Monday, December 30, 2013

Criminal Architecture, Volume 1

I'm going to take this up as a regular feature.

Let's begin with this marvel of malevolence at Front & Poplar.  In the second decade of the 21st century in Philadelphia, these are the kinds of buildings unfortunately approved by the 'leaders' of our city, which just so happens to otherwise contain large amounts of the most incredible architecture in North America, and the world.

What's wrong with us these days?

 So much for eyes on the street, eh?  As if the garage doors and monolithic curb cuts weren't horrific enough, I particularly 'love' the prominently-featured utility boxes (not shown, the all-too-common aerial spaghetti bowl of dozens of overhead wires), and the bollards on the pavement protecting same.

Because g-d forbid somebody should somehow manage to miss the 90% of frontage dedicated to drive-right-on-up-and-through-the-pavement infrastructure, and direct their vehicle into one of PECO's meters.  I do suppose those sleek and 'modern' Juliet balconies might perhaps maybe provide a good view of the fireworks resulting from just such a potential incident, however.

 Oh look though, this 'development' might qualify as having GreenSpace(tm!)!

Here's a question, what is the purpose of these 'windows?'

 Interior view.

Yeah, seriously.  These are just random panes of glass stuck into brick on top of inappropriate garage doors breaking up otherwise blank walls looking out from... nothing.

Once again, the safety bollard on the far side of the garage door protecting yet another (!) utility meter is a fantastically amusing feature.  I suppose this one provides fail-safe protection from the precious, physics-defying drunk driver who would somehow manage to miss the massive garage door and roll his or her SUV on into the side wall at one of the most incredible angles in world history.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

What's The Plan? (Updated)

"Fucking score points.  What's your plan?"

I love Chip Kelly.  Ten hours until kickoff, for the NFC East title.  Trash the Cowboys, but please recycle your cups, bottles, cans and paper.  Thanks...

Update: WHOO!!!  Bring on New Orleans.  Wer'e ready, baby!

"A New Organization of Social Space"

Aside from the comically heaping servings of unnecessarily dense, nonsensical Landscape Urbanese word salad contained in this article, it's good to have some hope that we will soon widely begin to make our way out of the dark ages of public benches and other such amenities.
These “more ergonomic” benches allow for “multiple functions, like stretching, playing, and lounging.” These new functions are only made possible through a revolution in design practices, like 3D modeling and fabrication.
Well, not really.  Benches and other such street, park and transportation facility furniture certainly existed in comfortable forms long before the 'design them to be as painful as possible in order so that the homeless can't sleep on them' era.  It's a seat, not rocket science.

I have greatly enjoyed such 'advanced' public furniture when I've come across it, in particular, if I recall, at the beautiful Tanner Springs Park in NW Portland, Oregon, but not everything needs to be so complicated or costly.  For now, I would just be happy to have SEPTA or the city provide (or allow a private entity to provide in return for publicity - advertising on benches, okay;  bus and train wraps, NOT okay) the occasional bench which wasn't, literally, a pain-in-the-ass to sit on for ten minutes while waiting for a bus.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Wooder's Fine...

The Parkway fountains are back on, and winter has finally left us for the year.

A beautiful day, even the Comcast Center doesn't look as boring as usual from certain angles...

These are the good times.

Take a look, it's in a book.  Yeah, I don't know how that show's song just got stuck in my head, but I hope it's stuck in yours now, too...

Now where's that bus home?

Friday, April 26, 2013

Eagles draft Lane Johnson.

I'll pretend I know who he is.

(well okay, I 'know' who he is, but I don't know anything either way as to whether this is a good pick or not...)

Ultimately, my thing is that I trust Chip Kelly.  And I'm glad to have that man in my life again.  Like me, he's an East Coaster who moved out to Oregon, did some work (he was more successful than I was on that count, let's just say), then came back home.

