November 11: Vote for transit shelter locations | Energy hub politics after Keystone XL | Lancaster sprawl

Vote here to tell MOTU where you’d like to see the new transit shelters. Here’s the back-story on the shelters from Jared Brey. 

SEPTA spokeswoman Jerri Williams is resigning to pursue a career as a novelist, reports Bobby Allyn.

Bicycling advocates in Pittsburgh want to lower the state’s standards for charging negligent drivers with vehicular manslaughter when they kill cyclists, reports Ryan Deto. They’re also pushing local police to issue citations to drivers, which they say is rare.

Flying Kite checks in with Alex Gilliam and Public Workshop, the project-based learning non-profit that teaches kids how to build public space architecture, playground equipment, and more. Alex is one of the co-organizers of Urban Geek Drinks, and you can meet him next Thursday at Frankford Hall.

A bill introduced in Harrisburg would allow townships and boroughs to assess stormwater fees without having to form a new public authority, reports David Hess. At the margin, this could have some anti-sprawl incentives.

Christopher Sawyer digs up some really bad placemaking ideas for Girard Avenue in a 2010 Brewerytown CDC planning document. 

Recent development in Lancaster County has been more sprawling than planners have been aiming for, says Marielle Segarra, with housing density actually declining in spite of a new higher density target. The main issue is that County planners don’t have any real say in municipal zoning decisions, as a result of Pennsylvania state laws making Metropolitan Planning Organizations advisory-only bodies. 

In the wake of the Obama administration’s Keystone XL decision, Jon Hurdle says Pennsylvania environmentalists are emboldened in their efforts to halt the Mariner East 2 pipeline across Pennsylvania–key to establishing the Philadelphia “energy hub.” Susan Phillips explains what the gas industry plans to do to counter this politically. 

Spurred on by low gas prices, the nation’s vehicle miles traveled hit new records. Americans are driving more miles in less fuel-efficient vehicles and taking transit less often. Here in Philly, the reductions in VMT that occurred during the recession appear to be stickier, even at the regional level. Whether that continues though is something we’ll be tracking closely.

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