Sunday, February 15, 2009

Irony at 37th and Powelton

Practice what you preach, Philadelphia!

I don't have many artistic gifts, but from time to time I conceive of projects I would create if I did possess such gifts.

One project, for example, would be a better version of the above photo, more clearly highlighting the irony.

Which brings up another point. Philadelphia's roads are in terrible condition:
  • The above intersection has been that way for weeks.
  • I can think of at least three intersections where the stoplights at times don't work properly.
  • It's not unusual to find sections of road blocked off because of giant potholes or ditches.
  • When it snowed two weeks ago, it seemed the roads weren't treated at all. My car almost got stuck going down Chestnut St. Roads across the Ben Franklin in New Jersey were completely clear.
I can only conclude that the road condition highlights the desperate condition of our city's finances.

A book I'm reading now puts the current crisis in perspective. It's called "A Prayer for the City," and it's about Ed Rendell's first term as mayor of Philadelphia from 1992-1995. I've been amazed at how worse off Philadelphia was then. However, I've been struck by how similar the city's plight seems now.

For instance, Rendell's big challenge upon taking office was dealing with Philadelphia's unprecedented budget deficit. Mayor Nutter's has been the same.

It remains to be seen whether or not the roads were in similarly bad shape then.