June 30: State troopers and the transpo budget | Convention Center homeless refuge | SEPTA Key cards sold out

PennDOT and state lawmakers want to discuss moving the state troopers off of PennDOT’s budget after this fiscal year, Jan Murphy reports. The state police budget has been growing at around 4% a year, which the troopers say is still not enough. Even that rate isn’t sustainable though, officials say, and could result in the entirety of the Act 89 transportation funding increase going to fund the troopers within a decade if no changes are made. About half of PA municipalities have no local police force, and rely fully on the state troopers for their local policing needs. 

How did scores of homeless people come to live at the Convention Center this year? Aubrey Whelan and Mensah Dean explain what happened. “There were 55 souls like Bunn waking up on the sidewalk outside the Convention Center one recent morning. They have been there for months, advocates and city officials say, ever since construction on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and in LOVE Park forced many of the city’s homeless to find new places to sleep.”

The first round of SEPTA Key cards have sold out, reports Jason Laughlin. “Sixteen days after their debut all 10,000 of the SEPTA Key cards made available for an early adopter program have been sold.”

The 5th Street tunnel is reopening with plastic delineantor posts separating the bike lane from the drive lane. Randy LoBasso says it’s the result of citizen advocacy on social media leading to negotiations with the Streets Department.  

The group North Broad Renaissance released a five-year plan for rejuvenating the stretch of North Broad Street between City Hall and Germantown Avenue, with a focus on improving the area around Temple University Health System, reports Jacqueline Tanner.

The growing popularity of ride-hailing is changing cities’ street infrastructure needs, says Kelly Clonts, but so far officials have been slow to respond. “Getting dropped off by a vehicle rather than using your own reduces the need for parking, but increases demand for a new type of infrastructure: dedicated pick-up and drop-off zones.”

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