Did Mayor Kenney Do a Good Job Handling the Blizzard?

L to R: Freeland Avenue in Manayunk as of Sunday, and Mayor Kenney on Inauguration Day. | Photos by Tim Haas and Jeff Fusco

L to R: Freeland Avenue in Northwest Philly as of Sunday, and Mayor Kenney on Inauguration Day. | Photos by Tim Haas and Jeff Fusco

As a candidate, Mayor Jim Kenney promised to ensure that “every neighborhood matters” in Philadelphia. His campaign motto was, in part, a not-so-subtle reference to his predecessor: Many politicos (and residents) believe former Mayor Michael Nutter focused more on Center City than other neighborhoods during his time in office.

One of the more straightforward ways for an administration to show that it values every neighborhood is to quickly plow small streets throughout the city — not just main thoroughfares downtown — after a blizzard. Kenney, acutely aware of this fact, said at a Saturday news conference in the midst of Winter Storm Jonas, “I spent most of my life in South Philadelphia. And up until the Street administration, it never got plowed.'” He vowed to “get to the small streets.”

Has the Kenney administration done that? Without conducting a massive survey of roads throughout the city, it’s impossible to know for certain how many small streets are currently free of snow. But it’s clear many residents think the city hasn’t done a great job. Philadelphians are kvetching on social media that small streets in Northwest Philly, South Philly and other areas have barely been plowed, if at all. They’re kvetching to the regular old media, too. “Some small side streets in South Philadelphia still looked Sunday as if they could have been scenes from Alaska or the Arctic,” wrote the Daily News. “Residents complained that the city had cleared bigger streets like Broad, Chestnut and Spring Garden — but that smaller streets had been untouched.” Even Kenney’s own boyhood street in South Philly still hadn’t been plowed as of Monday, the Inquirer reported. Read more »

Extreme Weather Means City Has to Get Homeless Off the Street, If They Can

code-blue-project-home-940x540

With a potential blizzard looming, Philadelphia is currently in a Code Blue emergency. This means outreach teams will be working into the night to help transport homeless individuals from the street to shelters.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s recent executive order to remove homeless people from the streets in extreme weather, even against their will, has sparked debate about the extent of the Government’s authority over homeless people’s decisions.

In Philadelphia, a Code Blue response consists mostly of extending the operation hours of shelters, increasing capacity at overnight sites, and providing transportation to various emergency shelters.

Teams of outreach professionals, volunteers and PPD officers comb the streets looking for people who appear to be sleeping outdoors. They offer them transportation to a shelter, overnight Café or other emergency housing facilities. But, perhaps surprisingly, not everyone is willing to go to emergency housing. Read more »

Delivery Service goPuff Will Remain OpenThrough Storm

gopuff app 400In case you forget any snowstorm essentials or find that you’ve run out of beer (gasp!), on-demand delivery service goPuff can help you out. goPuff says that they will remain open and will be “delivering snowstorm essentials throughout the winter watch weekend in 30 minutes or less.”

The “snowstorm essentials” they will deliver includes, but are not limited to water, eggs, milk, bread, canned goods, ice cream and beer.

Other local food delivery services like Caviar and Main Line Delivery are determining their availability based on the safety of their delivery drivers, but goPuff’s strategy promises to stay open for the duration of the storm by doubling up their staff with over fifty independently contracted drivers on shift for the weekend.

Read more »

Kenney: Move Cars Off Snow Emergency Routes Or Get Towed

Mayor Jim Kenney - snow press conference - Philadelphia

If your car is parked on a snow emergency route, the city has one message for you: Move it.

The city is declaring a snow emergency at 9 p.m., which means emergency routes must be cleared of parked cars at that time. If your car isn’t moved by 9 tonight, the city will ticket it and tow it to another location. Snow emergency routes are listed on signs, as well as on the Streets Department’s website. There will be 400 plows and 600 workers salting and plowing the streets this weekend.

“Please do not park on the snow emergency routes,” PPA Executive Director Vince Fenerty said. “We don’t want to tow you. But in the interest of keeping the city open, we have to do our jobs.” Starting at 5 p.m., the PPA is offering $5-a-day parking at all of its garages. That will continue until at least 7 a.m. on Monday morning. Cars left on snow emergency routes will be issued a $125 ticket and towed to an alternate location. If your car does get towed, call 215-686-SNOW to find out where it is. Read more »

Despite Blizzard, Many Will Be #OpenInPHL

Snow - Philly skyline - Artist's conception

No matter how much snow we get this weekend, some bars and restaurants just won’t be closing. | Artist’s rendition

As this winter storm approaches everyone is boasting that they are open today. Some are even promising that they will be open no matter what. A snow day in the city is a collaborative event. Workers, customers hanging out in a shared experience. Swapping stories of the wind and snow banks they had to overcome to reach that warm bar or hearty plate of pasta. In our digitally obsessed world, a snow day is day where camaraderie trumps Facebook, conversing face-to-face crushes SnapChat and new friends and memories are made. That’s not to say we’re anti-technology, after all the #OpenInPHL hashtag couldn’t work if it weren’t for Twitter. But there’s something special about a snow day. Enjoy it, but most of all, let’s be safe out there.