An athletic OT who used to be a quarterback seems like something right up Coach Kelly's alley, so I will call this a good pick.
"His 40-yard dash time was faster than Anquan Boldin," [NFL Network's Mike] Mayock said. "His vertical at 34 inches was the same as A.J. Green - think about this, this is an offensive tackle at 300-plus pounds. He ran faster than Anquan Boldin, he jumped the same as A.J. Green and his broad jump at nine feet, 10 inches was the same as Steven Ridley. Think about those three things for a 300-pound offensive tackle and put that in perspective of what he can be."
Mayock says Johnson has more upside than both Eric Fisher and Luke Joeckel, who went #1 and #2 respectively.
The Eagles have 8 more picks remaining over the last 6 rounds.
Yes, I'm clearly allowing myself to be talked into this.

Especially since the Phillies' season was over right around the time it started (I stick by my 64-98 prediction), and the Flyers and Sixers both vastly underachieved.

We need at least one good professional sports team, no?

I think our Eagles are gonna surprise a lot of people this season.  More to come after the draft ends.

(And go Temple!!!)

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Orlando Officer Runs Over Pedestrian, Lectures Him, Flees Scene...

Florida's streets have a... bit of a reputation.  Let's say.  Note that in this report, Orlando-Kissimmee is ranked the #1 most dangerous metropolitan area in the United States for pedestrians.  In fact, the 'top' (bottom?) 4 metros according to this report are all in Florida.

Which probably contributed to this shocking incident, from January, in Orlando.
Here is another outrageous story from Florida of a police officer acting with complete disregard of the law:
WFTV obtained more video Friday that shows an Orlando police officer hitting a pedestrian with his squad car. Police will only say he’s under criminal investigation, but Officer Michael Fiorentino-Tyburski is still allowed to patrol the streets.
It’s been almost three months since the pedestrian was hit at Hughey Avenue in downtown Orlando.
An investigator concluded in January that the officer was at fault for leaving the scene. The video shows the victim, Tetris Nunn, rolling over Orlando patrol car No. 8128 with Fiorentino-Tyburski behind the wheel.
On Friday, Channel 9 obtained the 911 calls and radio transmissions in the case. On the radio transmission, Fiorentino-Tyburski can be heard dodging questions his own department was asking him.
Video at the link.  Investigators also now claim the victim was (allegedly) 'jaywalking.'

So of course, I guess that makes it okay for a public safety official to drive his patrol vehicle into him, get out to lecture the victim a bit for his carelessness, and then drive off as if he hadn't just plowed into a pedestrian with a two-ton motor vehicle.

(And not to mention trying to lie his way out of it once caught.)

A perfect demonstration of the psychology of motor vehicle violence being considered an acceptable part of everyday life, is what we clearly have here.

Don't you just love it?

I'm sure the officer justified his actions in his own mind as not even being an incident, since he surely felt he was 'right.'  Mr. Fiorentino-Tyburski may have even considered it a favor not to have arrested Mr. Nunn for 'getting in his way.'

There, they're even.

I think not, however.

Due to his unconscionable callousness and complete disregard for human life (especially considering his position as a police officer), Mr. Fiorentino-Tyburski should have his privilege to operate heavy machinery in public revoked for life.  And if that costs him his job, well then tough noogies.  It's nobody's fault but his own.  Personal responsibility ain't just a dangerous, anti-pedestrian, high-speed one-way street.

Perhaps Mr. Fiorentino-Tyburski should ask his fellow officer Michael Brady what he thinks about hit and run drivers...

Sunday Signs: Norristown Edition

Had to head out to Norristown, PA for a few hours yesterday, so of course I used the opportunity to ride out on SEPTA's somewhat unique Norristown High Speed Line (p.k.a. Route 100).

The seat of Montgomery County, Norristown is a municipality of about 35,000 people, 6 miles northwest of Philadelphia, connected by the High Speed, the Manayunk-Norristown SEPTA regional rail line (which runs through Center City to Marcus Hook, PA and Wilmington / Newark, DE) and a handful of buses.

