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Speaking Out

  • Intersection Out of Control
  • Response from UPPD
  • One-way Southbound on 37th
  • Tips for Bicycle Commuters
  • Seeking Justice and Respect
  • Intersection Out of Control

    Like other intersections on campus that are a risk to those of us who work or attend classes at Penn, the intersection at 40th and Locust Sts. poses a greater risk than any other intersection ever. Vehicles heading east bound on 40th Street never stop at the required stop sign that is posted at the corner of Locust and 40th. Countless times vehicles never stop and pose a risk to everyone who crosses this intersection. Once in a while the Philadelphia Police or U.P.P.D. does have a car, a marked car, at this particular corner but not for a long period of time.

    Because of the posted officers that are at each corner from 8 a.m.-9 a.m. for traffic detail on Walnut St., a place which at one time that was out of control and where students and staff were at risk when crossing, is now under control. Therefore U.P.P.D. should detail an officer at 40th and Locust Sts. at this time also to gain control of the out of control violators who continue to speed through the required stop sign.

    I hope an official at Penn Police Department will listen to this request at this particular intersection, 40th and Locust Sts. is very much out of control and getting worse.

    —Charles King, Jr., Facilities Services

    Response from UPPD

    The University of Pennsylvania Police Department (UPPD) is actively involved in numerous traffic safety initiatives. Traffic safety and in particular the safety of pedestrians and bicyclist remains to be a high priority within the UPPD Patrol Division. The Police Department, in concert with several other University Departments, meets monthly to review traffic safety initiatives, identify problematic areas and also communicate on a regular basis with Philadelphia Traffic Engineers to resolve these issues. We have made numerous recommendations to the City of Philadelphia which will ultimately enhance traffic safety at various intersections. Specific to the intersection of 40th and Locust Street the following “safety enhancements” were recommended to the City:

    • Installation of corner “bulb-outs” which will extend the 40th Street west side sidewalks further into the intersection, decreasing the number of steps in order to cross 40th Street and Locust Street.

    • Installation of larger and more visible “STOP” signs.

    • Installation of larger neo-plastic crosswalk markings.

    Some of the safety issues which have been addressed by the University and recommended to the City Traffic Engineers are protracted projects, while we have been successful at implementing safety initiatives such as the installation of the “No-U-Turn” signs along the 38th Street corridor which has dramatically decreased the number of vehicle/pedestrian/ bicyclist accidents in that area. The UPPD is an active participant in PA State-sponsored programs such as “Share The Road” and “Buckle-Up.” In the last year members of the UPPD issued over 2,000 traffic citations directly related to unsafe driving and 5,000 parking citations. Monitoring of traffic and issuance of citations has a direct impact on traffic safety. Specific to the 40th and Locust Street intersection, it has been identified as a “Selective Enforcement Area” which is closely monitored by uniform patrol officers. With all of these initiatives and overt actions by University of Pennsylvania Patrol Personnel we are making every effort to make University City safe for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists.

    —Mark Dorsey,
    Chief  of Police, UPPD


    One-way Southbound on 37th

    In preparation for the reconstruction of the façade at the Inn at Penn, 37th Street, between Chestnut and Walnut is now one-way southbound. Trailers have been dropped on the west side of 37th St. between Sansom and Walnut and  barricades were erected in front of the trailers. The next part of the project will be the erection of scaffolding around the hotel starting from the Walnut street entrance  eastward to and including the Bookstore entrance at 36th and Walnut. The walkway will be covered from the overhead scaffolding during this project.

    There will be no street parking on the north side of the 3600 block Walnut as the scaffolding will project to the curbline.

    Philadelphia Parking Authority has been notified; meters have been removed on 37th Street and “NO PARKING ANY TIME” signs have been erected.

    —Captain Joseph D. Fischer,
    Commanding Officer-Patrol Division, UPPD

    Tips for Bicycle Commuters

    Bicycle commuting can be healthy, economical, safe, and enjoyable. With a SEPTA strike now underway, I would like to offer some timely tips for new and “re-cycled” Penn bicycle commuters:

    Start your trip on the web. The Bicycle Coalition of Philadelphia has compiled a useful set of resources for bike commuters, including route maps and safety tips, at www.bicyclecoalition.org/bikethestrike.html. You can also learn more about safe biking in Philadelphia from the Share-The-Road initiative at http://share-the-road.org/bicyclists.htm. Additionally, Penn’s own bicycle policy at www.upenn.edu/almanac/v49/n09/bike_policy.html provides a wealth of pertinent information for campus cyclists.

    Ride on the road, not the sidewalk. The common misconception that bicycles belong on the road only where there are marked bicycle lanes is simply incorrect. Adult cyclists not only can ride on the road throughout Philadelphia; by law, that is where they must ride. Both the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code and the Philadelphia City Code prohibit bicycling on the sidewalk in the Penn campus area. Cycling is also prohibited on Locust, Smith, and Hamilton Walks from 8:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m. (See www.upenn.edu/almanac/volumes/v51/n13/uppd.html for details). 