If you’re a business owner, announce that you’re open on Twitter with the hashtag, #OpenInPHL.

Here’s what’s #OpenInPHL »

There’s Plenty of Bread at Trader Joe’s (You’ll Just Have to Wait in Line For It)

Trader Joe's line

The line at Trader Joe’s wraps around the store several times. (Photo: Dan McQuade)

The good news: There’s lots of bread at Trader Joe’s. The bad news: You’ll have to wait about a half-hour for it.

The scene at Trader Joe’s right now is what we might call organized chaos. The line starts near the coffee bar, snakes around three aisles, goes back to the aisle near the coffee bar, and eventually makes its way to the registers at the front of the store. An employee says the wait is about 40 minutes.

Or maybe less! “The staff at Trader Joe’s is amazing,” says Suchita Fiorillo, wife of Philly Mag reporter Victor Fiorillo. She stopped by Trader Joe’s just after 9 a.m. to pick up supplies, deciding to opt for street parking after she saw the parking lot nightmare, which included one car hitting another. “The line was wrapped all around the store, but I got into the store and through checkout in 30 minutes with two bags of groceries.” Read more »

Here’s What’s #ClosedInPHL

The National Weather Service's latest snowfall prediction map as of 5 a.m. Friday

The National Weather Service’s latest snowfall prediction map as of 5 a.m. Friday

With winter storm Jonas hitting the Philadelphia region this week we’re expecting a lot of event cancellations and closures. SEPTA has announced that the transit agency will be suspending much of its service on Saturday. The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and the Reading Terminal Market have already announced they will be closed as well.

Follow what is going to be open and closed using the #ClosedInPHL, #OpenInPHL’s less fun but just as vital hashtag cousin. What’s #ClosedInPHL »

SEPTA Suspending Most Service Saturday Due to Probable Blizzard

Photo on R: The National Weather Service’s latest snowfall prediction map as of 5 a.m.

Photo on R: The National Weather Service’s latest snowfall prediction map as of 5 a.m.

Want more proof that this is no ordinary storm? SEPTA General Manager Jeffrey Knueppel announced at a news conference this morning that almost all service will be suspended for at least 24 hours starting at 4 a.m. Saturday.

That means all bus routes, trolleys, Regional Rail Lines and the Norristown High Speed Line will not be operating.

Knueppel explained that the agency made the decision to shut down because of forecasts of high winds and whiteout conditions accompanying the winter storm that is expected to hit the Philadelphia area starting tonight. Read more »

Philly’s 8 Best #Savesies Tools, Ranked

Your choice. | Photos by Holly Otterbein and Shutterstock.com

The Philadelphia way. | Photos by Holly Otterbein and Shutterstock.com

We’re not here to debate #Savesies.

As you probably know, the practice is illegal. Should you spend Saturday morning digging the car out, you’re expected to leave that freshly shoveled spot’s fate to chance, as per the Philadelphia Police Department’s brilliant #NoSavesies campaign (now featuring Drake).

As you definitely know, that’s not how it works around here. Deed or no deed, Philadelphians will defend “their” parking spots’ honor to the death, reserving them with everything from beach chairs to stolen property.

Is there a right or a wrong here? Maybe, but there’s no use exploring it. Both #Savesies and #NoSavesies convictions run deep, passed down from generation to generation, protected in our righteous hearts under a higher law. We might be able to have a reasonable debate about abortion or the death penalty, but not parking. Please God no. Not here and not now.

Instead, let’s cool down and make a lighthearted list, as lists rarely inspire fight-fights or death threats. With that in mind, here are Philly’s top #Savesies weapons of choice, ranked from “Meh” to “I ain’t afraid to die anymore.” Read more »

Morning Headlines: The Blizzard Starts Tonight

The National Weather Service's latest snowfall prediction map as of 5 a.m. Friday

The National Weather Service’s latest snowfall prediction map as of 5 a.m. Friday

Good morning, Philadelphia. Here’s what you need to know:

We’re going to get a lot of snow. The only question is, How much?

While the forecasts say we won’t get hit as hard as the folks farther south on I-95, Philly’s still in the path of a major snowstorm. Yesterday’s blizzard watch was upgraded to a blizzard warning for the region this morning, and the latest forecast map from the National Weather Service calls for anywhere from 12 to 18 inches of snow to fall on Philly by the time the storm clears out early on Sunday morning. The NWS also says its forecast confidence has increased. Downashore, expect less snow, but strong northeast winds up to 60 mph and coastal flooding. Inland, wind gusts could range from 25 to 45 mph. You still have time to stock up on essentials if you haven’t yet done so; the first flakes aren’t expected until this evening — but keep your eyes and ears open for updates as the day progresses. Read more »

« Older Posts