A large and mostly intact downtown (except for a few clear recent missteps like a half-dead, low-rent strip mall facing the wrong way, anchored by a fried chicken fast food chain featuring garish, plastic cartoon architecture and a three-sizes too big, mostly-empty surface parking crater in the heart of downtown; as well as a tragically failed courthouse plaza and a block-long, blank-walled generically offensive mid-20th-century government building in the Soviet Brutalist style) and plenty of well-maintained rowhouse blocks show good bones.  The Lawyers' Row off the courthouse is beautiful.  A few old mills stand and look well, though industry (and retail) seems to be gone.  Its section of the Schuylkill River Trail runs along the waterfront, is completed, and was being well-used yesterday.

Physically, Norristown is (aside from the few flaws noted above) my ideal of what every small town in this corner of the United States should look like.

Wandering around town was a rather disconcerting experience, however, as on a beautiful (if somewhat chilly and breezy) sunny Saturday afternoon, there was nobody on the streets and nothing much open for business, either.

A security guard slowly cranked and clanged while adjusting a flag at the rear of the (breathtaking) courthouse, three teenagers sat on benches in its aforementioned plaza looking half-bored and three-fourths shady, a well-worn older gentleman in heavy winter clothing asked me for a cigarette or a dollar... I nearly tripped on a cracked sidewalk while admiring a cornice on a nicely kept commercial building and I'm pretty sure a lone crow cackled at me due to this.  I demanded of the crow, "what are you laughing at?" while the winter wear guy mumbled to himself about what a nut this sidewalk-tripping, roof-admiring, non-smoking, no-dollar-having, bird-talking motherfucker is.

C'est la vie.  He's not far off.

Anyway.  Signs of the week.

Main Street family pharmacies in any town are always a solid source for excellent signage.  Norristown does not disappoint.

Stepping back a bit, this is a great block except for the Verizon building at center.  Seriously, why do all Verizon buildings look like this?  Do they spend so much on bricks that they don't have anything left over for windows?  They have littered way too many of our cities with such atrocities.  The municipal parking garage down the block has better architecture than that... thing.

One other misstep is the bench at lower right.  Turn it around and face the sidewalk!  Who wants to sit facing speeding traffic on a too-wide, one-way street from three inches away?

A cool, though unfortunately empty, storefront, featuring four distorted Jays (that's my band name if I ever start one!  Four Distorted Jays).

Nice art deco entrance to this place.

Can't leave without taking a (bad) shot of the Montgomery County Courthouse.  Excuse me, I only had my cellphone on me yesterday.  The clock in the dome is worth a post of its own, but I just couldn't zoom in well enough.

At the end of any day out of town, though, this is the sign I always like to see best!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sunday Signs

One of my fascinations is interesting urban commercial signage.  Specifically, still extant retro-signage from the middle of the 20th century, but also ghost signs (the older the better), as well, of course...

Since Philadelphia is extremely wealthy in both of these currencies, I figured I'll make this a regular weekly feature.  My favorite such sign of the week.

Ideally, in the future, I'll have more background to fill in on these.  I'll be able to note their exact vintage, perhaps have something to say on their fonts, a few words with their owners, etc etc.  But for now, excuse my amateur-ish-ness.

I'll enter the first in this series, which just so happens to be a few blocks from my apartment, at Cumberland & Sepviva.  Philadelphia, PA 19125.

A classic corner store in the first floor of a rowhouse, set amidst a perfect example of a mixed-use residential block from which our society never should have turned away.  My belief is that we'll all (city, town and whatever can be salvaged of the suburbs) be moving back to such models sooner than we think.

The mid-70s Pepsi logo stands out (if even though I'd never touch their product, myself), as does its frame and the wonderfully low-key and respectful, black & white lettering of the shop's name below.

No garish cartoon architecture or ridiculous flourishes here, just a solid throwback to a time of solid neighborhoods.  Of which Kensington still has the bones of being one, despite all of our industry having vanished over the past few decades.

We've still got a ways to go to get fully back on our feet again, but we've at least got solid ground...

