September 26: Bikes, barbers, booze | Market East multiplex | Who is Octavius Catto?

Good morning. Buses, bikes, and bootlegging in today’s news:

Hidden City looks at the previous life of 606 South 9th Street in Bella Vista, most recently known as Via Bikes. Underneath the bike shop’s façade was the original Tripoli Barber Supply Company, and within that, the history of the longest-running bootlegging business of its kind in town.

Can Philly’s transportation infrastructure handle Amazon’s influx of riders? The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission’s Barry Seymour and Brookings Institute’s Adie Tomer say yes. Jason Laughlin looks at the region’s existing transit riches, focusing on the commuter rail, subways, buses, and trolleys connected to the Navy Yard, Schuylkill Yards, and uCity Square. If Amazon gives Philly the final rose, experts anticipate a ridership boost as well as support for transportation expansion projects to meet the demand.

AMC Theaters is ready to return to city center with an eight-screen multiplex in Market East, Jacob Adelman reports. In a shift back to downtowns, the movie theater exhibitor will follow the trend of reurbanization and bring with it a few previously suburban amenities. The multiplex will feature a Dolby Cinema theater with pulsating seats (that also recline!), fancy in-seat snackages beyond typical movie theater fare, and lower-priced (but still fancy) “Prime at AMC” format screenings.

Who is Octavius Catto, whose image shows a dapper black man with parted hair, thick mustache, and a handkerchief in his left breast pocket? As Philadelphia unveils Tuesday the first public monument dedicated to an African-American on city-owned property, WHYY’s Trenae Nuri speaks with historians, Catto’s family, and Mayor Jim Kenney about the teacher, activist, civil rights leader, and baseball player whose story “went largely untold for more than 100 years” after his assassination. Catto’s statue will be unveiled at 11:00am Tuesday on the Southwest Apron of City Hall.

Want to fight climate change in the most political way? The Clean Air Council’s Russell Zerbo, contributing to the Philadelphia Citizen, highlights a study that “concluded that people of color remain disproportionately exposed” to pollution from auto emissions and are more likely to die in a pedestrian accident. Zerbo also points out current city and state legislation that could hurt efforts to “modernize transportation and protect respiratory health.” His proposed action for the everyday Philadelphian: participate in democracy by riding the bus.

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