Running to beat Philly gridlock

A traffic study earlier this year found that for the average 30-minute commute in Philadelphia, congestion on the road added an extra 18 minutes each day — totaling nearly 70 extra hours per year spent driving to work.

Friday night, a group of Philadelphia runners sought to make a point about gridlock by racing a car and a SEPTA bus starting from near the University of Pennsylvania campus out to the Wissahickon Transit Center during rush hour, a showdown dubbed "Beat The Commute."

"If the runners beat the car, it's indicative of a problem I think that we need to work harder to fix, with public transportation rather than widening highways and things like that," said organizer Kyle Cassidy before the race. "I would like to get more people looking at alternative ways to get to work rather than everybody getting on that same stretch of highway."

Cassidy and fellow organizer Alon Abramson, both of the West Philly Runners club, dreamed up the event after holding a similar one called "Beat The Bus" last November.  In that event the group raced SEPTA across Center City during rush hour.

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About the author

Steve Trader, Newsworks reporter

Steve Trader is an general assignment reporter intern for WHYY's NewsWorks. In December, he will graduate with a master's degree from the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism, where he concentrates on business and radio reporting and magazine writing. Steve is enjoying his summer in Philly by going "down the shore," puzzling over the city's various statues (is that a giant clothespin on 15th and Market?) and eating hoagies several times a week.

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