....and infrastructure to start rebuilding from.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Blob Leads Philadelphia Casino Proposals

The more 'original' our 'architects' try to become, the more they stay the same.  Isn't that funny.

Leading off this article on the recent 'report cards' given to the current Philadelphia casino proposals by a civic group is a rendering of the project to which they awarded the highest grade.  It's fascinating, yet not at all surprising, how similar this... thing... is to the newly-proposed BART San Francisco Trans-Bay Transit Center, which was quite deservedly savaged by Jim Kunstler as his current Eyesore of the Month feature.

Of particular note to me in this rendering of the "Market8" (how futuristic-sounding!) parasitic protozoan-looking (and sounding - the casino that 'ate' Market Street?) proposal at Market & 8th at the heart of one of the most historic streets in America, is the blurry, speeding car which looks like its driver has lost control and is just about to hop the curb and plow into the crowd of pleasure- and treasure-seekers milling about outside.  Which said pedestrians are maybe trying to figure out how to even get inside the fucking thing.

(You probably have to get somebody to drive you into it through the subterranean series of access roads and parking dungeons which are planned to come along with this project, even though it sits at a spot where the Market-Frankford, Broad-Ridge and PATCO subway lines all converge, not to mention the two dozen SEPTA, NJ Transit and intercity bus lines that run along Market, Chestnut, 8th & 9th; along with SEPTA's Market East station, a few blocks to the west, through which all 13 of our regional commuter rail lines run; and 30th Street Station, eight (train ride) minutes to the west, which is the 3rd-busiest Amtrak station in the nation, and also hosts yet another regional commuter rail line - NJ Transit's Atlantic City line.)

None of the projects look or sound good in the very least, as they're all generally of the auto-centric eyesore variety.

Take Steve Wynn's (yes, Las Vegas Steve Wynn) proposal, for example.  A 'riverfront' casino which, naturally, sticks its rear end out at the river in favor of facing the fantastic views afforded by the elevated traffic sewer of I-95 on its other side, and whose centerpiece looks like it comes right out of the 1965 version of the Generic Highrise Hotel Handbook for Dummies.  It also contains a 20-acre (yes, 20-acre - that's the size of three Rittenhouse Squares, and almost 15 times the size of the nearest City of Philadelphia Rec Center in Fishtown!), single-story parking lot with a... wait for it... 'green roof.'

Mr. Greenwashing also, not surprisingly, trashed the potential of public transit, in what fortunately turned out to be, by all accounts, a terrible performance in front of the board.  If nothing else, Mr. Wynn made it very clear that he does not understand Philadelphia is an extremely walkable city with a thriving public transit and bicycling culture, and not just a colder version of Phoenix or Las Vegas.  Hopefully this will cost him the bid, but that's of little comfort in the end.

The idea that perhaps yet another casino (we already have one in the city, as it just so happens only a few blocks from Wynn's proposed site in Fishtown; along with two others both just a few miles up or down I-95 in either direction, in Chester and Bensalem) may not be the most positive way to do 'economic development' seems to be completely out-of-bounds in the debate around here.  Then again, I'm certainly not shocked at that, since the idea of a happy motoring, adult fantasyland, something-for-nothing utopia sadly seems to appeal to all too many these days, at the very same time when the cumulative effects of our past debts, our energy situation, and our built environment all threaten to impose their own changes upon us soon.

So we cling to a past that never was (while we let our actual history fall into decay and burn down), in hopes that we'll somehow be able to live in a form of the future that will never be sustainable.  I only hope we can wake up in time, and stop this madness.

Beware Autonomous Astro Vans

This five-sentence NY1 article is a bit too late for April Fools' Day, and sadly enough it actually does seem to be a serious journalistic effort.
Witnesses tell NY1 a Chevy Astro van was trying to avoid traffic when it drove up on the sidewalk before hitting the pedestrian.
I truly don't know which sentence to highlight (its title is bad, too), as they're all pretty equally horrible, at least in context.  But the above should do, for starters.  Take eight seconds to read the whole thing, and then take another few minutes to admire its truly taking idiocy to an art form.

