April Fools!

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 227 //ย April 1, 2023 Thank you for reading our second April Fools Newsletter, if you aren't already a newsletter subscriber, sign up here!ย  All of these news items are satire, but obviously, with a kernel of truth touching on systemic issues with Philadelphia's broken political process and the way its affects our built environment and its residents. Continue reading

Newsletter: โœ… Announcing City Council Endorsements! / ๐Ÿค Chinatown Stitch Survey / ๐Ÿš‡ Life after KOP Rail

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 226 โœ… CITY COUNCIL ENDORSEMENTS Our City Council endorsements are out! Continue reading

Primary Endorsements - 2023 Philadelphia City Council

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEWednesday, March 22, 2023 5th Square is proud to announce its endorsements for the following candidates running for City Council in this yearโ€™s primary elections. Continue reading

Newsletter: โšฐ๏ธ R.I.P. KOP Rail / ๐Ÿ—ณ๏ธ Endorsement Vote Time / ๐ŸŸ๏ธ Our Statement on the Arena

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 225 โšฐ๏ธ KOP RAIL PROJECT PAUSED Last Friday, SEPTA announced that they are pausing the 4-mile King of Prussia rail extension to its Norristown High Speed Line. The project was expected to cost more than $3 billion. Continue reading

Statement on 76ers Arena Proposal

5th Square stands in full solidarity with those working to ensure that Chinatown remains a vibrant, affordable, and accessible center of the Chinese community in Philadelphia. Continue reading

Newsletter: ๐Ÿ“น Catch up on the candidates / ๐ŸšŒ Sign up for the Bus Revolution draft network webinar!

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 224 5th Square is Philadelphia's urbanist political action committee, organizing and advocating for better transportation, land use, and public space policies. Our work is made possible through the support of over 400 members donating anywhere from $5 to $25 a month. ๐Ÿค๐Ÿป CANDIDATE MEET AND GREETS, QUESTIONNAIRES, & ENDORSEMENTS We recently held two meet and greets with mayoral and council candidates. if you missed these, don't worry! Recordings of candidate introductions are on YouTube: Continue reading

Newsletter: ๐Ÿป Catch Up with the Candidates! ๐Ÿ“… Plus, tons of events!

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 223 ๐Ÿค๐Ÿป NORTH PHILLY CANDIDATE MEETUP The second of our two candidate meet & greet events is THIS Thursday at 6:30 PM, at Attic Brewing in Germantown. Continue reading

Newsletter: ๐Ÿป Meet (and read) the Candidates / ๐Ÿšƒ SEPTA Capital Budget news / โ„๏ธ Pics from the Phreeze

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 222 ๐Ÿค๐Ÿป CANDIDATE MEETUPS Endorsement season is kicking off, so come meet us at two events! We will be joined by candidates for the Mayor and City Council running in the upcoming primary on May 16th. Continue reading

Newsletter: ๐Ÿšƒ Support the trolleys! / ๐Ÿป Candidate Meet & Greet Events / ๐Ÿšจ RCO actions!

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 221 ๐Ÿšƒ SUPPORT NEW TROLLEYS The monthly SEPTA board meeting is THIS THURSDAY at 3pm, and Trolley Modernization is on the agenda. We need you to voice your support for new trolleys! Continue reading

Newsletter: โ„๏ธ So close to our Philly Phreeze goal! / ๐Ÿด Streetery recap / ๐Ÿป Candidate Meet & Greet Events

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 220 โ„๏ธ FEEL THE PHREEZE The chill of winter may make us long for a summer day by the pool, but our public pools are still in jeopardy. Parks and Rec needs more lifeguards and updated buildings, otherwise pools will have to stay closed. Continue reading

Newsletter: โ„๏ธ Help Open Pools with Philly Phreeze / ๐Ÿป Candidate Meet & Greet Events / ๐Ÿ‘” Our 2023 Questionnaire & Platform!

