July 17: Trolley Tunnel Blitz | Pop-up beer gardens’ regulatory hack | Bikes in the center lane | Expensive affordable housing | Second life for Manayunk Bridge

Good morning! Did you go to the Oval last night? What did you think? 

The Center City trolley tunnel will be closed for a 17-day maintenance blitz starting 9 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 1 through 4 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 18. Routes 10, 11, 13, 34 and 36 will not will begin and end at 40th and Market Streets, and SEPTA recommends that riders use the Market-Frankford El instead during the blitz.

Wondering why you have to sign up for a “membership” at the pop-up beer gardens? It’s all because of a quirk in a 2012 update to the liquor code, says Joe Sixpack: “The state allowed restaurants with liquor licenses to buy a permit for $500 a year to cater up to 50 events annually at non-licensed locations. Events can last up to five hours and are intended for “an identifiable group of people, not the general public . . . ” 

The Bike Coalition’s Nicholas Mirra confirms cyclists should ride in the center of the lane on streets with only one travel lane, for safety reasons. He offers advice on how to deal with impatient drivers: “When I’m harassed by a driver desperate to pass, I pull over at the next intersection. That is safer than doing so mid-block…Confronting angry drivers is a terrible idea that encourages escalation. Get away from them and try to not let them ruin your day.”

Meanwhile, a new paper published in Environmental Health Perspectives is the latest to find that protected bike lanes on arterial streets and traffic calming interventions on neighborhood streets is the most effective way to increase cycling safety and bike mode share.

A new affordable senior housing project in Grays Ferry, the Anthony Wayne Senior Housing Complex,  cost $12 million for just 46 units, or $260,870 a pop. About $2 million of this was public money, most of which came from the federal government. Is direct construction of income-restricted units the best way to ensure Philadelphians can afford housing? A 2002 Government Accountability Office study found that “compared with [rent] vouchers, the production programs cost from 8 percent more for Section 811 units to 19 percent more for tax credit units.”

Brad Maule marks the first day of construction on the Manayunk Bridge with a look at the iconic bridge’s history and it’s future as part of our trail network. “Now, after years of planning, the bridge is ready to reemerge as the centerpiece of the region’s trail network, bringing Lower Merion Township and Manayunk—and more specifically, the Cynwyd Heritage Trail and Ivy Ridge Trail—together.” 

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