I drove a Dodge Caravan for work for nine years, and as far as I can recall it never took the wheel away from me, in 'trying to avoid traffic,' before proceeding to drive into people on the sidewalk.  Must be a New York thing, maybe.

Who knows?

Oh wait, I do.  I know.  Motor vehicles do not actually drive up onto the sidewalk, and into people, of their own volition.  Not even motor vehicles in New York.  There is a person responsible for this collision (not 'accident'), and that person needs to be charged and prosecuted, and at the very least they need to have their privilege to operate heavy machinery in public taken away.

Unless the driver's name was "A. Chevy Astro Van" (one of those German relatives of Clark W. Griswold, maybe?), this article is an incredible fail.


In somewhat related news.

Now here's a SEPTA bus ad I can get behind.  As seen on a 48 bus at Penn's Landing yesterday.

Of course, up here in Kensington, one of the very same bus lines which run between here and Penn's Landing (the 5) has a 'bus stop' (at least there's a bench, and not just a sign on the sidewalk) along its route (at Frankford & Susquehanna) which met a driver to whom 'thank yous' are not forthcoming.

How not to drive past (or through?) a bus stop.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Summer Time...

These two Philly kids sure knew how to make a summer song back in the day.

It seems like only four days ago it was like 42 degrees with sub-freezing windchill, and oh wait that's right... yes, it was only like four days ago we had 42 degrees with sub-freezing windchill.  Tomorrow we're into the upper 70s; while Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday we'll be topping 80.  Then from there on out, we're 60s and 70s and on up.

Whatever happened to Spring?  Is that even a season anymore?  Did I miss a memo, or directive or something?

I guess the earth spins pretty fast.  If you don't stop to look around every once in a while, you could miss it.  As Ferris Bueller once said...

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Two PPD Officers Recovering in Separate Incidents

Two Philadelphia police officers have been victims of motor vehicle violence over the past week, both incidents occurring right here in Kensington.

Just down the block from the JayinPhiladelphia Global Affairs Desk, off-duty 3rd District Officer Michael Brady was mowed down by a hit-and-run driver (ahem) while walking to his grandmother's house early Wednesday morning.  Surveillance video (included in the news link) from a residence on the block reveals the driver far exceeding the 25 MPH speed limit, and as this happened on Cumberland, a residential street where there is a stop sign every block and the blocks are only 400 feet long, this indicates to me that the driver must have zipped through every other intersection along the way in reckless fashion, as well.

Cumberland also happens to be one of the main east-bound through streets from Kensington Avenue back to I-95 and the Delaware River crossings, and is a route PPD may want to focus some of their attention on (I'd feel quite confident in estimating that at least 50% of drivers operating vehicles with New Jersey tags speeding along Cumberland late at night, any night, are carrying quantities of hard drugs purchased from the plague of street pharmacists over on the Ave, and thereabouts), in addition to Lehigh and York.

Then, on Sunday night, just south of the Allegheny El around Kensington Ave, G Street and Clearfield, on-duty 24th District Officer Bryan Turner, who happens to be a US Army veteran who saw combat in Iraq, was dragged for three blocks by the subject of a traffic stop, as the latter attempted to flee once the situation during the traffic stop, whatever it was, threatened to turn bad for him.  Well, let's hope the situation is now considerably worse for him.  20-year old Naim Woodley is under arrest, and charged with aggravated assault (no attempted murder?) and resisting arrest.

The driver who plowed over Michael Brady is still at large, and there is a $10,000 reward being offered for information leading to his or her arrest and conviction.
Police believe the striking vehicle [ed note: I would have said "the striker's vehicle," since the car did not decide to strike Officer Brady on its own] is a 2010 black or dark colored Ford Taurus, last seen travelling east on Cumberland Street towards Aramingo Avenue. 
Police say the vehicle may have minor damage to the passenger side windshield and possibly a dented hood. 
The video shows a passenger getting out of the car about a half block away, presumably to look for damage, and then gets back in before the car [ed note: driver and passenger(s), who are the assailants] keeps going. [...]
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Accident Investigation Division at 215-685-3180. 
Ideally, both drivers will have their privilege to operate heavy machinery on our streets revoked for life, of course after serving time in prison for their violent acts and clear callous disregard for the lives of others.

