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

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

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEFriday, July 8, 2022 PHILADELPHIA — In today’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 – the section within the 2nd Council District. Continue reading

Morris Arboretum Should Welcome Pedestrians Too

Dear Morris Arboretum, I have a lot of fun memories at Morris Arboretum. It’s the perfect place for family reunions. (The fernery is always a hit.) And I’ve also been there on a date, a highschool field trip and a birthday celebration, and it never gets old. It’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 SEPTA’s FY2023 Capital Budget Public Hearings.   Continue reading

Newsletter: 🗳 Vote today! 🗳 Our Endorsements & Recommendations

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 182 🗳 2022 PRIMARY ELECTION INFO Endorsements Paul Prescod for the 8th Senate District Marylouise Isaacson for the 175th House District Joe Hohenstein for the 177th House District Jonathan Lovitz for the 182nd House District Elizabeth Fiedler for the 184th House District Andre Carroll for the 201st House District Continue reading

Newsletter: 🗳 Primary & 🏠 property taxes & 📝📅 plenty of action items!

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 181 🗳 2022 PRIMARY INFO Did you get your mail-in ballot but are unsure what to fill in? Here are our picks for the primaries and ballot questions. Continue reading


Weekly Newsletter, Issue 180 🎉 HOLIDAY PARTY THIS THURSDAY! We are pleased to announce the Holiday Party and Awards Ceremony, now scheduled for this Thursday, May 5th! It's a great opportunity to meet community leaders and like-minded folks. We will be announcing the winners of the 2021 Urbanist Awards. We will have beverages and snacks, and children over 5 are welcome. Proof of vaccination is required. Tickets are $30 online and $40 at the door (children are free). Continue reading

Newsletter: 🚌 Buses Only! 🅿️ No parking! 🎄 Time to party!

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 179 🚌 🛣 BUS ONLY LANES As SETPA's Bus Revolution gets underway, there is a potential problem on the horizon. Many key routes connect disparate parts of the city and are extremely slow. No matter how the bus routes change, the busses will still have to deal with traffic. One great way to speed things up is to add bus only lanes to the street. We need to show the City that we want bus lanes! Continue reading

Newsletter: 🚲 Changes on 25th St 🚌 and for SEPTA! / 🗳 Help the Fiedler campaign!

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 178 🚲 25th STREET REDESIGN The City has another survey out for redoing 25th Street in South Philly, underneath a viaduct that needs significant repair. There are three different designs being put forward: Design A which has two lanes, parking, and loading zones, Design B with two lanes, protected bikes lanes, and a raised pedestrian crossing, and Design C, which has four lanes and parking and loading on the curb. We feel that Design B has the most benefits for all residents, being available for all kinds of traversal and one of the few city streets with protected bike lanes. Continue reading

Newsletter: 🚲 Parking protected bike lanes / 🚧 Tactical urbanism webinar / 📅 Tons of events!

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 177 🚲 PARKING PROTECTED BIKE LANES Last Monday, the State Senate Transportation Committee held a hearing about HB140, which amends Title 75 to legalize parking separated bike lanes. Sarah Clark Stuart of the Bicycle Coalition provided testimony in favor of the bill. The City of Philadelphia with Kittleson and Associates has already released a study on parking separated bike lanes as part of a cycling network. There are already some bike lane pilot projects like this around the city that were granted special permissions through PennDOT, like Market St and JFK Blvd. However, passage of HB140 would allow those and other projects to become permanent. If you haven't already, send an email to your elected officials to encourage them to take the vote on this in April. There are only a few days left for legislative sessions... Continue reading


Weekly Newsletter, Issue 176 ⛽️ GAS TAX REBATES 5th Square members Fae Ehsan and Caitlin Nagle wrote an op-ed in the Inquirer against a possible gas tax rebate, as gasoline prices are on the rise. They felt that it does little to address the structural problems facing low-income Pennsylvanians while exacerbating the climate crisis and lining the pockets of Big Oil. Continue reading

April Fools!

Newsletter, Issue 175½ // April 1, 2022 Thank you for reading our first April Fools Newsletter Issue, if you aren't already a newsletter subscriber, sign up here!  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: 🔑 Paid SEPTA passes for work! / 🖤 Support the SOSNA Triangles / 🎥 Wash Ave Mini-Doc

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 175 🔑 SEPTA INSTITUTIONAL PASSES Recently, SEPTA announced Key Advantage, their institutional pass program. Drexel University, Penn Medicine, and Wawa are their first participants for the 6 month trial. The passes will be active May 1st. 5th Square co-chair Jon Geeting and our partners at Transit Forward Philadelphia were instrumental in getting the program up and running. Continue reading

Primary Endorsements - 2022 PA State Legislature Races

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASETuesday, March 22, 2022 5th Square is proud to announce its endorsement for the following candidates for this year's 2022 Pennsylvania primary elections. Continue reading

