The Morning Commute: March 3, 2015

3Mar
Making ordinary, extraordinary with design. The bathrooms at Longwood Gardens about 40 mins south of Philly.

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Tuesday Linkage:

 

1) Governor Wolf has already proven he's not afraid to take some bold moves to address Pennsylvania's many financial woes. He's going bold on tax reform with big implications for everyone.

2) New rules from the PPA mean the cabs are going to get better here in Philly. The catch? The timetables for change are WAY TOO LONG. 8 Years? We'll have a new new mayor by then!

3) Seems selling off school buildings to fund the cash strapped school district is more complicated and nets less gain than we thought.

4) Say what you will about the Grumpy Cat banner flying in the face of Comcast but it certainly took some gumption and about $7000 to make it happen. More details from the org that made it happen.

5) Design should enhance the beauty of the ordinary and plainly engineered. It should be beautiful but please don't forget "functional design first or don't bother." This article is the counter example to the Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk, devoid of nearly any design. It seems the sweet spot for bridge architecture is somewhere in the middle.

6) A few years back Philly hosted an artist who shot lazers into the sky at night near the art museum. Kinda wish they hired this dude instead.

7) This is the face of traffic fatality. We can turn the other way and say they are unpreventable, or we as a society can hold drivers, who occupy a special role in the public space, more accountable.

8) More violent confrontations with homeless people courtesy of the LAPD. Last year a homeless women was beaten on camera by an officer who blatantly used too much force. This year a group of officers who apparently know nothing about deescalating situations shot and killed a homeless man. Both this and last years events involved people of color.

9) Want to increase the cost of public transit with marginal effects for the folks you want to protect? A bill in Seattle to subsidize parking for low income residents affected by a light rail will do just that. Meanwhile, public infrastructure costs in the US (particularly for urban rail) continue to outpace all other developed countries in the world.

10) Children often see things differently than the parents who raise them. Such is the case for streets.

BONUS: The Philadelphia Inquirer Editorial Board weighs in on Council President Clarke's proposal to grab more power from the mayor and planning. They basically call it a horrible idea. It is.

Last Updated: Tuesday, 03 March 2015 @ 08.55
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Written By: 
geoff's picture Geoff Kees Thompson Founder + Urban Planner Website: thisoldcity.com About the Author:

Other than time away from Philly studying his masters in Urban Planning in the Netherlands, Geoff has lived here since 2005. He founded This Old City to advocate for better public space as a means to economic development, improved public health, lower crime and a more environmentally sustainable future. He currently sits on the Executive Board of SOSNA and is the head volunteer gardener for Saint Mark's Church at 1625 Locust Street.

 

He is also Chair of The 5th Square PAC, an organization committed to voter education and the funding of progressive urbanist candidates for Philadelphia's future. 

 

Follow This Old City on Twitter @thisoldcity and Facebook or Geoff individually @geoffkees

Follow The 5th Square on Twitter @5thsq and Facebook