March 2: SEPTA setbacks | PHA smoking ban outcomes | Public-private partnerships library

High winds are blowing us away, knocking down trees, power lines, and messing up people’s hair and morning commute. The bad luck streak for SEPTA just won’t quit. This morning, FOX 29 reported, a felled PECO power line sparked a brush fire, forcing the transit authority to suspend the West Trenton regional rail line in both directions. SEPTA reports that service has resumed, though riders should expect residual delays. WHYY’s Jennifer Lynn discusses safety with PlanPhilly’s own Jim Saksa to talk about SEPTA safety, due to the recent derailments and collisions

WHYY’s Dave Davies reports the budget Mayor Jim Kenney will present to City Council proposes no increased taxes and some modest expansions in city services, such as hiring and training for 30 firefighters and 42 paramedics. 

The Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) is the largest housing agency in the country to have banned smoking in all its properties. Since the ban in 2015, researchers led by Drexel professor Ann Klassen have been monitoring nicotine levels in the individual units as well as common spaces. Comparing levels before and after the smoke-free policy went into effect, researchers found that “although the number of places where nicotine was detected remained unchanged, the levels of detected nicotine were reduced by almost half.” WHYY’s Elizabeth Fiedler covers how PHA has set a national model.

The Intersector Project, a nonprofit that assembles publicly accessible resources and research for local municipalities and practitioners, has come out with a 40 case study library on public-private collaboration. Researching specific interventions in cities including Detroit, Atlanta, and Baltimore, the Intersector Project aims to share successful tactics, local-federal government collaboration examples, and financing models for common urban issues including revitalizing riverfronts, upgrading public housing developments, and building commercial and environmental partnerships.

Are Philly’s commercial corridors destinations for humans or thoroughfares for cars? Strong Towns has developed a “Strength Test” and step-by-step guide for pedestrians to analyze their urban cores as economically productive centers. The test’s first step is simple: “Take a photo of your main street at midday. Does the picture show more people than cars?”

A new bus stop design in Singapore may be the next inspiration for American urban transportation planners. With the intention to make bus stops functional and enjoyable, the transportation and redevelopment authorities in Jurong teamed up to create a destination station with ample seating, books, bicycle parking, a swing, local artwork, and a rooftop garden.

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