Considering these two cases of motor vehicle violence involve police officers in the role of victim, at least we can rest assured they will be taken very seriously, and that there will be no shortage of resources dedicated to ensuring justice is served.  Here's hoping we can all ultimately receive that same courtesy one of these days.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Arena Surface Changeover Time-Lapse

I've always wondered exactly how these work (changing over the arena surface from an afternoon ice hockey game to an evening basketball game), but never thought to look it up online until now.

Duh.  The Tubes have everything.

I did tear-downs and set-ups at the Oregon Convention Center back out in Portland (you would't believe the monstrous mess a major annual flower show can leave behind), but I've never had to change a floor over, between major televised professional sporting events each accommodating two separate (well-)paying audiences of up to 20,000 people, in such a small turnaround time (under three hours).

In fact, I even remember a temp job once, where we'd regularly turn over a mid-sized room in a banquet hall from, say, a daytime corporate event to a late-evening wedding reception.  We had considerably more time than the Wells Fargo Center crew does during a typical changeover, and even then we usually always just made it in under the wire.  And all we had to do was sweep, vacuum (carpeting, ughh), bag trash, rearrange no more than four or five dozen tables, and tweak the stage as required.

Okay, sure, the Wells Fargo Center crew are (hopefully) highly-paid unionized professionals who do this regularly, rather than an ever-changing temp 'team' as we were, but still...

Anyway, yeah.  It's fun to watch, at least in my opinion.  I'm just sad I never got to go to a Sixers game this year.  Probably better that way, though, since I'd like to forget all about this Sixers season as soon as possible.  Wait'll next year.  (And go Flyers!)

Phillies open on Monday.  Welcome back, baseball...

Monday, March 11, 2013

When media fails...

A few miles to our north, it was reported NYPD will retire the term "accident" in favor of the more appropriate term "collision" when it comes to incidents of motor vehicle violence.

Like perhaps this incident in Queens today, where a motorist sped into the wrong lane, jumped a curb and drove up onto the sidewalk at high speed, killing a 16-year old and injuring four others...

This sidewalk is often crowded with students waiting to cross Thomson Avenue after getting off the Q39 bus, and the street also sees heavy traffic from drivers on their way to and from the free Queensboro Bridge.
Today’s fatality is the latest in a series of crashes in which motorists have driven off the roadway and injured or killed pedestrians on the sidewalk. On February 12, an 89 year-old man was seriously injured when an SUV driver jumped the curb on Fifth Avenue in Midtown, smashing into Saks Fifth Avenue. On February 22, Brooklyn Heights resident Martha Atwater, 48, was killed just blocks from home when a pickup truck driver drove onto the sidewalk and crushed her. Just two days later, a pedestrian was killed at Third Avenue and East 27th Street in Manhattan after a two-car collision sent a taxi careening onto the sidewalk. On March 1, a man was seriously injured on the sidewalk at 8th Avenue and 51st Street after a driver jumped the curb.
...immediately prior to jumping out of his deadly weapon and saying "I'm sorry."


Yeah, no.  Here's to hoping this killer won't get away with "no criminality suspected," as so many others have before.

So anyway, here in Philadelphia we are apprised of this story, in which two sisters have been victims of hit-and-run motor vehicle violence in the very same week.  The only reason this story probably made the news in the first place is due to the 'believe it or not!' angle (quote right there in the article - ""It's amazing. Like, I just can't believe somebody can have this much bad luck," said Jim.").

 It's not 'bad luck,' though.  It's two crimes, and very serious ones at that, at least if Pennsylvania criminal law is to be believed.  Let's hope the authorities prosecute them properly when the responsible parties are found.

