Monday, November 04, 2002

  • WHERE'S HARRY KALAS WHEN YOU NEED HIM? Happy 80th birthday to the Frankford El, which was opened on this day in 1922. The Frankford El, originally built by the City of Philadelphia's Transportation Department (which no longer exists), connected with the Market Street Elevated at Front and Arch Sts - which is right around the general area of the Ben Franklin Bridge. It would've been nice if SEPTA had made some passing mention of it, but that would be asking too much.

  • FOUND: COLUMNIST IN NEED OF SENSITIVITY TRAINING In this week's editions of the Main Line Times, Managing Editor Kevin Williamson reported on a recent debate between State Sen. James Gerlach (R-44) and Democrat Dan Wofford which took place recently at a synagogue in Gladwynne, Lower Merion Twp. Gerlach and Wofford are running for the newly created 6th Congressional District seat (as if you hadn't noticed the slew of ads not seen in a congressional race in the western suburbs in recent memory). As expected, Schuylkill Valley came up, with this amusing exchange by Wofford as part of the debate:

    The most amusing bit came when the two were discussing the proposed Schuylkill Valley Metro Rail, which would link Center City to Reading (with a stop in Bala Cynwyd, Main Line Times readers will note). Gerlach, like any local leader who wants to be elected, is much in favor of the proposal, but Wofford darkly proclaimed that - you guessed it - "right-wing extremists" in the GOP would stymie Gerlach's efforts to support mass transit. As if Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson were holding Nuremberg-style rallies to burn bus passes and marching against SEPTA. "Javol! Get off zee bus! Vee have vays of making you drive zee SUVs!"

    Mr. Wofford apparently hasn't seen the make-up of the SEPTA Board, which is dominated by Republicans who live in the suburbs (disclosure note: I am a registered Repblican myself). Apparently, Mr. Williamson seems to forget that there's a large Jewish population on the eastern end of the Main Line - particularly in Lower Merion - who might be offended by the last two sentences of the above noted paragraph. (The link above deals with what Williamson percieves as a lot of "extremist" talk by Wofford; the above paragraph is in the middle of the article.)

  • WAIT 'TIL NEXT YEAR No, that's not the new rallying cry of the Phillies (who better sign either Jim Thome, Tom Glavine, or any big name free agent this off-season, or I - and scores of other Phillies fans presently on the fence - might not be inclined to buy season ticket plans for next year or when (This Name For $ale) Stadium opens in 2004), but rather a warning for R2 Marcus Hook and R3 Elwyn riders as it pertains to the Rail Power Project. At some point next year, during Phase 2 of the project, all weekend R3 Elwyn trains will be cut back to University City. I haven't heard any official confirmation about R2 trains being cut back to University City, but judging from yesterday's fiasco, I wouldn't be shocked if that's the case. Shuttle buses from University City to Center City would probably be operated by Callowhill. On a side note, fare collection on the R1 Airport shuttles are being handled by RRD conductors as opposed to collecting fares via the farebox on board the buses. Considering the bus operators are not as familiar with the RRD fare structure, that's not really a bad idea.

  • HOLIDAY HAPPENINGS SEPTA is already in full planning mode as it relates to extra holiday service to and from area malls. Extra service would be added from Exton Square, Granite Run, Montgomery, Plymouth Meeting, and Franklin Mills malls. More details are expected shortly.

  • B.S. ALERT An open house is scheduled for Wednesday regarding the Cross County boondoggle - uh, I mean "Metro" - at 1 Montgomery Plaza (Swede and Airy Sts) in Norristown. The open house will take place from 4:30pm until 8:00pm. Anyone capable of translating "SEPTA Double-speak" is strongly encouraged to attend - and possibly flush out the lies about this glorified trolley line.
  • No comments: