Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Streets of Philadelphia

As most of you know, I work in Cente1205081501r City Philadelphia and commute in daily  from the South Jersey suburbs.  Most days it takes about 30 minutes.  Some days longer.  But almost every day I see something interesting.

Smart cars, fender benders, clueless dog walkers, movies shoots, girlfriends throwing the ex's stuff out a 3rd floor window.  You never know what the commute will bring.  Lately the Tylenol Taxis have been attracting attention.  Billed as "London Taxis," the Illinois-licensed cars are left hand drive, so I am not sure how accurate that phrase is, but they are a pretty cool ad concept.

Recently the commute has been complicated by the installation of giant brown metal boxes at every intersection.  The brown boxes are everywhere in Center 1203081509 City!  Part of the project that is replacing all of the traffic lights and adding street lights throughout Philly.  It's a great project for the guys tearing up all the streets and installing ribbons of sticky hot patch on every corner, but I'm about done with it.

I'm not sure the long term value of the project outweighs one or two ugly brown boxes on every corner.  These monsters are over five feet tall and two feet square.  I am told by some of the workers that they house the controls for the traffic signals.  And "some other stuff."  Hmm.  Sounds faintly like Dick Cheney might be involved.  I thought that technology had made some advances in terms of miniaturization in the last century or so.  These babies look like they could house a Cray supercomputer.

And finally you've got the recent appearance of these odd ads on the sidewalk in front of various Avenue of the Arts venues.  I'm not sure what they're all about, but they encourage you to call a1205081456 Northern Virginia area code.  Random stuff appears on the sidewalks and streets of Center City all the time, but the fluorescent paint caught my attention.  They didn't hold up well to the recent rain so it's unlikely that the project has any serious legs.

Everyone have a great day and drive safely in the rain!


Hillary said...

it seems the giant boxes would hinder being able to safely drive and cross streets. . .as in blocking the view??

Chris said...

They do make negotiating the sidewalk, already cluttered with bike racks, newspaper boxes and various other crap, a rather challenging task. They also make it kind of tough for drivers to see pedestrians in some situations.
Lots of places they are set against nearby buildings, but a few, such as the one pictured, are right next to the street.