5th Square Weekly Newsletter: June 11, 2018

We have ONE DAY to stop Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell's regressive parking minimums bill! Read more about how you can help in this week's newsletter.


We have ONE DAY to stop Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell's regressive parking minimums bill! 

Two weeks ago, City Council's Rules Committee heard testimony from sustainable housing and transportation activists that Bill No. 160710—which doubles Philly's wrong-headed minimum parking requirements for residential construction—would be a disaster for housing affordability, air quality, and transportation choice. 

As parking expert Donald Shoup explained to PlanPhilly's Jake Blumgart, increasing minimum parking requirements won’t do anything to alleviate the curbside congestion that Council is hearing about, but it will make housing prices more expensive in a way that unfairly shifts the cost of parking onto people who don’t want or need to drive.

Committee Chair Bill Greenlee supports this regressive piece of legislation, rationalizing that "no matter what some people may think, people own cars,"—a pretty bad argument for forcing everyone to pay for parking whether they want it or not. But other Councilmembers are still on the fence, and they need to hear from you. 

We need 5th Square supporters to call Councilmembers on the Rules Committee to tell them to vote NO on Bill 160710 in the Rules Committee tomorrow. Minimum parking requirements are an unfair and regressive tax on people who don't drive, and this bill would be a major step backward for housing affordability, transportation choice, and neighborhood walkability. Here are some additional arguments against minimum parking requirements to use when you call.

The Councilmembers listed below are the swing voters on Bill 160710 and are the highest priority for phone calls. It's always better to call District members whose districts you live in, and as always, be firm but respectful, especially when speaking to staff. 

District 2: Kenyatta Johnson:
[email protected], (215) 686-3412, (215) 686-3413

District 4: Curtis Jones, Jr.: [email protected], (215) 686-3416, (215) 686-3417

District 7: Maria Quiñones-Sánchez: [email protected], (215) 686-3448, (215) 686-3449

District 8: Cindy Bass: [email protected], (215) 686-3424, (215) 686-3425

At-Large: Blondell Reynolds-Brown: [email protected], (215) 686-3438, (215) 686-3439

After you call, log Councilmembers' responses in our Whip Count spreadsheet

We are also asking Vision Zero supporters to call their state Senators and asking them to vote YES on SB172 as a whole. This is a key piece of state-level Vision Zero legislation which would legalize pilot programs for speed enforcement cameras in on Roosevelt Boulevard and in construction work zones. The bill is finally getting a vote in the House, where it's expected to pass, and will soon be voted on in the Senate, where we need to do some last-minute rallying of the Philadelphia delegation to get them behind the bill. Find your Senator and let them know you support SB172.

Christine M. Tartaglione (D): (717) 787-1141

John P. Sabatina Jr. (D): (717) 787-9608

Lawrence M. Farnese Jr. (D): (717) 787-5662

Sharif Street (D): (717) 787-6735

Anthony H. Williams (D): (717) 787-5970

Art Haywood (D): (717) 787-1427

Vincent J. Hughes (D): (717) 787-7112


Monday, June 11, 6:00 pm
Delaware River Waterfront Trail Design Meeting
TONIGHT. The Delaware River Waterfront Corp is hosting an open forum for the first round of designs of the $21 million, 3.3 mile proposed trail along Columbus Boulevard that will connect Fishtown to South Philadelphia. The open meeting, focused on the central segment from Spring Garden St to Washington Ave., will take place at the Blue Cross RiverRink on 101 S Columbus Blvd.

Tuesday, June 12, 6:00 pm
Park(ing) Day Info Session
Interested in organizing a Park(ing) Day installation this year on September 21st? Attend an info session for aspiring parklet purveyors at the Center for Architecture + Design on June 12th to learn more about the process. If you're looking for location ideas, check out Ben She's Philly Sneckdowns map for possible pedestrian plazas to test out.

Thursday, June 14, 6:00pm
FDR Park Community Meeting
The first community meeting for the FDR Park Master Plan is scheduled for Thursday, June 14, 2018 at Calvary Temple (3301 S 20th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19145). Meet the team working on the plan, learn more about the planning process, and help shape the vision for the future of FDR Park.


5th Square is selling a limited run artist series t-shirt, featuring an original illustration by Kate Otte. 
Proceeds from sales will go to fund our 2019 political activities for City Council races. You can get a shirt at half price ($10 instead of $20) if you become a member, and sign up for a $5 recurring monthly donation



Dockless bike share could launch in Philadelphia by the end of the year, reports Billy Penn, and could be available in neighborhoods Indego isn’t planning on expanding to for years. City Council is already crafting a bill to regulate the industry, as well as the nascent scooter industry that has been arriving in some other cities. One of the suggested regulations, which 5th Square would strongly oppose, would fine riders for parking the bikes or scooters in the street. To manage the new bike parking demand from dockless and keep the sidewalks clear, Council will have to reallocate some more curb parking space for bike parking.

The Philadelphia Parking Authority is moving toward a pay-by-plate payment system that would make it easier to administer paid parking, and also opens the door to a “virtual permit” system for residential parking permits like the ones being tested in Baltimore.

PennDot is planning a new $33M building near their current King of Prussia headquarters, says the Philadelphia Business Journal. Like its surrounding highway infrastructure, PennDot’s current building is congested and 40% over-capacity. The new facility will provide space for new hires and the new traffic management center by the end of 2021. The question for PennDOT—and really for Governor Tom Wolf—is: what kind of new hires? PennDOT has been a less than willing partner when it comes to redesigning their in-city routes to accommodate pedestrians and cyclists, rather than just fast-moving vehicles. The DOT badly needs to hire some progressive new engineers who are on board with Vision Zero, and the best way to attract them to these jobs is by moving PennDOT’s headquarters to Center City Philadelphia, downtown Norristown, or some other transit-accessible location with good access to Philly.


10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania, PA's only state-level smart growth advocacy organization, is hiring a new Executive Director

The Reinvestment Fund is hiring a Director of Program Initiatives

Bartram’s Garden is hiring a Director of Finance

Fairmount CDC is hiring an Executive Director

The Managing Director’s Office is hiring a Chief of Staff for Community & Culture

The Mayor’s Office of Sustainability is hiring a Deputy Director 

The National Resource Hub for Police Reform is hiring an Organizing Coordinator

The Philadelphia Discovery Center (Audubon Society) is hiring an Education Manager

PennEnvironment is hiring a Climate Organizer

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 with a recurring monthly contribution of $5 or more.