Newsletter: 📣 Announcing Our Endorsements / 🖤 Tanya Seaman: In Memoriam / 🚇 SEPTA Board Meeting

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 174 📣✅ 2022 ELECTION ENDORSEMENTS Following the polls of our membership, 5th Square is proud to announce its endorsement for the following candidates for this year's 2022 Pennsylvania primary elections. Paul Prescod for the 8th Senate District Marylouise Isaacson for the 175th House District Joe Hohenstein for the 177th House District Jonathan Lovitz for the 182nd House District Elizabeth Fiedler for the 184th House District Andre Carroll for the 201st House District Continue reading

Tanya Seaman: Why Washington Avenue Should be Designed by the Experts and Not Just by the Neighbors

We are deeply saddened by the passing of Tanya Seaman yesterday, March 17th, 2022, after a courageous battle with terminal cancer. Tanya was a tireless advocate for Vision Zero in Philadelphia and our world is better off for having her. She was co-founder and past executive director of PhillyCarShare. In her role as co-chair of SOSNA's vision zero committee, she spearheaded multiple roadway safety projects in her community.  Her advocacy and leadership will endure in Philadelphia's built environment with everybody who uses our streets enjoying a safer and more-equitable means of travel. We are posthumously publishing the op-ed she wrote advocating for a safer Washington Avenue. Continue reading

Newsletter: 🚮 Street Sweeping meeting / 📖 Fixer-Upper book event / 🚇 SEPTA board meeting

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 173 🚮 LITTER FREE STREETS AT LAST...? The City is holding virtual meetings via Zoom about the upcoming Mechanical Cleaning Pilot Program on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of this week. The street cleanings will be starting on April 4th in 14 different neighborhoods: North Central, Frankford, Germantown, Kensington, Logan, Nicetown, Paschall, Point Breeze, Port Richmond, South Philly (Lower Moyamensing), Southwest, Strawberry Mansion, West Fairhill, and West Philly. Zoom ID: 836 7765 6475Passcode: 127032Phone dial-in number: 267-831-0333 Tuesday, March 15, at noonTuesday, March 15, at 3 p.m.Wednesday, March 16, at 6 p.m.Thursday, March 17, at 10 a.m.Thursday, March 17 at 6 p.m. Continue reading

Newsletter: 🚇 SEPTA board meeting / 🍻 Two upcoming events! / 🚥 Unveiling of Washington Ave

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 172 🤝🍻 MEMBERS-ONLY EVENT: 2022 CANDIDATES MEET & GREET Did you sign up for a membership already? Do you want to be a member? Come join us at Buffalo Billiards in Old City and get to know the candidates running in your district, hear their takes on urbanist topics, and sign their petitions to get on the ballot. Thursday, March 10th, 2022 at 6:30 PM Continue reading

Testimony for SEPTA FY2022 Capital Budget Amendments

5th Square members and volunteers came to SEPTA's FY2022 Capital Budget Amendment hearings today to advocate for Bus Revolution Trolley Modernization Subway Station Accessibility Reimagining Regional Rail Here is the spoken testimony delivered at the virtual public meeting today by 5th Square members and volunteers. Continue reading

Press Release: 5th Square Reaction to Mixed Layout for Washington Ave

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASETuesday, March 1, 2022 PHILADELPHIA — Today, Philadelphia’s Office of Transportation, Infrastructure and Sustainability (OTIS) announced that they are proceeding with the ‘Mixed Layout’ option for Washington Avenue. Continue reading

Newsletter: 📢 Tonight! Washington Ave open house / 🚌 SEPTA budget hearing / 🤝 Members & Candidates Mixer

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 170 📢 REMINDER: PUBLIC OPEN HOUSE FOR WASHINGTON AVE The city is holding a public Open House for Washington Ave tonight, March 1st @ 6:30 PM, to unveil the final plans. It will be held in person at the Christian Street YMCA (1724 Christian St), following COVID-19 guidelines, and a virtual option on Facebook Live. Continue reading

Newsletter: 📢 Washington Ave open house / 📖 Housing book talk / 🚲 West Philly Bike Lanes

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 170 📢 PUBLIC OPEN HOUSE FOR WASHINGTON AVE The city announced the location of their public Open House for Washington Ave, where they plan on releasing the final-final-final plans for this roadway on Tuesday, March 1st @ 6:30 PM. Continue reading

Newsletter: ✍️ Washington Ave Families meetup / 🎩 Be a committee person / 🎥 Learn about new housing

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 169 ✍️ KEEP UP THE PRESSURE AT WASHINGTON AVENUE This weekend, we were out on our Washington Ave Families event, making signs and postcards against the street layout changes. Continue reading

Press Release: Safer Washington Avenue Fund Reaches More Than $10,000 in Donations

