July 7: Senate rejects 'sanctuary cities' bill | Uber truce | Maintaining Camac |

The U.S. Senate again rejected Senator Pat Toomey's bill blocking federal Community Development Block Grants from sanctuary cities like Philadelphia, the Associated Press reports. 

The Philadelphia Parking Authority is temporarily allowing UberX, Lyft, and other ride-hailing companies to operate legally in the city in light of the upcoming DNC festivities and the regional rail mess. "Uber says its carpooling service, UberPool, will be a major draw while rail is hobbled. Use of the service increased 26 percent this week over last week."

The regional rail response is an example of SEPTA at its best, argues Sandy Smith. Unlike some other neighboring transit agencies, "[w]hen things go wrong, SEPTA now opens up to the public to explain what’s happening and why, and what’s being done to deal with the problems."

Two days into the regional rail service reductions, some patterns have emerged. Michael Noda has advanced tips for alternative routes in and out of Center City that help you avoid the worst of it. 

In keeping with recent trends, the owner of a N. Broad Street parking garage is converting the building into apartments, reports Natalie Kostelni. In May, the Business Journal reported that another large apartment building, Abbott Square near Headhouse Square, is turning one of the floors of its parking garage into apartments as well. 

Why has it been so hard to restore and maintain the wooden blocks on Camac Street? Mimi Kirk explains what the city plans to do differently next time. "“When we install it again,” [city engineers] tell Citylab via email, “we will be exploring different wood, the size of the blocks, improving drainage, restricting vehicle traffic, and different sealers.”

About the author

Jon Geeting

Jon Geeting was Engagement Editor at Plan Philly from 2014-2016. He has also covered city and state politics, land use, transportation, and economic policy for Next City, Keystone Politics, This Old City, Philadelphia Magazine, and City Paper. Jon grew up in Bethlehem, PA and moved to Philadelphia in 2013 after an 11-year detour to New York City. Follow him on Twitter @jongeeting.

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    Photo Credit: Camac Street's oak block pavers were getting chewed up. (October 9, 2012)

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