July 23: Record regional rail rides | deadly Roosevelt Boulevard | approach behind reduced crime | Keep Philadelphia Beautiful | 4224 Baltimore meeting

Good morning, Streeters. We hope you didn’t wake up to much trouble after last night’s heavy rain.

From July 2012-June 2013 SEPTA’s regional rail saw record ridership with more than 36 million trips. Our Christine Fisher unpacks this banner year, even as SEPTA faces reduced state funding and an estimated operating budget deficit of $38 million.

Last week a reckless driver on Roosevelt Boulevard fatally struck a woman and three of her young children. They are among the 20 pedestrians to be killed (and more than 130 hit) on Roosevelt Boulevard in the last five years. An Inquirer editorial calls on officials to take meaningful action to make the Boulevard safer. Despite recent attention, “the road continues to encourage recklessness among drivers and pedestrians alike.” With up to 12 lanes and three medians, the Boulevard encourages speeding and invites pedestrians to brave death with features like unsignaled/unmarked crosswalks.

The number of major crimes in Philly has dropped to the lowest level in five years. In his Axis Philly column this week Tom Ferrick explores how data-driven policing and targeted foot patrols have led to a drop in Philly crime from small quality of life problems to violent offenses.

Flying Kite caught up with the new director of Keep Philadelphia Beautiful, Michelle Feldman, to talk shop about KPB’s new and renewed partnerships to reduce litter, curtail waste, and promote recycling.

Tomorrow will be the third (and final) community meeting to discuss the proposed 92-unit residential development at 42nd and Baltimore, across from Clark Park. West Philly Local reminds residents to attend the meeting with the developers at International House (37th and Chestnut, 2nd floor) from 6:30-8pm. You can also submit your feedback on the project’s website.

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