Monday, August 19, 2002

ARCHIVES - 08/19/02

As a follow up to the controversy over the 115 extension through Norwood, SEPTA held a public meeting on August 7, bringing an ElDorado to the meeting for display purposes, mainly to alleviate concerns from residents about what kind of bus would be used on the line. During the meeting, some angry residents went so far as to threaten to throw rocks at the buses as they passed by on Winona Av. According to some sources, the Norwood Borough officials at the meeting didn't seem to discourage that idea. When the meeting ended, the tires on the bus were slashed. The suspects were not caught, and apparently, Norwood Police couldn't be bothered to investigate. Additionally, residents have posted home-made signs along some streets in Norwood which could pass as official government issued signs. (I have yet to see said signs, but that wouldn't really surprise me.)

An added thumbs down goes to Pa. State Rep. Ron C. Raymond (R-162) for backing the residents of Norwood in the fight against extending the 115. While foolishly backing the borough's actions, Raymond may have suffered a bit of a brain lock. His actions basically was a slap in the face to his other constituents in the 162 District, including those living in Darby Borough, Collingdale, Sharon Hill, and Folcroft - all of which are in the 162 District (as is Glenolden, where MacDade Mall is located, though I'm not sure if that part of Glenolden is in the 162 or 163 House District).

If anybody wants to protest Rep. Raymond's short-sighted actions against the Route 115 extension, you can send snail mail to:

District Office:
The Hon. Ron C. Raymond
1337 Chester Pike
Sharon Hill, PA 19079

Capitol Address:
The Hon. Ron C. Raymond
Room 209
Ryan Office Bldg
Harrisburg, PA 17120-2020

You can also call Rep. Raymond's office in Sharon Hill (610-534-1002) or Harrisburg (717-787-3742).

On a more service related note, subway-surface cars were diverted during the mid-day due to overhead problems. In an unusual tactic, the 10, 11, and shortened 36 were diverted to the 40 St El station as per normal diversion, however, the 13 and 34 operated to the 40 St Portal, where passengers were forced to board buses between 40 St Portal and 40 St El Station. Reportedly, there are some power issues (electrical, not political - we hope) that prevented all five lines from operating over the diversion route. Either that, or Rep. Raymond got involved...

Meanwhile, the new Red Arrow changes went into effect today. There were few problems observed, except for the 111 operator en route to Chadds Ford on the 4:00pm departure from 69 St (4453 block, though I don't recall of the very top of my head) who bypassed Penn State completely after leaving Riddle Hospital, and had to backtrack to Penn State after serving Franklin Mint first. The end result was a 20 minute delay arriving into Chadds Ford, resulting in a barely made connection with the last 314 bus back to West Chester.

Between the X-Games at the First Union Complex and the Phillies game at Veterans Stadium on Sunday, approximately 100,000 people were around the Sports Complex in South Philadelphia. Shuttle buses between the Navy Yard and First Union Complex (buses were signed "FIRST UNION SPECTRUM") were mainly Neo artics (half from Midvale with 312x blocks, half from Allegheny with 525x blocks, and Southern 5494 tossed in for good measure). Passengers boarded and alighted from the inner lanes on Broad St at Pattison. From brief observation after the Phillies game (okay, after the 6th inning), the artics were running about every 5 minutes, with standing loads in both directions.

On the Broad Street Line side, service wasn't quite as good. At around 4:45pm, when the ball game ended, there was about a 10-15 minute wait for trains to even arrive at Pattison Station. The platform was crowded and continued to fill until the next Fern Rock local arrived at 5:02pm. One would think that SEPTA could run 6 car trains on the Broad St Line or schedule trains every 6-8 minutes instead of tossing a couple of extra trains here and there over a 10 minute headway, but SEPTA doesn't seem to have that much foresight. (Yet another arguement for express buses from outlying areas to the sports complex, a la Baltimore.)

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