJ. It’s running out of space, and wants to consolidate the two Route 70 buildings its employees currently work out of. Cherry Hill, which has hosted the Japanese automakers since 1986, is none too pleased. “It’s a big name. It’s an international brand. They have been a major sponsor for township programs,” a township spokesman said. “We will work hard to keep them here.” How might you plan to do that, Cherry Hill? Juicy tax incentives, most likely. Subaru, for its part, says its committed to staying in the general area, if not Cherry Hill. [CBS 3]

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