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 219 โ„๏ธ PHILLY PHREEZE FOR PUBLIC POOLS 5th Square is willing to dive like polar bears to help Parks and Rec raise money for lifeguards to keep public pools open. Continue reading

Newsletter: ๐Ÿš‡ Roosevelt Blvd Subway News / โš ๏ธ Safety Study for Cecil B. Moore

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 218 ๐Ÿš‡ ROOSEVELT BLVD SUBWAY NEWS SEPTA General Manager, Leslie Richards, weighed in on the Roosevelt Blvd Subway, saying it would be good for the city but is beyond agency's financial means. Continue reading

Newsletter: Read city emails ๐Ÿ“ง ๐Ÿ‘€ or sign up for the Marketing Committee meeting ๐Ÿ‘ฅ

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 217 ๐Ÿšฒ BIKE LANE RTKL You may be familiar with the new Market St bike lane extension that was approved last year. Bike lanes on Market and JFK have been a long battle, first envisioned in 2009 and finally executed in 2018. Continue reading

Newsletter: Fill out the funnest Transpo Survey ๐Ÿ—บ and apply for a Slow Zone ๐Ÿšถ

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 216 ๐Ÿšถ SLOW ZONE APPLICATION EXTENSION The Neighborhood Slow Zone application deadline has been extended to February 15th. The Slow Zone Project offers residents the opportunity to work with the City to reduce vehicle speeds and improve visibility on neighborhood streets.ย  Continue reading

Newsletter: โŒ›๏ธLooking back โณ and setting our sites on the future! ๐ŸŽ†

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 215 โŒ›๏ธ A LOOK BACK AT 2022 We hope everyone had a great holiday season with plenty of fun and relaxation. We accomplished so much in our 8th year! We nearly doubled our membership. Lots of us wrote op-eds and made videos. Our meetup game was on point, with notable guests like Chuck Mahron, Dr. Jenny Schuetz, and M. Nolan Gray. We got over 40 mentions in the press, too! Continue reading

Newsletter: ๐Ÿ  Houses for more neighbors!!

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 214 ๐Ÿ  TURN THE KEY Councilmember Darrell Clarke has put forth a new program calledย "Turn the Key", which intends to put around 1,000 new houses on the market, specifically for first-time low-income residents. Civetta Property Group has alreadyย broken ground in Grays Ferry, being tasked with the first round of 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom rowhouses that will cost $230,000. Prospective owners will beย given a loan of up to $75,000ย matched with a second mortgage, and then the loan will be forgiven after 30 years. Continue reading

Newsletter: โ›„โ„๏ธ๐ŸŽ Come party on Tuesday! ๐Ÿ”Ž and apply for a city Advisory Council

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 213 โ›„โ„๏ธ๐ŸŽ LET'S CELEBRATE!! Feeling urbanely festive? Put on your favorite sweater* and join us at 990 Spring Garden on Tuesday, December 20th from 7:00 to 9:00 PM for our Holiday Party! We'll be holding our Fourth Annual Urbanist Awards ceremony, featuring your favorite champions of urban policy! We'll also have plenty of food and drink, so bring a friend. Continue reading

Newsletter: โ›„โ„๏ธ๐ŸŽ Youโ€™re Invited to our Holiday Party!

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 212 โ›„โ„๏ธ๐ŸŽ PARTY ALL THE TIME! Feeling urbanely festive? Put on your favorite sweater* and join us at 990 Spring Garden on Tuesday, December 20th from 7:00 to 9:00 PM for our Holiday Party! We'll be holding our Fourth Annual Urbanist Awards ceremony, featuring your favorite champions of urban policy! We'll also have plenty of food and drink, so bring a friend. Continue reading

Newsletter: โ›„โ„๏ธ๐ŸŽ Upcoming Holiday Party + Urbanist Awards ๐ŸŠ Big Win for Sayre-Morris Pool

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 211 โ›„โ„๏ธ๐ŸŽ YOU ARE INVITED TO OUR HOLIDAY PARTY! Join 5th Square members and friends forย our Holiday Partyย atย 990 Spring Gardenย onย Tuesday, December 20thย fromย 7:00 to 9:00 PM, where we'll be holding our Fourth Annualย Urbanist Awardsย ceremony! Come celebrate with other Philadelphia advocates at theย urbanist holiday party of the season! Continue reading

Newsletter: ๐Ÿค Helping out is ๐Ÿ˜Ž totally rad! ๐ŸšŒ

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 210 ๐Ÿ† 2022 AWARD NOMINATIONS The year end party is coming up on December 20th, and 5th Square will be presenting awards to a few members of our community for their outstanding contributions to Philadelphiaโ€™s urbanist movement. Continue reading

Newsletter: ๐Ÿค Volunteer! (And pester the Mayor's office too!)

