Baltimore Avenue sinkhole repair may take another three weeks

June 12, 2019

It’s been more than a week since the large, nearly street-wide sinkhole opened up at the intersection of 43rd Street and Baltimore Avenue as the result of a sewer line break. The sinkhole was not very visible on the surface but underneath the pavement it was around 400 square feet. Since last Tuesday, Water Department crews have been working to repair the street, but it may take another two to three weeks, according to

In the meantime, Baltimore Avenue between 42nd and 44th Streets remains closed to traffic. Buses continue to replace the Route 34 trolley on Baltimore Avenue, between 61st Street and 40th Street portal. Stay tuned for more updates.

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Letter to the Editor: Library ‘Friends’ and staff to rally Thursday June 13, before Council Vote

June 12, 2019

Dear West Philly Local editors,

Last week, in a City Council member’s office, I was told they got more calls from West Philadelphia about funding libraries than from any other part of the city! Probably because of you running my library story earlier this year – thank you!

Here’s another announcement:

Join Free Library ‘Friends’ and Staff, before City Council’s Budget Vote Thursday, June 13th. We will gather INSIDE of City Hall on the 4th floor, at 9:30 AM. Please bring your ID to get into the building. All are welcome!
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City to discontinue Recycling Rewards Program on June 30

June 10, 2019

If you have points saved in the Streets Department and Recyclebank’s program Philacycle, make sure to use of them by the end of the month. The popular recycling rewards program will be discontinued on June 30, according to an announcement by Streets Commissioner Carlton Williams. The Streets Department can no longer afford the rewards program in the current market due to increased recycling costs.

Effective June 30, 2019, Philadelphia residents that participated in the rewards program will no longer be able to earn reward points and access the Philacycle website. Points are redeemable at Residents are strongly encouraged to redeem those points as soon as possible as there is a limit on availability of some items.  Continue Reading

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New proposal calls for converting church near 46th and Spruce into apartments

June 5, 2019

Architect Brian Phillips from architecture firm ISA presents proposal to convert church near 46th and Spruce into apartments (Photo by West Philly Local).

Developers presented a plan to the Garden Court Community Association (GCCA) last night that would convert the Good Shepherd Community Church near 46th and Spruce into apartments and add another smaller building on the property.

The proposal, made to a standing-room-only crowd, was met with mixed reviews. Preservationists welcomed the adaptive reuse, while many neighbors near the property at 314-316 S. 46th St. opposed the plan.

“We simply can’t absorb any more high-density housing in this area,” said Eric Santoro.  Continue Reading

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Shuttle buses replace Route 34 trolleys due to sinkhole (updated)

June 4, 2019

The intersection of 43rd and Baltimore is closed due to a sinkhole (Photo West Philly Local).

UPDATE (6/5/2019): The sinkhole at 43rd and Baltimore was caused by a major sewer line break, according to SEPTA. Although the hole is only about 3 feet long on the surface, it extends approximately 20 feet across below the surface. While the Philadelphia Water Department crews are working to repair the hole (it might take a while), the Route 34 will continue to operate as a shuttle bus between 61st Street and the 40th Street Portal. Stay tuned for further announcements.

(6/4/2019, 9:53 a.m.): A large sinkhole has opened up at the intersection of 43rd Street and Baltimore Avenue, right in the middle of the Route 34 trolley line. The intersection is currently closed to traffic while constructions crews are preparing to dig up the street. As of 4:50 a.m. this morning, all Route 34 trolleys are being replaced by buses:

This sinkhole is just the latest in a long battle between developers, builders, planners and Mill Creek. This short film from four years ago shows the history.

The Buried River from Anne Whiston Spirn on Vimeo.


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Hearing on Tuesday on proposal to demolish part of church near 46th and Spruce and build apartments

June 3, 2019

Good Shepherd Community Church (Photo West Philly Local).

The Garden Court Community Association zoning committee will consider a proposal on Tuesday, June 4 to demolish part of the Good Shepherd Community Church building near 46th and Spruce and build a 32-unit apartment complex.

The property at 314-316 S. 46th St. is zoned RSA-3, which accommodates singe-family dwellings. Developers are also asking for variances for the front setback (eight feet is required and zero is proposed) and parking. Zoning requires 32 spaces and the proposal includes none.  Continue Reading

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