Feb 26: Transportation roundup: Why SEPTA is #1 | Complete Streets Handbook released | TOD for four subway stops | Wayne Junction upgrades draw development | high-speed rail

Good morning Streeters. Don’t forget the umbrella today – you’ll need it later. Here’s a transportation-themed news roundup:

SEPTA was honored with the 2012 Outstanding Public Transportation System award, in part for how far SEPTA has come since the dark ages of the 1990s. The Daily News traces SEPTA’s progress under board chairman Pat Deon since the agency’s broke mid-1990s to an era of greater transparency and data-driven decision-making which in turn has attracted government funding for system improvement projects.

The Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities released the final version of the Complete Streets Handbook, reports PlanPhilly’s Christine Fisher. The overall effort puts the city’s ideal street design guidelines, permitting information, and requirements in one place, in the hope of making the city’s Complete Streets policies easier to understand and work with.

The Central District Plan will encourage high-density mixed-use development by recommending Transit Oriented Development (TOD) zoning overlays for areas surrounding to four subway stops: the Fairmount and Lombard-South stops on the Broad Street Line and the Spring Garden and Girard stops along the El. Flying Kite reports that the Planning Commission is likely to vote on the TOD overlays in June. Learn more about the Central District Plan at tomorrow’s open house at City Hall.

SEPTA’s Wayne Junction upgrades are drawing new investment in neighboring properties, Flying Kite reports. Among the projects near Wayne Junction: Developer Ken Weinstein’s ongoing adaptation of the Max Levy Autograph building (check out Amy Z. Quinn’s tour of the Levy building for PlanPhilly/NewsWorks from September) and nearby on Germantown Avenue, Nicetown Court II (phase two of the Universal Companies and Nicetown CDC development) is under construction.

Is high-speed rail on track or falling of the rails? Next City looks at the state of President Obama’s high-speed rail promises in light of insufficient funding to get projects like the Northeast Corridor track improvements moving and Congressional Republicans use of investment in high-speed rail as a wedge-issue. 

The Buzz is Eyes on the Street’s morning news digest. Have a tip? Send it along.

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