A 10-year-old girl and her 15-year-old sister were struck by two separate hit-and-run drivers in a span of only three days.

At least ABC said "drivers," rather than "cars," which seems more often than not to be the chosen assailant in such instances.  As if there was nobody behind the wheel, and some angry piece of machinery just decided to randomly mow down our neighbors of its own volition.

Of course, where they really fail is here -

Both accidents remain under investigation.

Neither of these incidents of motor vehicle violence were "accidents," and in fact they became crimes according to the law of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, as noted above, when both drivers fled the scene.

15-year-old Kylie Givens is fighting for her life in the Intensive Care Unit at Aria Torresdale Hospital. 
The Mayfair teen was knocked off her feet by a hit-and-run driver Saturday night at the intersection of Torresdale and East Cheltenham avenues in Philadelphia's Frankford section.
Kylie's sister, 10-year-old Sarah Givens, was struck on the 2400 block of Memphis Street in Fishtown around 2:15 p.m. Thursday. 
Sarah tells Action News, "I was walking across the street and I saw a white truck just come zoom down the street. I got hit, flew up, and I land under a car, then blacked out."

Brian Hickey has more here.

In the past three years, I've chronicled 3,359 cases of vehicle-on-pedestrian hit-and-runs from across the country. It's an awareness mission.
While my case may have gotten a bit of attention locally (that's what happens when a crime victim is a member of a media that covers crime and its victims), hit-and-runs were not nearly getting the level of attention they deserved.
I get the sense that public awareness of the hit-and-run epidemic is growing. All I can do is hope that that trend a) helps solve some of the cases, both fatal and nonfatal and b) convinces people to remain at the scene.
Let's set morality aside for the sake of this discussion. The problem with bringing "b" to fruition is that Pennsylvania's antiquated laws encourage the opposite.


As currently written, drunk drivers are unintentionally encouraged to leave a hit-and-run scene. A drunk driver who kills faces a mandatory three-year sentence, while a drunk driver who flees, sobers up and gets caught (or turns him- or herself in) faces a one-year minimum.
Police officers tell me they know this.
Speaking in the wake of the fatal hit-and-run of a 5-year-old boy in Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County First Assistant District Attorney Sam Sanguedolce likened that lapse to an "incentive to flee."
This is something state legislators know as well.

Time to fix this.  And not only for instances of drunk driving, either, as it doesn't matter whether the criminal is drunk or sober.  Running over somebody, and fleeing, needs to carry an extremely stiff penalty which would ideally act as a disincentive against same in all cases.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Rockin' Steady...

...unlike SEPTA buses on the 89 route, Arrott TC-bound, which are detoured indefinitely due to a gigantic pothole.  The 89 from York-Dauphin runs to Frankford down Front, makes a left onto Norris, then runs along its regular route, and will do so for at least another month.

There's something to be said for this, but I'm not quite sure exactly what.  Anyway, don't wait for the 89 along Dauphin's usual stops west of Frankford, or at Frankford & Dauphin or Frankford & Susquehanna. Because the bus ain't coming there until April.

But these guys have a great song.  Also, comical suits and fantastic neckwear.  The 80s were truly incredible, weren't they?

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Time Lapse Philadelphia

A great video, a great song and great scenes from a great city.  My favorite in the world (that's why I live here!), in fact.

To varying degrees, every day in Philadelphia is a perfect day to me.  As long as I wake up here on any given day, there is hope.  And hope is a good thing.  Maybe the best of things.  And no good thing ever dies.

Though some scenes from here in Kensington would have been nice.  Or elsewhere in our more forgotten neighborhoods, particularly in North Philly.   Maybe next time...

Monday, February 18, 2013

It's Good To Be Home...

We'll have some history here, we'll have a bunch of transit stuff, we'll have a little bit of sports and architecture and local politics, and more ghost signs than you can ever even imagine beginning to shake a shillelagh at.

Welcome to JayinPhiladelphia.  I hope you'll visit often.