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 209 ๐Ÿ‘ฅ VOLUNTEER ORIENTATION If you've been wanting to help out 5th Square with your time and skills, we're now holding orientations for new volunteers. Continue reading

Newsletter: PA Grant awards ๐Ÿ’ต and a chance to shape the city budget...

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 208 ๐Ÿ’ต RACP RECIPIENTS The list of recipients for the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program is out. Continue reading

Newsletter: Go to the ๐Ÿ—ณ polls or ๐ŸšŒ Bus Revolution open houses

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 207 ๐Ÿ—ณ VOTE! If you didn't vote by mail, go vote today! The polls are open until 8pm. You can use Atlas to find your polling place by searching for your address. You can also use the Pennsylvania state website. Continue reading

Newsletter: ๐Ÿš‡ Subway news, ๐Ÿป November meetup, ๐ŸšŒ Bus Revolution open houses

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 206 ๐Ÿš‡ ROOSEVELT BLVD SUBWAY The Roosevelt Boulevard Subway Workshop was this past Saturday morning, and featured Jody Holton of SEPTA, Ashwin Patel of PennDOT, and Mike Carroll of OTIS, the city transportation department. Continue reading

Newsletter: โ™ฟ๏ธ Curb cuts for all! Plus a ๐Ÿš‡ Roosevelt subway and a ๐Ÿป November meetup!

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 205 โ™ฟ๏ธ ACCESSIBLE PHILLY Last week, the city settled a lawsuit with three disability advocacy organizations and four residents with disabilities. Continue reading

Newsletter: Check your mailbox ๐Ÿ“ฌ and mark your calendars for 10/29! ๐Ÿš‡

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 203 ๐Ÿ—ณ MIDTERM ELECTIONS! Just like pumpkin spice and Halloween candy, midterm election season has descended upon us. It's time to get out your favorite sweater and No. 2 pencil and mark those mail-in ballots. Continue reading

Newsletter: ๐Ÿšธ Want safe routes to school? Apply for a Slow Zone! ๐ŸŸ Chat at our Fishtown Meetup

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 203 ๐Ÿšธ SAFE ROUTES TO SCHOOL School is in session, and WalkWorks has a webinar to educate everyone about the Safe Routes to School program that encourages kids to bike or walk to school.ย  Continue reading

Newsletter: ๐Ÿ’ฐ Bounty for Blocked Bike Lanes / ๐Ÿš‹ Don't Mess with Transit / ๐ŸŸ Our Next Meetup in Fishtown

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 202 ๐Ÿป MEETUP NEXT THURSDAY Our October meetup is at the Mural City Cellars Wine Garden in Fishtown. Nextย Thursday 10/13 @ย 6:00pm Continue reading

Newsletter: ๐Ÿ‚Time for a fall beer ๐Ÿป outside and some YouTube ๐ŸŽฅ inside

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 201 ๐Ÿป MORE MEETUPS! We have lots of things going on these days, like launching a blog, working on marketing, and keeping track of SEPTA changes. The City Council candidates are coming in each week as we gear up for election season. It's a great time to get together and talk shop with your fellow urbanists. Continue reading

Newsletter: ๐ŸŽ‰ An exciting annoucement! ๐ŸŽ‰

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 200 ๐ŸŽ‰ A SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT Since this is our 200th newsletter, we want to let you in on an exciting new project. 5th Square believes there is a lot more going on in city land use, housing, and transportation news than is being reported in the news media currently. Many of the publications that once covered city meetings on these topics more regularly no longer have the capacity to do it, or are no longer publishing. Continue reading

Newsletter: ๐Ÿ’Honoring victims of gun and traffic violence + ๐Ÿ“… events far and wide

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 199 ๐Ÿป SEPTEMBER MEETUP Join 5th Square organizers and volunteers for an informal, in-person meet-up over at Pennsport Beer Boutique! This is an outdoor, family-friendly event where we will provide updates on our recent campaigns. Continue reading

Newsletter: ๐Ÿšป Bathroom break ๐Ÿ“– with reading material!

