State Leg. Candidates Respond to 5th Square's 2018 Questionnaire

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Mayor Jim Kenney’s transportation team is hosting TWO public meetings about safety changes on Spruce and Pine on April 4th and 5th. Streets and OTIS are considering safety improvements to the city’s most popular bike routes as part of repaving this year, like moving the bike lane to the left-hand side, but they aren’t considering any new protected bike infrastructure—despite having federal funding in-hand for protected bike lanes. RSVP and demand that Mayor Kenney install protected bike lanes THIS YEAR as part of this repaving project!

The May 15th primary is approaching fast, and there’s less than a month left to update your voter registration. Make sure to register with a party before the deadline. If you do not, you will not be to vote for any primary candidates. There are lots of great urbanist candidates who are running for office this year, some of whom we’ll be endorsing in just a few weeks.

Speaking of candidates, check out our blog all the responses from state legislative candidates to our 2018 Questionnaire. Read the responses from state legislative candidates running in the 177th District (Riverwards/Lower Northeast), the 181st District (Temple/Lower North Philly), and the 184th District (South Philly, east of Broad). Leave your reactions in the comments, or send us an email with your observations at [email protected]


Thursday, March 29th, 6:00 pm
Meet the Candidates: State Rep for the 181st
This Thursday, hear from the candidates running to replace retiring Rep. Curtis Thomas in the 181st state rep district, covering the Temple area, South Kensington, and Lower North Philadelphia. Read the 181st District candidates’ answers to our 2018 Questionnaire.

Wednesday, April 4, 5:30 pm
Spruce Street Human-Protected Bike Line
The Kenney administration is hosting two public meetings about Spruce and Pine safety improvements, and a few 5th Square volunteers are organizing a “human protected bike lane” outside the event to draw attention to the need for protected lanes. It’s time for the Kenney administration to take their own "safety first" rhetoric on Vision Zero seriously and prioritize safety for all over double-parking privileges for a few.

Thursday, April 12, 6:00 pm
How to Win Your Committeeperson Campaign
Dozens of urbanist activists are on the ballot for committeeperson this year, and now it’s time to help them get elected. If you’re running this year, come to a free training on April 12th hosted by our friends at Philadelphia 3.0, and get a breakdown of the elements of a successful committeeperson campaign.

Saturday, April 14, 9:00 am
TransportationCamp PHL 2018
The TransportationCamp series is coming to Philadelphia in just a month and tickets are going fast. TransportationCamp follows an “unconference” format of participant-created sessions, which leads to a more participatory and active event. Whether you work in transportation or simply have an interest, come prepared for an exciting day of ideas situated at the intersection of transportation, technology, and urbanism.


Bus ridership in Philadelphia dropped 10 percent in the last year, according to a report from the Federal Transit Administration, a loss that represents one of the biggest drops of any major city in the country. SEPTA surface transit (buses and trolleys) provided more than 159 million trips in 2017, according to the data. That’s 18 million fewer trips than the year before. The numbers aren’t a total surprise to SEPTA officials, who have been discussing how to respond to a trend of vanishing bus riders since 2015, and hired famed transit consultant Jarrett Walker’s firm to analyze the bus network. But this should be just as much of a hair-on-fire moment for City Council, who have nearly as much control over transit ridership as SEPTA does through their power over streets and land use. Councilmembers should use their time during SEPTA’s budget hearings this year to ask what actions City Council can take to help recover lost bus ridership.

Just in time for spring: new bike lanes in Fairmount Park and the Parkside neighborhood of West Philadelphia. City Council is now considering the long-awaited extension of an existing lane on Parkside Avenue and new lanes in Fairmount Park to create an easier connection for riders headed downtown via Martin Luther King Drive. The proposed bike routes were introduced at Council’s Thursday meeting by 4th District Councilman Curtis Jones. PlanPhilly quotes 5th Square co-chair Dena Driscoll arguing that paint isn’t good enough and the lanes need physical protection to provide any real safety benefit. “I think if we are looking to give cyclists a safe place to cycle we should be adding protection to every new bike lane that is coming out right now,” Driscoll said.

Increased online deliveries are causing more traffic congestion, PlanPhilly reports, and it’s a function of the City’s failure to prioritize street space. One of the big issues, according to DVRPC Senior Transportation Planner Mike Ruane, is that old cities like Philly never set aside space for modern delivery needs. Right now, the city’s considering a number of strategies to get delivery trucks out of the way of the rest of us, like promoting off-peak hour deliveries, encouraging greater use of alternative pick-up locations, and swapping out some parking spots for loading zones. While there is no silver bullet fix to these issues, the city and UPS are working together to develop smaller strategies to help alleviate the congestion.


5th Square is looking for volunteers for our five new committees, which include Organizing and Elections, Transportation, YIMBY, Marketing, and Development. Update your preferences on our sign-up page and we’ll get in touch.

Fairmount Park Conservancy is hiring a Director of Capital Projects

The Central Philadelphia Development Corporation (affiliated with Center City District) is hiring a Marketing Coordinator, responsible for “coordinating marketing and events in CCD-managed parks and public spaces” like Cret Park, Sister Cities Park. Collins Park and Dilworth Park

Passyunk Square Civic Association is accepting board nominations through March 30th. Elections are May 1st.

P’unk Ave is hiring a Content Strategist

The City of Philadelphia is hiring a transit policy planner

Clean Air Council is hiring a policy analyst

5th Square is Philadelphia's urbanist political action committee.
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