Trolleys return on Sunday!

So says http://hiddencityphila.org/2012/04/girard-avenue-streamliners-return-sunday/ -- trolleys are coming back now that various track repairs are finished, and they'll be running on the shorter route down to the turnaround at Frankford/Delaware.

Susquehanna's picture

"Diesel buses will continue to serve East Girard Avenue and Richmond Street for the next two to four years until I-95 construction is complete."
i'm confused by this statement. i thought Girard, east of Front, was screwed during this time. am i reading this correctly that buses will connect at the turnaround and service Frankford – Berks?

dmandy's picture

If you want to continue on the 15, you will change to the bus at Front Street
http://www.septa.org/alert/15.html

Kuishimbo's picture

Susquehanna wrote:
"Diesel buses will continue to serve East Girard Avenue and Richmond Street for the next two to four years ?

Who are they trying to fool? Just say "4 years."

How often do you have to replace the "I" key on your computer?

Coder's picture

I was told, a while ago by a Septa driver, that the #73 would come over Richmond Street to Girard, and take over the #15 route until it hits Frankford Avenue, then turn around somewhere (?) and go back twords Westmoreland. It'll be an interesting Monday morning.

2014 york's picture

I'm not cheering the return of the trolly. I foresee traffic issues/accidents at Frankford and Girard.

Coder's picture

Agreed. I loathe the trolley. While the accident may not involve the trolley, it cripples them and they sit there like giant dead lumps in the road.

Susquehanna's picture

i got the flyer on the 15 today announcing the new service starting monday.
apparently the 15 bus servicing E Girard and Richmond will loop under front and down frankford. so the plus for me is not looking down W Girard for a trolley that will never come. i know it'll be sitting there waiting for me.

zempf's picture

I still eagerly await the proper repainting of the left turn lane from Girard to Frankford. How many times have I been waiting to turn left in the proper lane only to have someone pull up on my left, turn signal a-flashing? Many, many times. So sick of that.

sdm's picture

zempf wrote:
I still eagerly await the proper repainting of the left turn lane from Girard to Frankford. How many times have I been waiting to turn left in the proper lane only to have someone pull up on my left, turn signal a-flashing? Many, many times. So sick of that.

That only happens to me every time.

From welfare to Mayfair.

Newcomer's picture

zempf wrote:
I still eagerly await the proper repainting of the left turn lane from Girard to Frankford. How many times have I been waiting to turn left in the proper lane only to have someone pull up on my left, turn signal a-flashing? Many, many times. So sick of that.

First one to turn left WINS!

Coder's picture

Well, it started. Nothing funnier than watching a bunch of people faced with something completely new.
This is my issue...the trolley driver said I didn't need a transfer or anything when I got off the trolley for the bus. So I walked on and said "I just got off the trolley"...the driver was fine with it, got out and just hung around F&G for a while. How is that cost effective? Now anyone can pretty much amble up to the bus, get on for free, and get a ride across Girard all the way to Westmoreland. Just seems to me that they are def missing a chance to capture any fares that could be due them.

bostongirl's picture

2014 york wrote:
I'm not cheering the return of the trolly. I foresee traffic issues/accidents at Frankford and Girard.

I agree. I don't know who thought it was a smart idea to have the trolley cross over two lanes of traffic to make a right onto Frankford from Girard. Dumb. I think there will be a lot of issues with this. The trolley (while historic and brings charm to the neighborhood) is a pain in the butt.

stein's picture

WHy is it going to be a problem? are they going to try to have the trolley make that turn during a green light? seems like all you would have to do is extend the red light to all directions a little longer to give the trolley the opportunity to make the turn.

Ken Milano (before he went and edited this comment out to avoid the consequences of having wrote it) wrote:
I don’t have much sympathy for renters, for me, they are non citizens

Coder's picture

stein wrote:
WHy is it going to be a problem? are they going to try to have the trolley make that turn during a green light? seems like all you would have to do is extend the red light to all directions a little longer to give the trolley the opportunity to make the turn.

Because the idiots on the right hand side of the trolley are going to go as soon as the light is green, and then the behemoth that the trolley is will oooohhhhh soooo slowly make its right hand turn down Frankford. Eventually, the trolley will hit a car trying to scoot pass, or traffic will be backed up across both lanes because no one can go anywhere until the trolley goes. Trolleys suck. There, I said it.

stein's picture

Yes, they will go as soon as the light turns green. So why wouldn't they hold it red while the trolley makes its turn.

