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Wilkes-Barre Station With NJ Transit Signage
wbrail Cutoff Downtown
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If we assume a rational implementation of conventional commuter rail reaching Wilkes-Barre from New York, who would operate it? Which agency's transit logo would would be hoisted atop a new downtown train station?

By all indications, since it is the Lackawanna Cutoff Project that leads in anything close to actualization, the answer would be New Jersey Transit.

New Jersey Transit Logo

So, you'd be walking along Wilkes-Barre Boulevard and see something like the following, albeit perhaps not quite so as cheezy in form as is the case with a simple mash-up of images using Microsoft Paint:

NJ Transit Sign at Wilkes-Barre Train Station

C'mon it's quick n' dirty, don't judge. Focus on the point of it.

If for some reason there were a spontaneous push from the south of Wilkes-Barre, and we weren't talking New York City at all but Philadelphia, I suppose then it could be the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA).

Septa logo

Septa Wilkes-Barre Train Station Mashup

Of course "closest thing to actualization", the NJ Transit muse, is still pretty lofty considering that Pennsylvania is so economically non-committed to its end of the project for the foreseeable future, and progress so slow even on the New Jersey side (and that's even acknowledging their recent movement). This is why at WBRAIL I prefer to hope for a complete conceptual reboot to get around this sluggishness, one that focuses on different high-speed rail technology. I literally think a fresh push from the ground up rather than counting on the Cutoff reaching Wilkes-Barre would be the faster path toward a running system.

Hot Cam Action in Wilkes-Barre
wbrail Downtown City Tech Crime
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The Wilkes-Barre anti-crime cameras need to be restored to full and even "excessive" functionality as quickly as possible. It sounds like they are on track to do so as per the link chronology below.

The cameras have been controversial because they cost something and in fact it was an anti-Leighton talking point during Tony George's campaign. I think this put Tony on the spot when he actually became mayor because he entered office having to contradict the common sense of law enforcement about their overall worth. He needed to hate the cameras to build out his cliche' platform against his predecessor, yet I would contend that there's simply no way he actually believed they were an "exependable luxury".

This anti-camera sentiment became just more fodder in the quibble between he and the Wilkes-Barre police union, the latter who (in my view correctly) saw a valuable resource being squandered for pure political motives.

An assessment of the camera system's value asserted in 2013
by then Police Chief Dessoye. Original YT source.

Tony changed his tune a bit, finally, going on record in one of the reports linked to below that the cameras were a great idea in concept, but not how they were currently implemented in Wilkes-Barre.

Whatevers. Next time don't go against common sense and even your own experience in a rabid portrayal of the former mayor as incompetent, hindering one of the few advantages against crime in Wilkes-Barre in the process.

Tony is now at least making good on the cameras by administrating a change in how the cameras are implemented and paid for, and to who. Ideally, the next implementation will supplement a two-layer strategy where the cameras assist beyond evidence gathering, sure, but also real-time strikes against criminals in action. I live in Buffalo which has an elaborate camera system lining Main Street and even neighborhoods (particularly in the university area). Listening to my police scanner I can hear how the police utilize the camera "instantly" to follow fleeing vehicles and to convey information about the area around reported crimes in the moment.

That's the kind of deployment Wilkes-Barre needs to achieve at least one day. Given the state of city finances I am being realistic about immediate scope of implementation, though, I would wonder how much money could be saved in roaming patrol if you could build out reliable video monitoring in place of that. I suspect this is a typical consideration among people who actually deal with building out such systems.

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