Wednesday, November 02, 2005

The Upside of the Septa Strike: A View from Philly's sidewalks

Reading the Inquirer's coverage of the Septa strike, which appears to be written largely by automobile-obsessed suburban residents, you would think that every stranded commuter has taken to the roads and is spending two hours a day fuming and spitting inside his car. Not true!

For some, the strike has been liberating. Instead of the morning roller coaster ride on a Septa bus, this commuter and her 12-year-old daughter have been enjoying invigorating two-mile walks to school and work. You can't ask for better strike weather than the last three days, and the sidewalks have been filled with legions of other commuters-turned-pedestrians. Today, we took a pleasant bike ride along the Schuylkill River path to school. Of course, the ride became somewhat less pleasant once we exited onto city streets and encountered long lines of strike-stressed motorists. Why do bicycles make you invisible?

Still, we know the weather isn't going to stay this lovely forever. You would think that some elected official - Mayor Street? Gov. Rendell? - might be concerned that a major metropolis of 1.5 million is paralyzed by a mass transit strike. But not yet. They've been taking a strangely laissez-faire approach to the Septa walk-out. Street assured us in this morning's Inquirer that he would get involved at "the appropriate time." Excuse us, but isn't that, like, now?

3 Comments:

Blogger J. Blobbom said...

I bike-commuted for more than three years before beginning to work at home. It's generally very pleasant, but I did rely on SEPTA for rainy and snowy days.

I don't sympathize with either side very much in this dispute. My solution: Lock negotiators in a room with bread and water. Let them come out when they've found a modus vivendi.

I guarantee, the strike would be over before the end of the week.

1:32 PM  
Blogger Gabriella said...

The holidays are fast approaching, I guarantee the strikers won't be out long--food and presents are expensive. Besides, when will these all too coddled employees realize that the rest of us have been shouldering a share of our health insurance premiums for some time now. It's time they do the same, or SEPTA won't exist any longer.
Glad you're enjoying your commutes with your daughter. Sorry but 8 miles is just too far to bike it.

9:52 AM  
Blogger blueshirt4508 said...

Best thing about the strike - no more noisy buses polluting the air. The City is much quieter, and the sidewalks are more crowded. It's so much more pleasant, and it feels like a big city.

4:23 PM  

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