Ken Milano (before he went and edited this comment out to avoid the consequences of having wrote it) wrote:
I don’t have much sympathy for renters, for me, they are non citizens

Coder's picture

Will the trolley have its own separate signal, like on Richmond St. (These are the reasons I don't drive!)

bostongirl's picture

It would make a ton of sense to have a green light that signals for the trolley only but, they don't have one. Sooooooo.......

ronchito's picture

There is a new two-circle overhead light device that's been installed at that intersection -- right in between the existing regular traffic lights. I just noticed it the other day (along with the new left-hand turn lane + arrow that have been painted). It's not operating yet so I can't say it's 100% for the trolley, but since it's right in front of the trolley lane I'm guessing that's what it is. I assume it will be on a different signal pattern than the rest of the intersection.

austen's picture

On a related note, the 5 bus is now making turns from Girard onto Front Street. That was a lovely experience this morning, backing up while waiting for the go-ahead light going south on Front so they could clear the turn radius.

TLP's picture

The trolley does have its own signal, at least turning right from Girard to Frankford. I forgot to check the lights for turning left in the opposite direction.

On the signal arm, there's a two-light trolley signal with a horizontal bar for "trolley stop" and a vertical bar for "trolley go". I think the same signal is at Girard/Richmond. The trolley only gets the "go" signal when there's reds all around. This is inserted before the green light on Girard, I think, so the drivers to the right of the trolley should have a red signal telling them to wait for the trolley to turn.

TLP's picture

ronchito wrote:
There is a new two-circle overhead light device that's been installed at that intersection -- right in between the existing regular traffic lights. I just noticed it the other day (along with the new left-hand turn lane + arrow that have been painted). It's not operating yet so I can't say it's 100% for the trolley, but since it's right in front of the trolley lane I'm guessing that's what it is. I assume it will be on a different signal pattern than the rest of the intersection.

I thought it was operating? From where I was standing, I didn't see it change, but there was an extended red signal in all directions letting the trolley turn.

Coder's picture

Are you sure that wasn't the eastbound shuttle? Thats where I got it yesterday, and one was parked there, while one blocked traffic trying to make that turn, while one was idling at the westbound island. It was a cluster****.

ronchito's picture

TLP wrote:
ronchito wrote:
There is a new two-circle overhead light device that's been installed at that intersection -- right in between the existing regular traffic lights. I just noticed it the other day (along with the new left-hand turn lane + arrow that have been painted). It's not operating yet so I can't say it's 100% for the trolley, but since it's right in front of the trolley lane I'm guessing that's what it is. I assume it will be on a different signal pattern than the rest of the intersection.

I thought it was operating? From where I was standing, I didn't see it change, but there was an extended red signal in all directions letting the trolley turn.

It may indeed be operating now -- it wasn't the other day when I noticed it. Neither of the lights were lit at the time so I just had to guess what it was.

Coder's picture

OMG I HATE THE TROLLEYS.
I wish they would all just run right down Frankford Avenue into the Delaware.

Newcomer's picture

zempf wrote:
I still eagerly await the proper repainting of the left turn lane from Girard to Frankford. How many times have I been waiting to turn left in the proper lane only to have someone pull up on my left, turn signal a-flashing? Many, many times. So sick of that.

I've noticed that the left-turn green is much longer than it used to be -- like, more than 1.5 cars could actually turn without suddenly facing oncoming traffic -- but it's also the trolley lane so if the trolley isn't going straight or right onto Frankford, you lose the opportunity to turn, no?

2014 york's picture

Cars traveling North on Frankford have to hug the curb at Girard so that the trolly can make the turn. If a car is too far to the left the trolly just sits there until the light changes and the cars pass. The trolly's also move to the center just past 95 and then back right after a hundred feet or so. Be careful passing them. I HATE THEM TOO

TLP's picture

2014 york wrote:
Cars traveling North on Frankford have to hug the curb at Girard so that the trolly can make the turn. If a car is too far to the left the trolly just sits there until the light changes and the cars pass. The trolly's also move to the center just past 95 and then back right after a hundred feet or so. Be careful passing them. I HATE THEM TOO

They should have painted the stop line farther back from the intersection then. That's typical, even at intersections where buses are turning.

TLP's picture

Newcomer wrote:
zempf wrote:
I still eagerly await the proper repainting of the left turn lane from Girard to Frankford. How many times have I been waiting to turn left in the proper lane only to have someone pull up on my left, turn signal a-flashing? Many, many times. So sick of that.

