Petition Calls For Permanent Enforcement Of South Broad Median Parking Ban

 

A refreshingly uncluttered--and safer--South Broad Street. | Photo: 5th Square PAC

A refreshingly uncluttered–and safer–South Broad Street. | Photo: 5th Square PAC

  • The local urbanist PAC 5th Square has organized a petition campaign to have Mayor Jim Kenney to embrace in earnest his Vision Zero stance for street safety by continuing to enforce the median parking ban along South Broad Street after the Democratic National Convention. For the past week, at the expense of 200 unneeded spaces, Philadelphians and their guests have been treated to “no blocked turning lanes; no drivers and passengers suddenly exiting vehicles in the center of the street; no pedestrians suddenly popping out from between parked vehicles; and no dangerous traffic conflicts as drivers in the left-hand lane try to parallel park in the median.”
  • According to Naked Philly, the developer Callahan Ward has managed to squeeze in seven homes to what had been a five-home project at Green & Galloway Streets in Northern Liberties.
  • During Philadelphia’s week of speeches from presidents—past, present, and likely future—Curbed Philly maps seventeen locales that have also hosted the Commander in Chief—from Washington’s Germantown sanctuary from yellow fever, Taft’s dedication of Wannamaker’s in 1911, to Barack Obama’s stirring “Race Speech” at the Constitution Center back in March, 2008.
  • West Philly Local shares photos from last night’s initial Shakespeare in Clark Park performance of The Two Gentlemen of Verona, among the Bard’s earliest comedies. “Performances are every night through Sunday, July 31 beginning at 7 p.m. If it rains, the whole thing moves to University of the Sciences.”
About the author

Stephen Currall recently received his BA in history from Arcadia University. Before beginning doctoral studies, he is pursuing his interest in local history, specifically just how Philadelphians engage their vibrant past. Besides skimming through 18th century letters, Steve is also interested in music and travel.

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1 Comment


  1. I have some comments on Vision Zero. I think that the two best things the city can do are to set the speed limits to the 85th percentile free-flowing traffic speeds, and at traffic lights, set the yellow durations to the 85th speed, plus a small extra amount of added time. Right now in Philly, we have poor traffic engineering, coupled with predatory enforcement. Vision Zero will take this to a level we do not want to be at.

    The speed cameras being lobbied for are a total disaster. I urge you to check into how many errors these make. They produce false readings and even cite the incorrect car. These are put into areas with absurdly low speed limits and tickets go out barely above the limit.

    With red-light cameras, the city should immediately discontinue their usage. In many areas, when the light is too short, people are cited a split-second after it changes, for stopping over the stop line, or a non-complete stop for a right-on-red turn. Who can defend this setup? The short yellows alone are a major problem, which yield most of the “violations.” Federal data also shows that non-complete stops for right turns almost never cause a crash, yet are the bulk of the tickets.

    All you need are speed limits set to the 85th percentile free-flowing traffic speed, longer yellows, decent length all-red intervals, and sensors to keep an all-red if someone enters late. No crashes! Can also sync lights and use sensors to change them and know where cars are.

    We then go on the stepped up normal police ticketing, which again is a problem. Every speed-timing device makes errors. Whether you lobby for fancier devices or use what you have, they still make errors. Same concerns as above with speed cameras, but a cop issues the tickets.

    Radar makes many errors, speed limits too low, and tickets barely over the speed limits.

    The lowering of speed limits was addressed above. Bad idea.

    In addition to the above ticketing safe drivers, the wrong drivers, etc., it is worse. Much of the above CAUSE crashes and lead to more congestion. It is easy to make numbers say what you want, but even right now, unbiased data shows that since red-light cameras were put in, crashes have gone up. You cannot deny this. Major media even reported it. If you adopt Vision Zero expect worse stats.

    The city council and mayor have fallen victim to the slanted arguments of the bicycle group. While some of their ideas make sense, the demonization of cars does not. Many of their arguments are totally the opposite of what the city should be doing. I have a background in traffic engineering and have studied Vision Zero. I also know a person in NYC who tells me about the total disaster it has been there.

    I also must say that many of the crashes involving bicyclists and pedestrians are caused by those people.

    Also, what you need to realize is that the city will drive people out of the city. The only people who will go there will be people seeking medical care. If you wish to ticket the elderly, then you are a cruel person, for sure. What about traffic diversion to lesser-used roads? OK, so you put a million cams on US 1, so that will drive cars into the side roads, which were not designed for this.

    I STRONGLY urge you to NOT adopt Vision Zero, to scrap the red-light camera program, and setup correct engineering in the city. The city already has a bad reputation in the rest of the state, so making it more anti-driver will make the rest of the state view the city as a bunch of bandits from the old days, waiting to take money from hapless victims who wander by. Is that the PR you desire? I do not think the tourism officials and local business chambers would like this, do you?

    Check out the National Motorists Association. Thanks.

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