Old City sidewalk scene (Instagram/@jim50tim)

Philly wants to cap the highway that splits Chinatown in half

City leaders made it official yesterday: A potential cap over I-676 is entering the design phase, with the project called the “Chinatown Stitch.” 

  • Construction could start as soon as 2028 on covering the Vine Street Expressway between 8th Street and Broad, although funding still isn’t secured. The planning itself will cost $4 million, per WHYY’s PlanPhilly. 

Last year we looked at how the below-ground highway was met with fierce opposition from the start, as community members realized it would slice Chinatown in half.

→ Take the city’s online survey or attend an April 26 meeting

The Vine Street Expressway, aka I-676, runs right through the middle of Chinatown. (Mark Henninger/Imagic Digital)

As SEPTA buys new vehicles, highlights from Philly’s trolley history

For the first time since the early 1980s, SEPTA is acquiring new trolleys with a 130-vehicle, $714 million order from Alstom Transportation. 

They were also the site of one of World War II’s biggest strikes, Jordan Levy reports, in a survey of highlights from Philly’s storied trolley history.

→ The longest trolley route in the nation

A SEPTA Route 50 trolley in May 1976. (Wikimedia Commons)

RECAP: What else happened?

$ = paywalled

MAYOR WATCH: Mar. 9, 2023

No public events on the docket for Philly’s 99th mayor. On social media yesterday he wished a happy Holi to all who celebrate the Hindu festival of colors.


🍸 Tequila fans have an excuse to dress up with the “Day of the Don” party at Old City’s Frame, where an RSVP includes one free Don Julia cocktail. (4 to 10 p.m. Sunday, March 12)

⚙️ The East Passyunk BID hosts “Women Mean Business: Rock Your Revenue,” a panel discussion with tips about launching your own biz as a woman in Philly. Tickets are $10. (6 to 9 p.m. Monday, March 13)

🏗️ Hear mayoral candidates describe their plans for regulating infrastructure, land use, and development at a BUILDPhilly forum at the Kimmel Center. Tickets are $35. (8 to 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, March 14)