"University City"

Burglaries a big concern in University City; crime prevention event this Friday

Posted on 17 April 2014 by


Map courtesy of UCD (click to enlarge).

Unfortunately, the number of burglaries in the University City area continues to grow, according to the latest monthly crime update distributed by University City District. Over 30 burglaries were committed in March, which is twice as many as in February and, by far, the largest number of burglaries in the past year. UCD is asking residents to be vigilant and use extra caution (for tips on how to prevent a burglary at your residence, click here).

A number of these burglary incidents seem to have been related to a recent arrest, according to UCD. We’re trying to get more information about that.

Overall, 64 serious crimes were committed within the University City District boundaries last month (see map).

As burglaries remain a concern in the area, the 18th District Police Department is inviting residents to a crime prevention event this Friday (April 18), where the discussion will focus specifically on burglaries. The event will take place from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Rite Aid parking lot located at 57th and Chestnut Streets.

The event will also spread awareness and encourage participation in the following programs designed to combat property-related crimes: Operation I.D., B.O.N.D. (Business Owner Notification Decal), S.A.V.E. (Stolen Auto Verification Effort), and VIN Etching (Vehicle Identification Number Engraving). If you are unable to attend tomorrow’s event, please contact for additional information on these programs. Some more details are also available here.

There’s also a monthly community meeting with police tonight, at 6 pm at Calvary Center (48th & Baltimore). As usual, Lt. Brian McBride and Sgt. Ron Washington of the University City Division of the 18th Police District will hear your concerns and discuss current crime and neighborhood issues. Such meetings happen every third Thursday of the month and all community members are welcome.


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Sign of Spring: Parklets are back

Posted on 16 April 2014 by

Although we’re seeing a little setback with the weather, here’s some great news: University City District began re-installing “parklets” (outdoor seating platforms), throughout the neighborhood. Yesterday, the UCD installed two of them – one by the Green Line Cafe on Baltimore Ave and another one by Little Baby’s Ice Cream in Cedar Park:

Overall, five parklets will be installed in the neighborhood, all near trendy local shops, cafes and restaurants (though, like parks, they are public spaces so you don’t have to buy anything to sit in them):

fuwah parklet

Parklet by Fu-Wah Market on S. 47th St. (archived photo).

• 4040 Locust St (hosted by Ramen Bar)
• 261 S. 44th St (hosted by Honest Tom’s Tacos and Lil’ Pop Shop)
• 4239 Baltimore Ave (hosted by Green Line Cafe)
• 810 S. 47th St (hosted by Fu-Wah Market)
• 4903 Catharine St (hosted by Little Baby’s Ice Cream and Hibiscus Cafe)

The city’s first parklet was installed on 43rd Street near Green Line Cafe in the summer of 2011. Parklets, which are a wood and metal platform with tables, chairs and planter boxes, usually pop up in April and remain through October or until the cold weather sets in. Although enjoyed by many, parklets have also received some criticism, since they take up parking spots, which are hard to find in our area.

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Power out to hundreds in parts of Spruce Hill and Cedar Park

Posted on 26 March 2014 by Mike Lyons

Power went out to hundreds of homes concentrated around 44th and 45th Streets from Pine to Chester at about 7:45 p.m. on Wednesday night. Scattered outages have been reported as far west as 48th Street and as far south as Springfield Avenue.

A PECO spokesperson said that crews were on the scene of an “equipment issue” in the neighborhood. They estimated that the power would be restored by 11 p.m. Wednesday night.

Please feel free to leave a comment below to describe your situation and if your power is restored.

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A train derails on bridge over Schuylkill river near Penn Park

Posted on 20 January 2014 by Mike Lyons

A train carrying crude oil and sand derailed overnight on a bridge across the Schuylkill River near Penn Park, according to various reports. The incident happened around 1 a.m., reports. The train was traveling from Chicago to Philadelphia. Seven freight cars derailed. It’s not currently known what caused the derailment. No leaks from the derailed cars have been reported.

West Philly Local reader Algernong Allen sent over this photo he took this morning.



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New biking group holding info session tomorrow

Posted on 22 October 2013 by

BikecollectiveA new voice in support of more and better biking has been added. The University Bike Collective is holding its first information session tomorrow (Wednesday, Oct 23), according to the group’s Facebook page. The info session, “powered by pizza,” will be held at the University of Pennsylvania’s Meyerson Hall, B6 (210 S. 34th St.) beginning at 12:30 p.m. and interested folks outside of the Penn community are also invited.

The University Bike Collective will introduce their plans for the year, including fun social rides to explore the city, research and advocacy efforts, and workshops. Susan Dannenberg of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia will share updates on the latest in Philadelphia bike advocacy.

Come to the session if you:

 Are looking for fun bike-related events, avec free pizza;
• Want to see more bike lanes and bike parking.
• Ever thought about biking in Philly, but you’re not sure how to get started.
• Interested in perfecting the art of layering clothes to avoid over-sweating on your ride to class.

For more information and to RSVP, visit the event’s Facebook page.

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Federal Donuts to open shop at 34th and Sansom

Posted on 04 October 2013 by


Photo by Michael Persico.


The news has spread like wild fire and we’re also happy to let our readers know – Philly’s homegrown fried chicken and donut shop Federal Donuts has set its eyes west of center and is expected to open a location at 3428 Sansom Street, which is on Penn’s campus. This will be the third location for this popular local chain. The somewhat bad news is that the new shop is not expected to open before early 2014. We’ll keep you posted on the date when we know more.

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