This morning we’re talking about everyone’s favorite thing in the world: traffic! But in a good way. My colleagues recently spent time on the road examining Philly’s traffic problems and looked to cities all over the world for their solutions. Their analysis may just keep your frustration at manageable levels during your morning commute. About that commute: you’re going to need your winter gear. This week the forecast for the Philly region calls for rain, snow, and a deep freeze, pretty much in that order, and it starts today.

— Aubrey Nagle (@aubsn, morningnewsletter@philly.com)

If you’ve traveled through Center City Philadelphia recently, you know how truly unpleasant the experience can be. Endless obstacles thwart the smooth flow of traffic, from jaywalkers to construction to illegally parked delivery trucks.

What can be done? Inquirer reporters, photographers, and videographers took to the streets — Chestnut and 15th, specifically — in December to see the problem from all angles.

They experienced the chronic jam on bikes, buses, cars, their own two feet, and even a UPS truck. What they saw, and the solutions they found around the world, might just give you hope.

Monday marked the first day back to work for many furloughed federal workers since the government ended its longest shutdown ever on Friday night.

At the top of the to-do list? For many offices, it’s getting paid. Workers are waiting to hear when they’ll get back pay for all that unexpected time off. Until then, they’re still in “shutdown mode.”

And they might stay that way — the government is only funded through Feb. 15, and President Trump looks prepared to shut it down again.

The first criminal charges in the long-running FBI investigation into Philly’s Local 98 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers were revealed Monday.

A New Jersey electrical contractor admitted to unlawfully providing nearly $57,000 in home and office improvements at no charge to an unnamed Electricians Local 98 officer. The contractor has extensive ties to labor leader John J. “Johnny Doc” Dougherty.

It seems this is just the first result of the probe, which has examined how the union has exerted its power in labor relations and politics in Philadelphia and across the state.

What you need to know today

Through Your Eyes | #OurPhilly

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That’s Interesting

Opinions

Arm Wrestling
Signe Wilkinson
Arm Wrestling

“The minimum wage is, and will always be, zero. That’s the wage workers earn when their jobs disappear because some politician decided that employers must pay workers more than their labor is worth.” — Duquesne University professor Antony Davies and University of Arizona professor James R. Harrigan on the effects of a $15 minimum wage.

What we’re reading

Algernon Cadwallader
Jen Mahony
Algernon Cadwallader

A Daily Dose of | Emo

The Philly region has produced all kinds of musical acts, but the Pennsylvania suburbs has developed a penchant for launching indie emo-rock bands.