5TH SQUARE WEEKLY NEWSLETTER: MAY 30, 2018

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MERCH

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ACTION

We have less than two weeks to stop Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell's zombie parking bill! Last week, 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. 

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. 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:
kenyatta.johnson@phila.gov, (215) 686-3412, (215) 686-3413

District 4: Curtis Jones, Jr.: curtis.jones@phila.gov, (215) 686-3416, (215) 686-3417

District 7: Maria Quiñones-Sánchez: maria.q.sanchez@phila.gov, (215) 686-3448, (215) 686-3449

District 8: Cindy Bass: cindy.bass@phila.gov, (215) 686-3424, (215) 686-3425

At-Large: Blondell Reynolds-Brown: blondell.r.brown@phila.gov, (215) 686-3438, (215) 686-3439

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


EVENTS

Monday, May 31, 6:00 pm
Pedalpalooza: Neighborhood Bike Works Annual Gala Fundraiser
Support Neighborhood Bike Works's excellent youth and community bike programs at their annual gala fundraiser at Smith Memorial Playground.

Wednesday, June 6, 5:30 pm
Spring Garden Street Greenway Happy Hour + Project Update
Unsafe biking and walking conditions on Spring Garden Street became a citywide news story last month after the tragic death of cyclist Pablo Avendano, who was struck by an SUV driver while riding in the bike lane near 10th and Spring Garden. Spring Garden needs protected bike lanes, and the Spring Garden Street Greenway plan can't come soon enough. The Pennsylvania Environmental Council has organized an informal meet-up at Roy Pitz to update neighbors and advocates on the status of that project, which we've heard apparently no longer includes the problematic center lane bike lane concept.

Thursday, June 7, 8:00 am
Design Advocacy Group - Laurie Olin on the Ben Franklin Parkway
At the June DAG meeting, Laurie Olin (OLIN) will give a brief illustrated talk on the history of the Ben Franklin Parkway, and review some of the proposals for making the grand auto boulevard a more human-scale, park-like place. 

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.


NEWS

City Council voted to adopt new building codes for commercial buildings, after a years-long battle to break Philly out of Pennsylvania's dysfunctional process for adopting international code updates. There's a lot more work to be done at the state level to make sure these updates keep happening regularly, and for residential buildings too, but this one-time code update is a major win for sustainability in particular, as Green Building United explains.

A new study by JLL on the impact of the 10-year tax abatement finds that while the abatement is less powerful and necessary than it once was, "over a 30-year period, the current program is projected to generate more development, jobs, and tax revenue than scenarios that modify or decrease the incentive." Read a summary of the findings.

Jannie Blackwell and Bill Greenlee's parking minimums bill runs directly counter to Council's big new housing affordability agenda, writes Jon Geeting for The Philadelphia Citizen.

Transit-oriented development WIN: There's a by-right proposal for 1,200+ units on Bart Blatstein's giant parking lot behind The Piazza in Northern Liberties

SEPTA Key readers will soon accept the new PATCO fare cards


OPPORTUNITIES


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


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.

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