The Philadelphia region is on the verge of experiencing some pretty big travel-related headaches. Three reasons, all of which may come to fruition this weekend:
If you drive through the first state for work, your commute just got a bit worse. Okay, a lot worse.
Philly.com reports a bridge on I-495 in Delaware is closed indefinitely. Four columns that carry I-495 over the Christina River, a tributary of the Delaware, are tiled 2.4 degrees (or about 4 percent). Reports of the tilting columns came in Friday, but the bridge was not closed until Monday.
Officials say the bridge is considered fracture critical, which means the failure of one column could lead to the collapse of the entire bridge.
Think Philadelphia is a safe city for pedestrians? We have a fairly poor track record compared to other big cities in the Northeast. According to a new report from the National Complete Streets Coalition, the only other city near Philadelphia that’s more dangerous for walkers is Baltimore. Boston, Providence, Hartford, New York and Pittsburgh are all safer for pedestrians than Philly. Pittsburgh! Generally they’re only better than us at sports.
(Of 51 “large metro areas” ranked, Philadelphia could also be labeled the 18th-safest.)
From 2003 to 2012, 959 pedestrians were killed in Philadelphia. Nationwide, 47,025 pedestrians were killed and 676,000 were injured. The four most-dangerous cities for pedestrians were in Florida: Orlando, Tampa, Jacksonville and Miami (in order). The report calculates cities by their Pedestrian Danger Index, “the rate of pedestrian deaths relative to the number of people who walk to work in the region.” During the timeframe measured by the study, 19.2 percent of traffic fatalities in Philadelphia were of pedestrians. Overall, Pennsylvania has 1.59 pedestrian fatalities per 100,000 people.
ABC News says only: “Artists from The Pop Up Studio challenge (Scranton)community to turn pesky potholes in to fun works of art.”
We’ll find the Barbie pool delightful as we contemplate the multi-hundred dollar bill we receive for braking our axle on the pothole. In any case, here’s the website for the project.
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!
Jon Geeting, who we last saw writing about ‘sneckdowns’ on East Passyunk Avenue, recently posted the harrowing map above: All of the city’s pedestrian-related crashes from 2008 to 2012. During this five-year span, there were 9,051 in Philadelphia — and that’s just ones that are reported. (Once, at 16th and JFK, I saw a woman get hit by a car, bounce off the hood and continue down the street. I caught up to her to see if she was okay and tell her she was a badass.)
On his site, Geeting also posts a map of the pedestrian deaths over that five year span; there were 158 city wide with 16 in Center City — even though downtown had the most crashes. This speaks to my badass pedestrian example: She could keep walking because cars can’t travel as fast in Center City. But get hit on Roosevelt Boulevard and you’re less likely to survive.
In case you’re wondering what the holdup is on 11th Street between Market and Chestnut, it is this CVS truck adding more chaos to your morning commute. Read more »
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.