November 19: PA House votes down transportation funding bill | Demo and construction safety updates | Curbing speeding on Kelly Drive | Gettysburg Address at 150

Hey Streeters. Here’s what’s buzzing this Tuesday morning:

In a late vote Monday the Pennsylvania House narrowly voted down a transportation funding bill, the Inquirer reports. The compromise bill, debated for months, would have provided critical funding to repair the state’s structurally deficient bridges, crumbling roads, and aging mass transit systems. Democrats objected to the changes to prevailing wage rules for transportation projects and Republicans saw the bill as a tax increase. Don’t forget: Pennsylvania has the most structurally deficient bridges of any state in the nation. SEPTA is staring down service cuts and closures due to a “doomsday budget” scenario that is looking ever more likely. Remember to thank your legislators when you hit those potholes, come up on a closed bridge, and watch SEPTA shrink.

By year’s end City Council is expected to vote on a legislation package meant to clarify and stiffen safety requirements for demolition and construction, pursued after six people died at 22nd and Market in June when a building being demolished collapsed onto an active Salvation Army store. The Inquirer reports that the bills got preliminary approval at City Council yesterday. The bills aim to tighten oversight of demolition, ensure safer construction sites for workers and passersby, increase qualifications for demolition contractors, and give L&I new power to inspect and stop work at construction sites.

If you’re speeding on Kelly Drive near Fountain Green, expect the light at Fountain Green to turn red. The city has installed sensors in the roadway will tell the light at Fountain Green to turn red as anti-speeding pilot program. The Inquirer reports that although the speed limit on this stretch of Kelly Drive is 35, most cars hit 55. If this pilot program actually helps curb speeding, expect to see it tested out on Roosevelt Boulevard and Lincoln Drive. 

Today is the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address, and the National Constitution Center will mark the occasion with a full day of programming. A costumed Lincoln impersonator will read the 272-word address at 11am. The Constitution Daily blog shares some interesting pieces to mark the occasion, including commentary on the importance of Lincoln’s words and reminds us of President Eisenhower’s “forgotten” speech at the 100th anniversary in 1963 – overshadowed at the time and by history due to President Kennedy’s assassination days later.

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