Thursday, April 10, 2003

  • CHESTNUT HILL UPROAR It appears that people in Northwest Philadelphia are not to thrilled with the plan by SEPTA to eliminate the R8 Chestnut Hill West line - and who can blame them? The Chestnut Hill Local newspaper (link to article was posted in the phl.transportation newsgroup) reports that business owners and civic association leaders in Chestnut Hill, Mt. Airy, and Germantown, along with other advocates in the Manayunk/Roxborough area, are complaining in droves to elected officials, including State Sen. Allyson Schwartz (D-Philadelphia) and City Councilmembers Donna Reed Miller (D-8th) and Frank Rizzo (R-At Large). Rizzo also sent a letter to SEPTA officials that accuse the agency of targeting Gov. Rendell's political allies in Chestnut Hill. At the same time, Rizzo offered a more rational suggestion to SEPTA, as quoted in the CH Local:

    "Eliminating four of our regional rail lines and cutting or merging dozens of bus routes suggests more of a political ploy to influence
    our state government in Harrisburg, than sound budget practice," Rizzo writes.

    Rendell has many friends in the Chestnut Hill and Mt. Airy neighborhoods. Rizzo's chief of staff Stewart Graham said he thought cutting the R8 was aimed at those friends.

    "SEPTA has talked about discontinuing the R7 [Chestnut Hill East line] for years," he said. "Now they want to cut the R8. You have to wonder about what strategy was there."

    Rizzo also suggested some reductions in service rather than wholesale cuts. "At least this would allow communities to continue to be served," Rizzo writes.

    Well said, councilman. It's a damn shame that he doesn't run against Emperor Street this fall (though if Sam Katz were elected, it would still mark a major upgrade at Broad & Market).
  • No comments: