Michael Nutter and Political Courage
It will be exactly one year since this city's political leaders shelved the Route 15 trolley - an estimated $82 million public works project that was already paid for, and ready to resume its historic route along the Girard Avenue corridor.
Because Carol Campbell, a ward leader who also happens to be an officer in Philadelphia's Democratic City Committee, didn't want to lose parking on one side of a block in her neighborhood.
"I don't think anyone would really have objected to the trolley itself, but when they started talking about taking away the parking, well, that was a different story," said Campbell, who lives on the adjacent block.
A compromise position Â make room by turning the block into a one-way street Â was rejected by neighbors.
City Councilman Michael Nutter, who could have forced the issue by introducing a city ordinance to change the traffic pattern, opted not to do so.
From the smoking ban to ethics reform, Michael Nutter is often portrayed as a guy who puts the interests of the city first. For example, his tax reform proposal is supposed to be part of an overall strategy to promote economic growth. Frankly, a good public transit system is essential to development and shared prosperity. So why is Nutter letting this multi-million dollar project get bogged down in ward politics?