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEThursday, February 10, 2022PHILADELPHIA — On Monday, 5th Square established its Safer Washington Avenue Fund, specifically dedicated to electing Philadelphia candidates who will pledge to uphold the City's stated Vision Zero goals. In four days, it has drawn more than $10,000 in donations. Continue reading

Newsletter: ✉️ Washington Ave Updates / 🎩 Run for Committeeperson / 🏊 West Philly Pool Closures / 🚂 Roxborough housing at risk

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 168 ✉️ WASHINGTON AVENUE IN JEOPARDY We are asking everyone to contact OTIS, the Mayor, and Councilmembers Johnson & Squilla to tell them we want the safest possible option for Washington Ave -- the original 3-lane layout. Continue reading

Press Release: Concerning the Update on Washington Avenue Repaving and Improvement Project

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASESunday, February 6, 2022PHILADELPHIA — Yesterday, the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Transportation, Infrastructure, and Sustainability (OTIS) released its update on the Washington Avenue Repaving and Improvement Project which backtracked from their September 2020 “Final Design Decision.” The City’s new plan eliminates the safest roadway layout, the 3-lane layout, from consideration in its design. Continue reading

Newsletter: 🎩 Run for Committeeperson / 🏆 Blatstein's Wawa Withdrawn / 📋 Shape our Questionnaire / 🏙️ Need Public Housing in West Philly

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 167 🎩 RUN FOR A COMMITTEE PERSON SEAT IN 2022 Want to take the next step up toward neighborhood political leadership, and help 5th Square support great candidates for office in the 2022 and 2023 elections? Continue reading

Newsletter: 🏗️ Strong Towns Book Event / 🏙️ Women-Led Cities / 🛣️ Plans for Cobbs Creek Pkwy

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 166 🏗️ BOOK EVENT: CONFESSIONS OF A RECOVERING ENGINEER Join 5th Square and friends for a guest talk by Chuck Marohn, founder of Strong Towns, at Philly Office Retail at 4701 Germantown Ave. Continue reading

Newsletter: ✅🚲🏙️ Join us for 2022 Elections / 🏘️ Affordable Housing or Parking / 🩹 New Road, Broken Sidewalk

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 165 ✅🚲🏙️ JOIN US FOR THE 2022 ELECTIONS Help us decide which Philly-area candidates to support for 2022 races in the PA State Senate and PA State House. Continue reading

Newsletter: ☃️ Invitation to Our Holiday Party / 🍽️ Who is Losing their Streeteries? / 🏙️ Density for Penn's Locust Walk

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 164 ☃️ HOLIDAY PARTY INVITATION You're invited to our fun year-end Holiday Party at 990 Spring Garden on Wednesday, December 22nd at 7 PM, where we'll be holding off our Third Annual Urbanist Awards ceremony! Continue reading

Newsletter: 🏆 Seeking Urbanist Awards Nominations / 🛣️ Advocate for a Safer Washington Ave / 🏞️ Keep FDR Park Wild

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 163 🏆 Nominate Your Faves for Our Annual Urbanist Awards! We are taking nominations for the following categories through Friday, December 10th: Continue reading

Newsletter: 📛 Meetup this Thursday in W. Philly / 🛣️ Support a Safer Washington Ave / 🚌 Better Buses Canvassing / 💐 Remembrance Event

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 162 📛 MEETUP THIS THURSDAY Join 5th Square organizers and volunteers for an informal, in-person meet-up in West Philly this Thursday at 6 PM. This is an indoor/outdoor, family-friendly event where we will provide updates on our recent campaigns and talk about what's in store as we start to wrap up 2021. Continue reading

Newsletter: 📛 November Meetup in W. Philly / 🚮 Can Volunteers Replace Street Cleaning? / 🚌 Bus Revolution Tradeoff Survey

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 161 📛 NOVEMBER MEETUP Join 5th Square organizers and volunteers for an informal, in-person meet-up in West Philly at 42nd & Pine. This is an indoor/outdoor, family-friendly event where we will provide updates on our recent campaigns and talk about what's in store as we start to wrap up 2021. Continue reading

Newsletter: 🔊 Tell PennDOT to Support Walking, Biking & Transit / 🏢 Parking vs. Affordable Housing in W. Philly / 🛣️ The Congestion Pricing Solution

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 160 🔊 ACTION: TELL PENNDOT TO SUPPORT WALKING, BIKING & TRANSIT PennDOT is seeking input on the Draft Pennsylvania 2045 Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) until TOMORROW, 10/19. Continue reading

Newsletter: 👓 Putting the Eye in Transit / 🚃 Reimagining RR Event / 🍽️ Make Permanent Outdoor Dining

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 159 👓 PUTTING THE EYE IN TRANSIT THIS WEDNESDAY, October 13, 6:00pm - In Person ⁠Join DesignPhiladelphia for Putting the Eye in Transit: The Research Behind SEPTA’s New Wayfinding System, an in-person panel discussion organized by the Weitzman School. Continue reading