    Follow the rules of the road. In Pennsylvania, bicycles and automobiles are governed by the same vehicular code. All stop signs, traffic lights, and other road markers apply to cyclists in the same way they apply to cars.  Be aware that cycling against traffic is not only dangerous, it is illegal, and can result in ticketing and fines.

      Make sure you can be seen on the road, even in the dark. With the autumn days growing shorter, high visibility is critical for anyone who commutes in rush-hour traffic wear light-colored or reflective clothing, and use headlights as well as taillights to ensure that you are visible to cars and pedestrians under low-light conditions.

    Don’t risk a “no-brainer”; wear a helmet. A helmet that meets the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) standard can minimize or prevent a head injury during a fall or crash. If you participate in a qualifying Keystone health insurance plan, you can receive a reimbursement of up to $25 on a new helmet purchase.  (See www.site65.com/pdfs/ibc_child_safety.pdf for details.)

    Secure your bike when you’re not riding it.  Lock any removable parts, such as quick-release wheels or seat posts, to your bicycle’s frame.  Lock the frame itself to something that cannot be disassembled, cut, or removed.  Employing two different types of locks (e.g., U-lock and cable) makes your bicycle a less inviting target for theft, while registering your bike with Penn Public Safety at 4040 Chestnut Street increases the chances of recovery if the bike is lost or stolen. (For details on how to register, call 215-898-4485.)

    Wishing a smooth commute for everyone sharing the road.

    –Jennifer Yuan,
       Electronic Publications Specialist, ISC Communications Group


    Seeking Justice and Respect

    This letter is written primarily in response to the 17 scholars who signed a letter entitled “Conceptual Plagiarism Absurd” (Almanac October 11, 2005), which we feel is not only inaccurate but also disrespectful of the research, intellectual property, and distinguished career of Professor Elijah Anderson. While we recognize that these scholars have a right to an opinion, we categorically reject the unfortunate tactics and vocabulary employed in their letter as well as its suspect conclusions.  

    Our purpose is not to engage in a debate about ‘conceptual plagiarism.’  Our colleague Elijah Anderson never used this term, nor do we use it. Because a detailed account of the appropriately acknowledged as well as the 22 inappropriately unacknowledged similarities between Kathryn Edin and Maria Kefalas’ Promises I Can Keep: Why Poor Women Put Motherhood before Marriage and Elijah Anderson’s previous work (most notably Code of the Streets) has been addressed elsewhere (Almanac October 11, 2005), we will not revisit that topic here.

    However, we wholeheartedly agree with Professor Anderson’s conclusion “Should the field accept … claims to the originality of Edin and Kefalas’ book, these scholars will have succeeded at seriously obscuring indebtedness to previous scholarship. [Their book] exhibits enough unacknowledged similarity to [Anderson’s work] that it constitutes an unfair use of another’s scholarship.”

    It is essential therefore that we not remain silent in the face of the dismissive letter from the group of 17 scholars, which simply rejects out of hand the concerns raised about Edin’s overlap without attribution of Anderson’s work, and moreover disrespects a distinguished scholar (& his work) by implying that his concerns in this regard are “absurd” and may be rooted in a “fundamental misreading” of the texts.

    We do not believe that such dismissive language would have been used if the author of the original work was a White male. But it seems that the work of Black scholars merits little or no respect for its originality, insight, or contributions. We can ill afford to allow this disrespect to continue.  To do less continues the pattern of abuse and misuse that plagues our history. Unless we seek justice through such acknowledgements, our silence makes us all accomplices in the process.

    Rodney D. Coates, Miami University of Ohio

    BarBara M. Scott,  The Association of Black Sociologists, Northeastern Illinois University

    Judith Rollins, Wellesley College

    Essie Manuel Rutledge,Western Illinois University

    Vasilikie Demos, University of Minnesota, Morris

    Andrew Billingsley, University of South Carolina

    David Covin, California State University, Sacramento

    Stanley Aronowitz,  CUNY Graduate Center

    Patricia A. Bell, Oklahoma State University

    Judith Blau, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

    Edna Bonacich, UC Riverside

    Charles Jarmon,  Howard University

    Marc Silver, Hofstra University

    Rhonda F. Levine, Colgate University

    Augustine J. Kposowa, UC Riverside

    Walda Katz-Fishman, Howard University & Project South: Institute for the Elimination of Poverty & Genocide