I've noticed that the left-turn green is much longer than it used to be -- like, more than 1.5 cars could actually turn without suddenly facing oncoming traffic -- but it's also the trolley lane so if the trolley isn't going straight or right onto Frankford, you lose the opportunity to turn, no?

I would guess that the trolley gets a right turn signal from Girard to Frankford at the same time the left turn green is on. Unless the signals back to Front are timed such that the trolley will always be at the front of the queue at Girard, so you give the trolley the right turn first and then the left turn green for both directions of cars on Girard.

If I have time this weekend, I'll get out there with a watch and time the new signal cycles.

Leo's picture

I love the trolleys. I always will. I want them back and out with these dammed buses.

Mulvihill & Rushie LLC
The Fishtown Lawyers
Criminal Defense • Civil Trials
www.FishtownLaw.com
215.385.5291

Coder's picture

How often do you have to wait for one?
Last week it took me 45 minutes to get home from work.
Everyday this week, average 1 hour and a half.
I'm getting Kenzo to start a petition to crush them all.

Leo's picture

I'm curious where it is you're coming from. I certainly understand your frustration.

Mulvihill & Rushie LLC
The Fishtown Lawyers
Criminal Defense • Civil Trials
www.FishtownLaw.com
215.385.5291

Coder's picture

I wait for an average of 10-20 minutes for a #16 on N. Broad. Then I get to Broad & Girard, and wait for the trolley, (Monday, it was 45 min, and then a bus showed up, which means the trolley 'broke' somewhere in West Philly), then I get tossed off the trolley at Front, and have to wait for the shuttle. (15 mins yesterday) Takes me 20 mins to get there in the morning, when I get a ride. I get done work at 2:30 and don't get home until after 4pm everyday this week, so far. I used to catch the sub, a big time saver, but blew out my knee, and don't handle the steps well.

Newcomer's picture

Coder wrote:
I used to catch the sub, a big time saver, but blew out my knee, and don't handle the steps well.

Golf injury?

Coder's picture

No, fat injury. I guess "blew it out" was not the correct term. (As if I had been athletic at one point, and the strenous activity wore me out, Lol!) I wore the cartilage away, and I'm not allowed to take ibuprohen anymore, so you can call me "Gimpy".

Palmeranian's picture

Pretty sure they retimed and sort of coordinated all of the signals on Girard between Frankford and Susquehanna. The cycle lengths are definitely longer with more green time being given to Girard.

Jay19125's picture

A bit of coordination between the bus and trolley would be nice. Got off a trolley at Girard & Front around 2 PM yesterday with about 25 other people, waiting to cross the street to transfer onto the bus. As soon as we were able to get halfway across Girard (and only about 75 feet from the bus), the bus pulled out and left us all behind. Had to wait a full 15 minutes for the next one to get on its way. I'm hoping this isn't going to be a regular thing...

bostongirl's picture

So now that the trolley, and it's lights, are up and running I'm curious as to peoples opinions on the whole thing! I think it's a big mess that causes a lot of confusion for drivers and has the potential to create some major accidents. Thoughts?

Pure_Fishtown's picture

I don't know what it is like today but a about a week ago, Frankford & Girard was HORRIBLE and it wasn't a weekday. I couldn't turn from Girard onto Frankford North because the trolley was in front and needed to turn right onto Frankford South but the cars on Frankford were too close for the trolley to make the turn and when the light changed the cars on Girard were O-F-F. I finally made my own lane to make the turn or I'd probably still be sitting there.

Coder, I'm with you about trolleys. They are nice when you aren't in a hurry and have to be somewhere at a designated time; the folks who are usually pro-trolley aren't the ones who need to use them on a daily basis.

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." (Edmund Burke)

bostongirl's picture

They had to put up "STOP HERE" signs above the car lanes so that people actually stop at the line and the Trolley can turn. I really doubt that will keep people from not stopping where they need to. Also, they need to make a seperate left turn lane from girard to frankford now that the Trolley just sits there as the left turn arrow goes from green to yellow to red.

Coder's picture

Still hate em.

george's picture

Coder wrote:
Still hate em.

"Well, #*@* you, too."

Newcomer's picture

bostongirl wrote:
They had to put up "STOP HERE" signs above the car lanes so that people actually stop at the line and the Trolley can turn. I really doubt that will keep people from not stopping where they need to. Also, they need to make a seperate left turn lane from girard to frankford now that the Trolley just sits there as the left turn arrow goes from green to yellow to red.