Press Release: City Council Needs to Make Outdoor Dining on Streets & Sidewalks Permanent

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Thursday, September 30, 2021 PHILADELPHIA — Continue reading

Newsletter: 🤝 Meet-Up Tomorrow! / 🛤️ Regional Rail Revamp / 📚 Our Transit Book Launch

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 158 🤝 MEET-UP TOMORROW! Due to the rain, our outdoor meetup has moved to tomorrow evening. Continue reading

Newsletter: 🍻 Meet-Up This Thursday / 🗺️ Help SEPTA Wayfinding / 📚 Our Transit Book Launch

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 157 🍻 MEET-UP THIS THURSDAY 5th Square September Meet-Up // Thursday, Sep 23, 2021 - 6 PM Join 5th Square organizers and volunteers for an informal, in-person meet-up over at Cosmic Cafe & Ciderhouse! Continue reading

Press Release: SEPTA’s Reimagining Regional Rail Initiative is a Promising First Step in Creating an Integrated Transit System

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASETuesday, September 21, 2021PHILADELPHIA — 5th Square applauds SEPTA leadership’s openness to reimagining the kind of service that regional rail can provide throughout our region. Continue reading

Press Release: SEPTA’s Wayfinding Master Plan is a Long-Overdue Improvement for Riders

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEWednesday, September 8, 2021 PHILADELPHIA — 5th Square congratulates SEPTA on the release of its Wayfinding Master Plan and eagerly awaits its implementation in the coming years on rail transit lines. Continue reading

Newsletter: 🚇 Meet SEPTA Metro / 🗺️ Germantown's Proposed Rezoning / 🍻 Our Sept Meet-Up

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 156 🚇 MEET SEPTA METRO SEPTA just unveiled their proposed wayfinding design for our region's rail transit network! We LOVE this new design that simplifies and unifies the Subway, El, Trolleys, and NHSL into a seamless network. Continue reading

Newsletter: 🚍 Bus-Only Lanes Finally Here! / 🚪 How the US Made Affordable Homes Illegal / 🛣️ MLK Drive Radio Hour

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 155 🚪 HOW THE US MADE AFFORDABLE HOMES ILLEGAL The folks at VOX created a great video explaining the nationwide housing shortage and how cities across the US, including Philadelphia, have made it illegal to build more affordable homes. Continue reading

Newsletter: 🚌 PA Turnpike Makes Last $450M Transit Payment / 🛣️ Washington Ave Safety Delays / 🚉 A Tale of Two Transit Systems / 🎸 A Tune for SEPTA

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 154 🚌 TRANSIT FOR ALL PA! PLATFORM Pennsylvania’s transit services could see major cuts next year, and it’s not about Coronavirus—it’s our legislature! Continue reading

Newsletter: 🔊 Better Buses Survey / 🛣️ Last Day for Walnut & Chestnut / 🔽 Girard Petition Reaches 800

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 153 🔊 YOUR VOICE FOR BETTER BUSES Take Transit Forward Philadelphia's 5-minute bus network survey and you will be entered into a raffle to receive a $50 VISA gift card! Continue reading

Newsletter: 🔽 Mayor Kenney, Veto the Downzoning of Girard Ave / 💳SEPTA Key 2.0 / 🌞 Our Harrisburg Transit Funding Rally

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 152 🔽 VETO THE DOWNZONING OF GIRARD AVE Almost 500 petition signers are urging Mayor Kenney to veto Council President Clarke's bill that aims to downzone much of Girard Avenue east of Broad St. Continue reading

Newsletter: 🚂 Transit Rally In Harrisburg / 🛣️ Road Safety for Walnut & Chestnut / 📈 SEPTA need to grow ridership / 💄 Penn Center's Makeover

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 151 🚂 JOIN US IN HARRISBURG - FIGHT FOR TRANSIT FUNDING Join 5th Sq and statewide partners for a RALLY in Harrisburg - NEXT TUESDAY 6/29, to fight for PA transit funding. Continue reading

Newsletter: ✨ WIN: Parking Tax Cut Rejected! / 🛣️ Bike Lanes for Walnut & Chestnut / 🚂 Fight for Transit Funding In Harrisburg

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 150 ✨ WIN: PARKING TAX CUT REJECTED! WHYY and The Inquirer are reporting that City Council is dropping their plan to cut the parking tax! This is an incredible win! Continue reading

Newsletter: 💸 Reject Cuts to the Parking Tax / 🖼️ Ben Franklin Pkwy Revamp / 🏘️ Affordable Units Approved for West Philly

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 149 ACTION💸 REJECT THE PARKING TAX CUT Tell Council to support transit passes for low-income residents, not giveaways to parking executives Continue reading