5TH SQUARE WEEKLY NEWSLETTER: February 13, 2018

QUICK ACTION 

Want a vote on 5th Square's endorsements in the 2018 primary elections? Sign up for a recurring monthly donation of $5 or more between now and the end of ballot petitions on March 6th to become a voting member. Membership also comes with access to 5th Square's Slack channel, members-only events and briefings, and advance registration opportunities for events.

Sheila Modglin, the popular bartender from Dirty Franks, was in a serious crash at Lincoln Drive and Cliveden, and is in a medically-induced coma. Lincoln Drive is one of the most dangerous thoroughfares in Philadelphia, and the high fatality rate on the curving strip has earned it the nickname “Dead Man’s Gulch.” Sheila suffered many broken bones and head trauma in the crash, and her family has set up a GoFundMe to help pay for medical costs and support her while she’s unable to work.

The 24HrPHL Philadelphia Nightlife Survey is designed to gauge who is participating in Philadelphia’s nighttime economy, what they think about the nightlife arts and culture offerings, and what can be improved. The survey takes about 5-10 minutes. 24HrPHL is a civic engagement project that’s part of the Knight Cities Challenge and was created to define the community and articulate a vision for a better approach to nightlife. To get involved, take the survey and provide your contact information at the end.


EVENTS

Thursday, February 15, 6:30 pm
How to Run for Committeeperson in Philadelphia
Help build power for urbanist causes in your neighborhood by running for committeeperson this year! Ballot petitions start today, and it only takes 10 signatures to get on the ballot. This is one of the best and easiest ways to have a direct role in influencing the shape of Philadelphia's government, and what candidates your neighborhood endorses in state and local elections. This free training will break down Philly's ward system, walk through what a committeeperson does, how they influence local government, and how to win one of these elections in your neighborhood.

Thursday, February 22, 6:00 pm
Design Conversation at Uncle Bobbie’s Coffee and Books PhilaNOMA is hosting a conversation about design at Uncle Bobbie’s Coffee and Books in Germantown, featuring Chris Johnson (project architect) and Kia Witherspoon (interior designer). Dr. Marc Lamont Hill opened Uncle Bobbie's Coffee and Books last fall in Germantown, and it’s one of only a handful of black-owned bookstores in Pennsylvania. Come out to check out the bookstore, grab a cup of coffee, and learn more about the design process.

Thursday, March 1, 6:30 pm
Edmund N. Bacon Awards + Talk: Honoring Enrique Peñalosa
This event will honor Enrique Peñalosa for his legacy as Mayor of Bogotá, Colombia, where he used his position to invest in the City’s marginalized communities; building and reconstructing hundreds of kilometers of sidewalks, bicycle paths, pedestrian streets, greenways, and more than 1,200 parks. Winners of this year’s 2018 Better Philadelphia Challenge will be honored at the ceremony.


NEWS

A new analysis from AllTransit, the nation's largest source of public transit data, shows that about 16 percent of Philadelphia households are currently underserved by SEPTA's various modes of transit. The vast majority of underserved neighborhoods are located in South Philadelphia, including Passyunk Square, Point Breeze, Grays Ferry, Queen Village, Pennsport and Wharton—largely the result of infrequent, inconvenient crosstown bus service. While SEPTA and the City work to increase service frequency on these crosstown routes, and eliminate the $1 transfer penalty, City Council should look to improve transit service for more residents by allowing more housing where the transit is already good. Two recent bills from Councilmembers Maria-Quinones-Sanchez and Jannie Blackwell point the way forward, applying the new Transit-Oriented Development Overlay in the code to 5 station areas on the Market-Frankford Line, increasing allowable density and cutting parking minimums in half.

The Philadelphia City Planning Commission (PCPC) completed the University City Parking Inventory, a comprehensive review of public and private parking spaces in the vicinity of University City because of the growth in parking demand due to institutional, commercial, and residential development. Planning determined that the current supply is not considered stressed since the rates for public facility and private facility parking fall below the optimal rate of 85% for efficient parking facility operations. PCPC will monitor parking trends and will release follow-up inventories on a five-year schedule to better manage parking.

Responding to increased interest in curbless design proposals in Philadelphia, the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) released a study of curbless streets’ potential to meet city goals and to conceptually design case studies. The report evaluates the role of curbless streets in meeting transportation, stormwater management, and livability goals, and illustrates some design scenarios for curbless street projects within the City of Philadelphia.

Philadelphia planners hope speed cameras will play a significant role in the city’s effort to make streets safer, but first, the technology needs to be legalized at the state level. The legislation has been approved by the House transportation committee, which outgoing Republican State Rep. John Taylor chairs. The challenge will be convincing House leadership to list the bill for a vote. Philadelphia has about 100 traffic-related fatalities a year (93 in 2017), and typically 10 percent happen on Roosevelt Boulevard. Of the nine fatal crashes on the Boulevard last year, seven involved pedestrians.


OPPORTUNITIES
Extremely cool opportunity: The National Street Service group is hiring 1-2 full-time paid City Leads for 5 months in Philly, and 30+ volunteers who will receive a stipend. The goal of the program is getting people to "Explore and celebrate the many values of your streets, connect with their neighbors and local street heroes, take meaningful action to make streets welcoming places for everyone. 
The Transportation Camp 'unconference' is coming to Philly on April 14th
Delaware River Waterfront Corporation is hiring a Cherry Street Pier Manager

DVRPC is hiring a transportation planner for their Office of Corridor Planning

The Bicycle Coalition has multiple open positions


5th Square is Philadelphia's urbanist political action committee. We're an all-volunteer grassroots organization advocating for safe and affordable transportation, abundant housing, and more and better public spaces. You’re receiving this email if you signed up via our website, attended one of our events, or supported one of our advocacy campaigns. Our work is made possible by generous, passionate people like you. Support our advocacy. 

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