Josh (desh) wrote,

Philly news

Two little things that were tacked onto the end of a KYW 1060 story last night:

Also today, City Councilmembers gave final approval to a bill that revokes the power of the Parking Authority to ticket you if you don’t display those little registration decals on license plates.

And, the lawmakers okayed a bill that allows right hand turns on Chestnut Street in Center City west of Broad Street. Once the Mayor signs it, right hand turns will be allowed river to river.

Yay, our city council actually does useful, productive things on occasion!

The Parking Authority thing was absurd. First of all, the license plate stickers get stolen all the time. People will even cut the plates to get the stickers. Some of us prefer to keep the stickers in our glove compartments, willing to risk getting pulled over (at which point we can just show the cop the sticker and the registration), but this rule eliminated that possibility and opened us up to the hassle of stolen stickers. And second of all, the rule was classist to begin with. If your car wasn't legally registered, then you couldn't even park it? What were you supposed to do with it? This doesn't cause a problem for suburban people, who can just ditch the car in the driveway, or for the upper class, who can just store an extra unregistered car in a garage somewhere.

And the Chestnut Street thing? I'm so glad they're finally getting rid of the last bit of the old plan for the street. Chestnut Street, you see, is a major one-way street in the city that was closed down for years in hopes of making it a sort of open-air pedestrian mall. That failed miserably, unfortunately. But when they decided to reopen the street to traffic, the federal government inexplicably offered the city money for street reconstruction, on the condition that you not be allowed to turn right off of the street! It was an absurd condition that did nothing to ease traffic on the road. I have no idea why it was in place. But we lost the money a few years ago when we decided to allow right turns on half of the stretch of road, so why not just allow them on the whole stretch? I have friends who actually got illegal-right-turn tickets there, so it's not just a technicality. Kudos!

Now, if they could just attempt the damn smoking ban again, and successfully this time. I don't want to have to go to Jersey just to find a bar I'm comfortable in. (And by the way, the favorite argument for all the anti-ban people, that smoky patrons will flee to Jersey, is no longer valid since Jersey passed its own ban.) I'd say it's time for either the city or the state to exit the dark ages of public health and substance laws, but this is the state that insists on state-ownership of all the liquor stores, so I'm not holding my breath. Well, actually, I am holding my breath. Every time I go into a bar.

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