Zombie parking bill is back on Council's agenda this week. We need your help to stop it.

5th Square's weekly newsletter reaches over 10,000 subscribers with the news, events, and opportunities Philly urbanists need to know about each week. Support our advocacy.


Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell's zombie parking bill is back from the dead! A two-year-old bill (No. 160710) that would double minimum parking requirements for residential construction is suddenly back, and headed for Council's Rules Committee this Wednesday, May 23rd at 10 AM. We need you to make calls to Councilmembers to stop it in Committee.

Doubling parking requirements is a surefire way to ensure that housing costs continue their upward march, pricing out residents old and new alike. A recent study from Houwzer found that a single parking space adds about $60,000 to the cost of housing within a mile from City Hall, and an extra $18,000-$28,000 on average citywide. That works out to between a $150-400 per month increase in rent—a totally counterproductive outcome if Council is truly concerned about housing affordability.

The City Planning Commission unanimously opposes the bill, and the Philadelphia Crosstown Coalition, which represents over two dozen Registered Community Organizations, just released a letter opposing it as well. What really matters though is for Rules Committee members to start hearing from their constituents.

We need you to call Councilmembers on the Rules Committee to tell them that doubling parking minimums is a terrible move for housing affordability, traffic congestion, and walkability. Here are some additional arguments against minimum parking requirements to use when you call.

District 1: Mark Squilla:
[email protected], (215) 686-3458, (215) 686-3459

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

District 3: Jannie Blackwell:
[email protected], (215) 686-3418, (215) 686-3419

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

Bill Greenlee: [email protected], (215) 686-3446, (215) 686-3447

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


Monday, May 21, 4:00 pm
Washington Avenue Connector Public Meeting 
DRWC is embarking on an effort to remake the eastern end of Washington Avenue, to make it a new gateway to the Waterfront and to the city. Come and share stories about Washington Avenue, from 4th Street to the Waterfront—the good, bad or ugly! The Open House will have information booths, tours of the Avenue, and opportunities to share your vision.

Tuesday, May 22, 6:30 pm
Zoning & Architecture Happy Hour
Join South of South Neighborhood Association's Architecture Review Committee (ARC) and Zoning Committee in celebrating another year of advocating for good neighborhood development. Meet the current committee members and hear how you can get involved in 2018. Light bites and the first round will be provided courtesy of SOSNA.

Wednesday, May 23, 7:00 pm
CCRA Annual Meeting
Join CCRA for its 2018 Annual Meeting. Following a brief business session, CCRA will turn the program over to a truly amazing panel to discuss current issues in development in Center City. The panel, moderated by Inga Saffron will include: Anne Fadullon (Director of Philadelphia Department of Planning and Development), Jon Geeting (Director of Engagement for Philly 3.0) and Paul Steinke (Executive Director of the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia). The Annual Meeting is open to all, although only CCRA members are entitled to vote during the business session. Food and refreshments will follow.


Philadelphia is mourning two separate deaths of individuals who were killed riding their bikes within the last two weeks. On Saturday evening on May 12th, an SUV knocked over and fatally ran over 34-year-old Pablo Avendano while he was riding on the Spring Garden bike lane around 10th and Spring Garden. Avendano was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. His death led for calls to safer streets and demands on Mayor Kenney’s administration to live up to their promise of 30 miles of protected bikes lanes, which Kenney has funding for. Pablo’s death could have been prevented if Spring Garden had a protected bike lane. Then on Bike to Work Day long after city officials had finished patting themselves on the back for making strides in street safety, 11-year old Julian Angelucci was fatally struck by and SUV that fled the scene. The driver later turned herself in after public outcry but was released Friday evening and has yet to face any charges. District Attorney Larry Krasner's office has said they plan to pursue justice for the victims' families pending the results of the investigations.

Urbanist candidates for Democratic committee person seats won over 60% of their races last Tuesday, and now have a sizable presence in some key wards in South Philly and the Riverwards. Over 100 candidates from our list ran in the primary last Tuesday. Check out our map of election winners to see if you live in one of their divisions, and send us an email at [email protected] if you want an introduction.


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. 


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.