    Hernan Vera, University of Florida

    John Sibley Butler, University of Texas

    Mary Romero, Arizona State University

    Sam Marullo, Georgetown University

    Anthony Lemelle, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

    Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, Duke University

    Charles M. Payne, Duke University

    Wornie Reed,  University of Tennessee

    Kenneth A. Gould,  St. Lawrence University

    Allan Schnaiberg, Northwestern University

    Robert Newby, Central Michigan University

    Ronald L. Taylor, University of Connecticut

    Maynard Seider, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

    Juan Battle, CUNY  and Hunter College

    Robert Davis, North Carolina A&T State University

    Levon Chorabajian, University of  Massachusetts, Lowell

    Lauren Langman, Loyola University, Chicago

    Thomas A. LaVeist,  Johns Hopkins University

    Maxine Thompson, North Carolina State University

    Marlese Durr, Wright State University

    Rose M. Brewer, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

    Anne Warfield Rawls, Bentley College

    Shirley A. Jackson, Southern Connecticut State University

    David Fasenfest, Editor, Critical Sociology,  Wayne State University

    Arthur Paris, Syracuse University

    Nikitah Imani, James Madison University

    Najja N. Modibo, Indiana University Purdue University

    Noel A. Cazenave, University of Connecticut

    Frank Harold Wilson, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

    B. Ricardo Brown, Pratt Institute

    Bruce D. Haynes, UC Davis

    Paul-Jahi Price, Pasadena City College

    Johnny Williams, Trinity College

    Peter Seybold, IUPUI

    Donald Cunnigen, University of Rhode Island

    Lynda Dickson, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs

    Annemarie Harrod, Belmont University, Nashville

    Shawn R. Donaldson, Stockton College of New Jersey

    Michael Hodge, Morehouse College

    Michael Joseph Francisconi, University of Montana Western

    Glenn S. Johnson, Clark Atlanta University

    Carl Jorgensen,  UC Davis

    Eric Margolis, Arizona State University

    George Snedeker, SUNY/College at Old Westbury

    Paul Paolucci, Eastern Kentucky University

    Patricia Case, University of Toledo

    Sherrill L. Sellers, University of Wisconsin, Madison

    Carrol B. Cox, Illinois State University

    Tanya Golash-Boza, University of Kansas

    Jennifer F. Hamer, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

    Amon Emeka, University of Southern California

    Johnnie M. Griffin, Indiana University, South Bend

    Carla Day Goar,  Northern Illinois University

    April Linton, UC San Diego

    Keri Iyall Smith,  Stonehill College

    Sandra Barnes, Purdue University

    David L. Brunsma, University of Missouri

    Beth Schaefer Caniglia, Oklahoma State University

    Ronnie A. Dunn, Cleveland State University

    Warren S. Goldstein, University of Central Florida

    Georgina Murray, Griffith University, Australia

    John M. Talbot, University of the West Indies, Jamaica

    Kristine Wright, California State University, Long Beach

    Michael Briguglio, University of Malta

    Daryl Meeks, California State University, Long Beach

    Don Wallace, Drexel University

    Yvonne J. Combs, Brevard Community College, Florida

    Kathryn Brown-Tracy, Three Rivers Community College, Conneticut

    Marino A. Bruce, University of Wisconsin, Madison

    Vashron Chapple, Public Health Educator

    T. Rasul Murray, scholar, New York City

    La Francis Rodgers-Rose, International Black Women’s Congress, Norfolk, VA

    Pamela Guthrie, Vera Institute of Justice; City College, CUNY

    Albert Sargis, Niebyl-Proctor Marxist Library for Social Research, Oakland, CA

    James E. Johnson, researcher, Penn alumnus, Galloway, NJ

    Renee E. Spraggins, Special Populations Branch/Population Division, U.S. Census Bureau

    Karen S. Glover,  Texas A&M University

    Tamara L. Smith, Loyola University, Chicago

    Vanessa D. Brooks, New York City College of Technology

    Darryn C. Roberts, Miami University of Ohio

    Tamar Diana Wilson, University of Missouri, St. Louis

    Felice Jones-Lee, Stony Brook University

    Michelle Christian,  Duke University

    Dave Overfelt, University of Missouri, Columbia 

    David G. Embrick,  Texas A&M University

    Toroitich Cherono,  Howard University 

    Willie Oliver,  American University

    Spencer Hope Davis, North Carolina State University

    John Barnshaw, University of Delaware

    Thomas Volscho,  University of Connecticut

    Vernese Edghill, Howard University 

    Andrew Van Alstyne, University of Michigan

    Khaya Clark, University of Oregon

    Nathanael Matthiesen, UC Irvine


    Speaking Out welcomes reader contributions. Short, timely letters on University issues will be accepted by Thursday at noon for the following Tuesday’s issue, subject to right-of-reply guidelines. Advance notice of intention to submit is appreciated. —Eds.



      Almanac, Vol. 52, No. 11, November 8, 2005


    November 8, 2005
    Volume 52 Number 11


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