Doors and arches at Arch Street Presbyterian (Instagram/@_mtkrupka)

Lane closures frustrate West Philly commuters and residents

Lane closures on University Avenue have been irking West Philly drivers and bikers for over a year, adding time to commutes or complicating their travels. A Billy Penn reader asked us, “When will it end?” Not for at least 6 months, Jordan Levy reports, due to the new CHOP tower. Continue reading…

There’s lots of construction projects all over the city right now. That’s generally good for the economy, but can snarl traffic and mess with mobility. If there’s a blockage you’ve been wondering about, send us a note.

Construction on University Avenue, seen here at Curie Boulevard, has reduced traffic from two lanes in each direction to one. It’s been that way for over a year, and still has a ways to go. (Jordan Levy/Billy Penn)

Cheesesteak dispatch: South Dakota edition

South Dakota, land where the Black Hills rise, the buffalo roam, and… cheesesteaks are on the menu? It seemed that way on a recent trip to the Mount Rushmore State, where no matter what city or town BP deputy editor Heather Chin visited, she found at least one copycat of Philly’s signature sandwich.

How do options on the plains stack up? The meat is surprisingly tender — maybe because of all the cattle ranches. Continue reading…

Two out of the three cheesesteaks we tried in South Dakota were solid contenders. (Heather Chin/Billy Penn)

RECAP: What else happened?

$ = paywalled

• Campaign spending for the Pa. Supreme Court race hit $17 million as major donors, national unions, and political groups weigh in on McCaffery vs. Carluccio. [NBC10]

• After Cherelle Parker said she’d be open to using the National Guard to address drug use in Kensington, Councilmember Quetcy Lozada also called for more law enforcement in a neighborhood that’s watching a crisis worsen thanks to tranq mixed into other drugs. [WHYY/Inquirer$/NPR] 

• Piers 38 and 40 on the Delaware River waterfront in South Philly, both historic structures, are slated to be preserved and possibly repurposed as part of a new development from Bart Blatstein. [WHYY’s PlanPhilly] 

• Holiday pie season is fast approaching. Pre-order from one of these local bakeries, or support healthy meals for people with illnesses by ordering from MANNA’s annual Pie in the Sky fundraiser. [Eater/Manna]

• Do you call Halloween eve “Mischief Night“? If so, hopefully it was full of harmless pranks like giving the Rocky statue a pumpkinhead. [Atlas Obscura/@phillychitchat]

Love Park, October 2023. (Danya Henninger/Billy Penn)

Weekly brief on gun violence prevention (with PCGVR)

We publish this report each week in partnership with the Philadelphia Center for Gun Violence Reporting.• Programs that reduce blight by cleaning up vacant lots and city sidewalks has been proven to also reduce gun violence. What would Philly’s mayoral candidates do to make it happen? [WHYY]

• Just North of Philadelphia in Elkins Park, a greenhouse has been transformed into the House of the Living memorial and healing center. It’s a collaboration between Swarthmore College, FarmerJawn and EMIR Healing Center. [House of the Living/Metro]

• Philadelphia mom Movita Johnson-Harrell turned losing her son into a call to action, becoming a strident anti-violence activist. On Nov. 13, Temple’s Logan Center hosts Johnson-Harrell for a free screening of “Murders That Matter,” a documentary that tells her story. [PhillyVoice/Eventbrite]

• A Denver police unit started investigating nonfatal shootings with the same effort dedicated to homicides, and the clearance rate skyrocketed (53% vs. 26% in Philly). The PPD launched a similar unit last year. [Marshall Project/WHYY]

By the numbers in Philadelphia

  • 27: Shooting victims recorded last week, vs. 20 the week prior. [PCGVR]
  • 1,465: Shooting victims this year so far, down 27% vs. this time last year. [PCGVR]
  • 358: Year-to-date homicides, down 20% vs. last year’s pace; up 29% vs. five years ago [Philly Police]


Nada on the public agenda for Mayor Kenney today. He won’t be in office when the next city budget is passed, but planning starts now, and you can apply to attend a virtual feedback session in November to weigh in on city spending priorities.


🍻 Billy Penn event: BP Quizzo lands in Germantown at Attic Brewing Co. for Philly news and history trivia, with happy hour specials and prizes. Free with RSVP. Join us! (6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 16)

😈 Get weirded out at WEIRDO: The East Kensington Arts and Oddities Festival, a free event that extends Halloween’s fun into the weekend. (2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 4) 

🥟 Polish dumplings stuffed with potato, cheesesteak, cherry, kapusta and more await at the St. Nicholas Eastern Orthodox weekend-long Pierogi Festival in Northern Liberties. Free. (12 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, Nov. 4-5)

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