I thought the trolley turned right when cars had the green to turn left onto Frankford?

Cutter's picture

Not to mention their tracks are the #1 cause of bicycle related accidents in Philadelphia. Well, #1 to me and everyone I know that rides.

memphis's picture

Trolleys are about as slow as a horse and buggy. Waste of money.

"We have two evils to fight, capitalism and racism. We must destroy both racism and capitalism."

bozoloper's picture

Cutter wrote:
Not to mention their tracks are the #1 cause of bicycle related accidents in Philadelphia. Well, #1 to me and everyone I know that rides.

fell and broke my toe. the streets with the tracks that aren't used are even more obnoxious. why save them?

nothin' bring you down like your hometown.

jbette01's picture

So I just got some really confusing communication from Septa regarding construction and route changes, bladdy blah. It's gonna take me some time to digest it and put it on fishtown.org in a way that makes sense.

Stay tuned.

bostongirl's picture

Newcomer wrote:
bostongirl wrote:
They had to put up "STOP HERE" signs above the car lanes so that people actually stop at the line and the Trolley can turn. I really doubt that will keep people from not stopping where they need to. Also, they need to make a seperate left turn lane from girard to frankford now that the Trolley just sits there as the left turn arrow goes from green to yellow to red.

I thought the trolley turned right when cars had the green to turn left onto Frankford?

When I have been stopped at that light, the left hand turn gets their arrow but can't go because the Trolley doesn't move. So, from what I've seen, no the trolley doesn't turn right while cars go left. Even if it does, it's SO SLOW that the light will be red by the time the cars can go.

Newcomer's picture

When does the trolley turn right then?

bozoloper's picture

Newcomer wrote:
When does the trolley turn right then?

being big and on tracks, i'd say when ever the trolley pleases.

nothin' bring you down like your hometown.

Pure_Fishtown's picture

Who wants to blow up some trolley track?

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." (Edmund Burke)

Coder's picture

...waving hand frantically...

Pure_Fishtown's picture

I knew you would be the first in line. :)

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." (Edmund Burke)

Susquehanna's picture

The trolleys have heard you and have claimed their first victim:
http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/story?section=news/local&id=8672870

Why one would run in front of 20 tons is beyond me.

sdm's picture

I watched a trolley today wait until Red to make the left onto Frankford. Almost hit my car.

From welfare to Mayfair.

Pure_Fishtown's picture

Susquehanna wrote:
The trolleys have heard you and have claimed their first victim:
http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/story?section=news/local&id=8672870

Why one would run in front of 20 tons is beyond me.

I saw this yesterday, he is an older man but it still doesn't excuse the fact that he was crossing the street illegally.

People have to start crossing at the intersections.

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." (Edmund Burke)

Coder's picture

Susquehanna wrote:
Why one would run in front of 20 tons is beyond me.

Man, they drive it front of them all the time too. I have watched countless idiots shoot across Girard, in pursuit of the bank, McDonalds, whatever, while the trolley was barreling down on them. I guess they think they can stop on the dime...ha! Not unusual to see a car T-boned at the bottom of the Girard exit, when they make that stupid U-turn...DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF A HIGHWAY EXIT RAMP! Yeah, I'm never gonna drive.

Susquehanna's picture

Coder wrote:
Not unusual to see a car T-boned at the bottom of the Girard exit, when they make that stupid U-turn...DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF A HIGHWAY EXIT RAMP! Yeah, I'm never gonna drive.

i was on the 15 shuttle last week and a minivan did this right in front of us THEN cut us off to go east on Girard. were it the trolley and not the shuttle bus, we'd certainly have t boned her.

cars i can understand tempting fate but if you're on foot, you've no chance with one of these.

bostongirl's picture

It's my theory that almost everyone around here has gone bonkers. Everyone has lost their minds.

So it would seem....

austen's picture

What drives me crazy are the folks making left hand turns at Front & Girard.

There are signs, people - NO LEFT TURN.

zempf's picture

austen wrote:
What drives me crazy are the folks making left hand turns at Front & Girard.

There are signs, people - NO LEFT TURN.

Actually for some reason (probably someone bored waiting for the trolley) the No Left Turn sign eastbound on Girard there is turned completely around so you can't actually see it. I mean, I personally know there's no lefts there but apparently everyone in front of me has no idea.

sdm's picture

The worst is the people who try to make the left from Richmond onto Girard. I've seen it cause more than one accident since that restriction went up.

