those Philadelphia streets

Philadelphia is one of the most walkable U.S. cities. And yet, it could be so much better and safer. I snapped this picture in frustration after waiting through a whole light cycle of buses blocking the crosswalk, only to have them block a second whole cycle.


I would love for the culture to improve or human beings to just decide to behave better. I know better street designs exist and U.S. cities are negligent in not adopting them immediately. But until human nature and political will improve, some law enforcement could help here today. It turns out, it is not just my impression that Philadelphia police don’t enforce traffic laws.

Officers are writing a third as many tickets for moving violations as they were in 1999, when they issued 418,881 citations. Last year, it was down 14 percent, and it continued dropping in the first half of 2015 – down 12 percent, compared with the same period the previous year.

Police officials privately concede that traffic enforcement is a low priority in the city, where crime has been on the rise.

Because killing a flesh and blood human with your car is not a crime, it’s an “accident”. They don’t belong there, because you are in a car and the streets are for you, not them.

Just out of curiosity, I compared the murder rate in Philadelphia (246) to the rate of traffic fatalities (89), including pedestrians (40? – these are pedestrians “involved in fatal accidents”, which is slightly ambiguous). These are 2013 numbers. So there are more murders, but I still don’t see why the police automatically prioritize one form of violent death over another. Which type of violent death is more preventable? Which type is more likely to affect society’s most innocent and vulnerable – children, the elderly and disabled? In which case are the perpetrators sitting in vehicles with easily identified numbers on them and often caught on camera?

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