February 9: Clarke goes big, vague on jobs plan | National jump in road fatalities | Changing up El seating

Fatalities on the nation’s roads increased 9.3 percent through the first nine months of 2015 compared to the previous year, said the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in a Friday news dump. Pete Bigelow at Auto Blog says if that percentage holds through the final three months of the year, the increase will be the largest one-year percentage spike since 1946. Previous NHTSA studies have shown a pattern of declining injuries and fatalities for people inside of cars, paired with worsening conditions for vulnerable road users like pedestrians outside of cars. 

Council President Darrell Clarke held a press conference yesterday to announce the $1 billion Philadelphia Energy Campaign: a plan to create 10,000 jobs through energy-efficiency retrofits to public buildings, low-income homes and apartments, restaurants, and neighborhood grocery stores. The plan is short on specifics, but Katie Colaneri explains that 3,000 of the jobs would supposedly be created during the implementation phase, while the remaining 7,000 would be created during the murkier “savings phase,” when people have more disposable income left over after their energy bills are reduced. Or, as the kids say,  ¯_(ツ)_/¯.

It’s time for SEPTA to switch to longitudinal seating on the El, says Malcolm Burnley. Faced with overcrowding during on-peak service, which is only going to get worse as new development hugs the El in growing neighborhoods, SEPTA is being forced to look at alternatives to the current two-by-two, frontward-facing seating arrangement. Currently they’re only piloting small changes, but Burnley argues they should fully switch to the longitudinal seating arrangement seen in New York and Chicago train cars. 

Jim Kenney is still against the new Temple stadium, says Aaron Moselle, but Temple’s board is still moving forward with a $1 million design study. “Right now, Temple leases Lincoln Financial Field from the Philadelphia Eagles for its football games. Kenney said he’d rather see the Owls continue playing there, and he’s working with both parties to see if a more equitable deal can be reached.”

Following up on the Vox story about high lead levels in Pennsylvania cities, Laura Benshoff takes a deeper look at the nature of lead risks in Pennsylvania cities, and says it’s mostly about older housing. The state DEP has even more details about PA’s lead risks, and here’s a good state program to be aware of, now that budget season is here: “Statewide, funds for lead poisoning initiatives flow through the Pennsylvania Lead and Health Homes Program, an umbrella initiative promoting education and prevention of health risks in homes.”

Conrad Benner spies a very elaborate street art piece someone lovingly created on a roll-off trash container on Broad Street. 

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