From welfare to Mayfair.

Pure_Fishtown's picture

sdm wrote:
The worst is the people who try to make the left from Richmond onto Girard. I've seen it cause more than one accident since that restriction went up.

YES YES YES!! It drives me crazy especially during rush hour. Why are some people rude and self-centered?

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." (Edmund Burke)

phillybama's picture

I avoid Girard completely. I changed my route to avoid it. It ended up being MUCH faster to take the 54 bus to the 5 bus than to take the 47 bus to the trolley. It's the trolley that's the problem, because the 47 is very regular.

Susquehanna's picture

Pure_Fishtown wrote:
sdm wrote:
The worst is the people who try to make the left from Richmond onto Girard. I've seen it cause more than one accident since that restriction went up.

YES YES YES!! It drives me crazy especially during rush hour. Why are some people rude and self-centered?

i do this. what i don't do is drive during rush hour so the traffic is limited to none and i surely don't do it when there are 10 cars queued behind me.

stbenjamin's picture

Susquehanna wrote:
Pure_Fishtown wrote:
sdm wrote:
The worst is the people who try to make the left from Richmond onto Girard. I've seen it cause more than one accident since that restriction went up.

YES YES YES!! It drives me crazy especially during rush hour. Why are some people rude and self-centered?

i do this. what i don't do is drive during rush hour so the traffic is limited to none and i surely don't do it when there are 10 cars queued behind me.

At 10pm it's no big deal, but it seems there is always someone at rush hour trying this maneuver.

Susquehanna's picture

Is this going to no longer be an issue on the 4th? There's a sign installed yesterday before I95 saying Girard will close then. Short term or full-on? If I recall correctly, I thought westbound will still have a lane during the bridge constriction.

Coder's picture

I saw that signage too, but didn't know exactly what/where on Girard was being closed.
Any detail on that?

zempf's picture

Aren't they tearing out the bridge from Girard to Richmond? I believe that's the whole reason they rerouted the trolleys in the first place & if that's the case, nobody will need to worry about left turns onto Girard because there will be no Girard for a while there.

austen's picture

Remembering the I-95 presentation a couple of months ago @ the FNA meeting, I think they're doing this to reopen the northbound onramp, which is a "temporary" thing as they progress northwards in the project.

Susquehanna's picture

austen wrote:
Remembering the I-95 presentation a couple of months ago @ the FNA meeting, I think they're doing this to reopen the northbound onramp, which is a "temporary" thing as they progress northwards in the project.

this sounds right. i also noticed the addition of (currently inoperable) traffic lights at the onramp, just the other side of I-95. i initially thought they were to help the merge of east girard traffic (going north on aramingo or staying in lane for I-95 south) with the richmond traffic proceeding to aramingo or i-95 south. i haven't seen any accidents at the merge, but thought enough have happened to warrant the lights.

jbette01's picture

OK, sorry this took so long. The detour information is up. I also have a contact @ SEPTA if there are more specific questions.

http://fishtown.org/?p=1165

Coder's picture

Still hating...just saying.

Kuishimbo's picture

sdm wrote:
The worst is the people who try to make the left from Richmond onto Girard. I've seen it cause more than one accident since that restriction went up.

Can somebody please explain why this turn is so vital? What happens if you just make the turn at Cumberland? What is so attractive about the left turn onto Girard that it is worth delaying 5-10 cars?

Also, I spent 3 and half years riding the 15 from Clearfield to Broad Street. The problem is not the trolley vs. bus debate that is the issue. It's the general incompetence of Septa.

How often do you have to replace the "I" key on your computer?

jbette01's picture

Kuishimbo wrote:
sdm wrote:
The worst is the people who try to make the left from Richmond onto Girard. I've seen it cause more than one accident since that restriction went up.

Can somebody please explain why this turn is so vital? What happens if you just make the turn at Cumberland? What is so attractive about the left turn onto Girard that it is worth delaying 5-10 cars?

Sure I can explain it. If you are exiting 95 N and you live anywhere South of York Street, which is all of Fishtown, this is the first turn that you can make to head back southbound into the neighborhood. A left at Cumberland puts you several lights north of where Girard dumps you.

I'm not gonna sit here and say I haven't made that illegal left because I have. I just don't do it during rushhour or when there are 3 trucks and a bus that need to pass.