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 198 ๐Ÿšป WE WANT RESTROOMS The Center City Public Restroom survey results are out and 89% of participants were in favor of public restrooms! Many of the participants disliked the existing portable toilets and only 47% have used them. Continue reading

Newsletter: ๐Ÿšฒ Bike safety begins with infrastructure

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 197 ๐Ÿšฒ SHARING THE ROAD As reported by PhilyVoice and Philadelphia Inquirer, charges were dropped against the garbage truck driver that struck Emily Fredricks in 2017. When the case is cut and dry, like an impared driver, it makes sense that the driver should face consequences for their actions. Continue reading

Newsletter: Meet us at ๐Ÿป Pennsport and ๐Ÿš‡ Roosevelt Blvd!

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 196 ๐Ÿป๐Ÿš‡ MEETUP AT PENNSPORT This Thursday, come to Pennsport Beer Boutique for our meetup at 7pm. Walk, take the 57 or 64 bus, or bike down Washington to Moyamensing, then get a beer and vent with us about the state of multimodal transportation! Continue reading

Newsletter: More ๐Ÿš‡ Roosevelt Blvd Subway updates. Don't forget the ๐Ÿป August Meetup!

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 195 ๐Ÿป๐Ÿš‡ AUGUST MEETUPS GALORE! We're having our next meetup on August 25th at Pennsport Beer Boutique in South Philly. We have lots of new faces online and it's time to connect offline with a beer in hand. This is a great opportunity to chat with like-minded people about urbanist issues as a professional or a volunteer. We can talk shop and hatch some plans, or just relax in good company. Continue reading

Newsletter: Go to the ๐Ÿš‡ Roosevelt Blvd Subway and our ๐Ÿป August Meetup!

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 194 ๐Ÿš‡ BUILD THE ROOSEVELT BLVD SUBWAY! If the idea of a subway going down Roosevelt Boulevard has caught your interest, you're in good company. We at 5th Square have just launched a petition to get the region's transit planners and politicians together to start working on the Roosevelt Boulevard Subway. Continue reading

Newsletter: ๐Ÿš† Roosevelt Rail?! ๐Ÿ  House appraisal bias ๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ” Looking for marketing volunteers!

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 193 ๐Ÿš† ROOSEVELT BLVD SUBWAY TOWN HALL Rail on Roosevelt Boulevard has been continuously proposed and discarded for the past 100 years, and 5th Square member Jay Arzu is on a mission to bring it back. Considering that Roosevelt Blvd is on the Vision Zero High Injury Network and also a major thoroughfare, getting better public transit on the street makes sense. Continue reading

Newsletter: โš ๏ธ HB140 action, ๐Ÿ“ notes from the DVRPC, and ๐Ÿ“บ our members are in the media!

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 192 ๐Ÿšฒ REMOVE HB140 AMENDMENT The Inquirer has an article about the changes to HB140, the parking protected bike lane bill, and how it went from a straightforward bill to one that would hamper efforts for bike infrastructure and had an unrelated directive for a SEPTA transit crime prosecutor. In response, the Bicycle Coalition is asking for people to email their state senators for the removal of this amendment. Continue reading

Protect the University City Townhomes Community and Preserve Philadelphia's Affordable Housing

We stand with theย tenants of UC Townhomesย and demand a halt to eviction from the residentsโ€™ home of many decades. This is merely the latest incident in a long history of displacement of Black families from the Black Bottom community.ย It is imperative that Altman make every effort to preserve this community that has thrived for four decades in the current property. Continue reading

Newsletter: โš ๏ธ Updates on Cobbs Creek, HB140, and ๐Ÿž FDR Park Meadows events

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 191 ๐Ÿšง COBBS CREEK PARKWAY UPDATE PennDOT will be having a meeting this Thursday to review and provide feedback for the 63rd Street/Cobbs Creek Parkway Safety Improvement Project. This covers 63rd St and Cobbs Creek Parkway from City Ave to Woodland Ave. Continue reading

Newsletter: โš’๏ธ Whole-Home repairs , ๐Ÿšง Wash Ave updates, ๐Ÿ– beach trip posponed

