Can Speed Cameras Fix Philly’s Death-Trap Road?

There must have been nine of us in the two-door sedan, and we were driving on the Boulevard.

I don’t really think anything happened to us — we were teenagers, and we were mostly skinny — and my friend Joe had a plan if the cops pulled us over: “Just say we’re headed to the circus and sing that song!” (That would be Entry of the Gladiators.”) If I remember correctly, though, this story had a happy ending: We turned off the Boulevard to drop someone off, and very slowly dwindled in numbers on our way home. But the point remains: We were nine teenagers in a car designed for at most five people, driving haphazardly on Roosevelt Boulevard.

Growing up a couple miles from it, I rode in cars a lot on the Boulevard as a teenager. I drove almost as often, heading to the enormous Tower Records north of Welsh Road, to a friend’s house in Oxford Circle, to Charlie’s Pizza, to nowhere in particular. I was (am) not a very good driver. I never got into an accident on the Boulevard, but there are thousands like me. Clearly some of them are a little more reckless or a little less lucky, and they crash. Or they hit someone attempting to cross the street. The Boulevard is an incredibly useful road that opened up the Northeast; it’s also one of its most dangerous.

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I’m Not a Bad Driver. I Just Don’t Drive the Same Way You Do.

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America: What a country. A wonderful melting pot of races, ethnicities, religions, genders. More and more each day, it seems, we discover new differences between ourselves to treasure, write books about, and study as college electives. Acronyms abound! Hyphenation heightens! The more disparate we grow, the greater we become. We honor one another’s holidays, traditions, foods, clothing choices, musical styles. Only in this one arena do we all, each and every one of us, expect uniformity:

We want everyone else to drive exactly the way we do.

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Your Average Commute Is Delayed 22% by Traffic Congestion

TomTom, the GPS that you used before iPhones turned into miniature Inspector Gadgets and did everything for you, puts out traffic congestion rankings, and its latest one suggests Philadelphia is not as bad as you’re always complaining it is. Among major cities TomTom surveyed in the US, Canada, and Brazil, Philadelphia ranks 24th of 61. The percentage of your commute time delayed by congestion is 22%.

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Megabus Collides with School Bus on I-676, At Least Six Injured

A double-decker Megabus ran into a school bus and two other vehicles traveling on I-676 in Center City this morning, injuring at least six. The Westbound side is currently cut to one lane of traffic near I-76 as cleanup crews secure the area.

No information has been released about the nature of the injuries those travelers sustained in the crash, but State Police did say that none appeared to be immediately life-threatening.

Eyewitnesses told NBC that the Megabus stopped in the center lane following the accident, while the school bus pulled over further up the road with a dented back end.

As with any accident in Philly, avoid the area if you can. Just look at this mess:

[NBC]

Delaware Uses Zombies to Promote Pedestrian Safety

NBC reports:

The Office of Highway Safety joined forces with DelDOT and Delaware State Police to create the “Don’t Join the Walking Dead” pedestrian campaign. Using actors dressed up as zombies, patrolling officers stop residents at recent accident locations to find pedestrians at risk of being involved in a crash. The “at risk” pedestrians include residents who aren’t crossing at marked crosswalks or signaled intersections and people who walk at dusk/night without a flashlight.

“We’ve seen a lot of 5Ks and zombie TV shows and everything zombie,” Kirk said. “That’s the new trend. So why not play off the new trend and hopefully get some buzz?”

Some critics say the zombie theme is insensitive to accident victims and their families.

“I think it’s disrespectful to the people that have lost family members,” said Johnny Jasinski of Smyrna, Delaware. “They need to go about it in a better way.”

Honestly, though: It’s Delaware. How can anybody tell the zombies apart from everybody else. Hey-ooooooooh!*

(*A friend of ours has asked us to ease back on New Jersey jokes. Sorry, Delaware. You’re it.)

A Subway on the Boulevard? Keep Dreaming.

Rapid transit for the Northeast is once again a live issue. So, as the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission commences the umpteenth feasibility study of transit improvements for Roosevelt Boulevard, the Broad Street of the Northeast, let us raise our glasses and drink a toast to the 101st anniversary of the Northeast Spur subway-elevated.

On paper, that is, where it may well remain forever.
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