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 190 ๐Ÿ– BEACH TRIP POSTPONED Due to forecasted rain, the beach trip was moved to July 30th. If you had to miss the trip, now's your chance to get in on the fun! We'll be meeting at 30th Street Station at 8:05am to ride the train to Atlantic City and catch some rays. Tickets are $60 for Adults 12+, $30 for children 5-11, kids 4 and under are free. Continue reading

Press Release: 5th Square Reaction to Next Phase of Washington Ave Repaving Project

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEFriday, July 8, 2022 PHILADELPHIA โ€” In todayโ€™s announcement for the next phase of the Washington Avenue Repaving Project, the City has shifted from the previously-compromised mixed-lane layout to retaining the existing dangerous roadway layout west of 11th Street โ€“ the section within the 2nd Council District. Continue reading

Newsletter: The great outdoors ๐Ÿ– ๐Ÿž !

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 189 ๐Ÿ– BEACH TRIP SPOTS AVAILABLE! Join us on July 9th at 8:05am for a family-friendly day down the shore this summer with your favorite group of Urbanist advocates. We're headed to Atlantic City and have a fun day planned of hoagie-eating, jitney-riding, beach-laying, and of course, margarita-drinking. Let's meet at 30th Street Station and, of course, take a ride aboard the Atlantic City Rail Line. Continue reading

Newsletter: Good news, bad news for ๐ŸšŒ... or take a train to the ๐Ÿ–!

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 188 ๐Ÿš FUTURE TRANSIT FUNDING With ridership still down since the start of the pandemic, public transit agencies around the country will be grappling with a fiscal cliff for operation. SEPTA will be able to support operations with CARES Act funding until 2024, but without service increases and with ongoing bus driver shortages, it may not be enough. Continue reading

Newsletter: Come talk ๐Ÿ“š and take a train to ๐Ÿ–! Plus, new SEPTA fares...

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 186 ๐Ÿ“š BOOK TALK WITH NOLAN GRAY 5th Square is pleased to welcome author M. Nolan Gray to Philadelphia for a book talk about his newly-published book about U.S. housing policy titled "Arbitrary Lines: How Zoning Broke the American City and How to Fix It." The event will take place on Friday, June 24th at 7:30pm at Resurrection Philadelphia near 42nd and Baltimore Ave. Light refreshments (pizza, beer, and seltzer) will be served. Continue reading


Weekly Newsletter, Issue 186 ๐Ÿ“ง EMAIL KENNEY RE: WASHINGTON AVE Councilmember Mark Squilla has passed through the Streets & Services Committee the legislation needed for his part of Washington Ave east of 11th. However, Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson, will not be amending the bill to include his section of Washington Ave from 11th St to Grays Ferry Ave. Continue reading

Newsletter: ๐Ÿฅช Hangout on Thursday, ๐Ÿ“ write to elected officials on Friday!

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 185 ๐Ÿฅช NORTHWEST MEETUP ON THURSDAY! Our next meet-up has moved to THIS THURSDAY, June 9nd at 6 PM over at Manayunk Crossing (next to the movie theater)! We will be discussing mobility, safe streets, and access to transit specific to Northwest Philly neighborhoods. Continue reading

Newsletter: ๐Ÿ˜ก MAD about Washington Ave / ๐Ÿฅช Meetup Thursday / ๐Ÿ› ๏ธ Whole Home Repairs

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 184 ๐Ÿ˜ก MAD ABOUT WASHINGTON AVE Ask City Council to prioritize safety for Washington Ave. Heard the news? The City's plans for safety measures on Washington Ave are being jeopardized by one person: Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson. Continue reading

Morris Arboretum Should Welcome Pedestrians Too

Dear Morris Arboretum, I have a lot of fun memories at Morris Arboretum. Itโ€™s the perfect place for family reunions. (The fernery is always a hit.) And Iโ€™ve also been there on a date, a highschool field trip and a birthday celebration, and it never gets old. Itโ€™s no wonder that you attract 130,000 visits a year. It is, however, odd that nearly all of these visits will be made by motor vehicle. Continue reading

Press Release: SEPTA FY 2023 Capital Budget

5th Square members and volunteers submitted the following comments to SEPTAโ€™s FY2023 Capital Budget Public Hearings. ย  Continue reading