Newsletter: Big Announcement 🚌 Transit Forward Philly 🚌 | Say it Louder 🎤 #YIMBYforSIS ⚕️🏥 | PennDOT Looking at Congestion Pricing 🛣️

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 106


Come to the big launch event this Thursday to kick-off Philly's new transit advocacy coalition Transit Forward Philadelphia!

Read the Inquirer's coverage of TFP from over the weekend.

5th Square has been working to build a political constituency around our transit work over the past few years and we're thrilled to join forces with some heavy hitters in the Pennsylvania non-profit and advocacy world.

This new 10-member coalition will give transit suppoters a much louder voice in achieving the changes we want to see in the region's transportation priorities as we strive to improve equity and ridership on public transit.

The coalition has already hired a full-time organizer, Yasha Zarrinkelk, and we will be co-hosting the launch event this Thursday, March 5th starting at 5:30 PM with guest speakers:

  • SEPTA GM Leslie Richards,
  • Chris Puchalsky of OTIS, and
  • Councilmember Helen Gym.

Join the fight for better mobility in Philadelphia.

Become a member today to help us advocate for better transit and to guide the conversation of this new coalition!

Vote with Us This Election Season

It's primary election season, not just for the Presidency, but also for our influential state legislature, which holds the keys to all kinds of transportation and planning issues we work on.

After closing our preliminary straw poll, we're readying our endorsement recommendations for an approval vote by our dues-paying membership. Join us today to have a voice in this process.



5th Square is interested in commissioning an original illustration for a new t-shirt this spring. We want to hear your ideas for conveying our vision of a more walkable, bikeable, accessible city with great public transit and public spaces. This is a paid opportunity. If interested, please reply to this email or email [email protected].



Thursday, March 5th, 5:30 - 7:30 PM
⭐ Transit Forward Philadelphia | Launch Event 
Come learn about why this group of organizations has joined together to fight for better transit, what SEPTA and the Kenney administration want to accomplish, and how everyone—transit riders, community organizations, and residents—who want to improve public transit in Philadelphia and its suburbs can join this fight alongside us.

Monday, March 9th, 6 - 7 PM
⭐ 5th Square Transit Committee | March Meeting 
Join us at Kismet where we'll talk about some of our recent transit advocacy wins, discuss 5th Square's draft Fare Plan, and the new Transit Coalition. We'll also get a short briefing on how transit issues are being addressed as part of budget discussions in Harrisburg.

Wednesday, March 4th, 5 - 8 PM
DVRPC | Frankford Ave Open House
You can stop by anytime between 5 PM and 8 PM to learn about potential improvements and identify other opportunities for transportation changes on Frankford Ave between Cottman Avenue and Rhawn Street.

Wednesday, March 4th, 5:30 - 7:30 PM
Event Series Kick-off: Connecting the Dots on //Public Space//
Connect the Dots and THINK.urban are hosting a networking happy hour. Join them at Tattooed Mom's for networking and discussion with other practicing urbanists involved professionally in public space, placemaking, outreach and surveying, and other public engagement work in Philadelphia.

Thursday, March 5th, 8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
DAG | Historic Preservation, Public Memory and Social Justice
Faye Anderson is this month's guest speaker at Design Advocacy Group, discussing race and preservation, and efforts to preserve Philadelphia's Black historical footprint.

Thursday, March 5th, 6:30 - 9:30 PM
GRASP | South Philly State Rep. Meet-&-Greet
Join GRASP at Second District Brewing for a meet-and-greet with candidates running for all PA State Rep positions in South Philadelphia - these districts include the 175th, 182nd, 184th, 185th, and 186th. 

Saturday, March 7th, 10 AM - 4 PM
BCGP | Vision Zero Conference 2020
For six years, the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia’s Vision Zero Conference has been bringing leaders and expert voices from around the Delaware Valley and the country into Philadelphia for a day of talks, panels, and workshops.

Thursday, March 12th, 6:30 - 8 PM
DRWC | Graffiti Pier Public Engagement Meeting
Join the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation to discuss the project priorities generated by the first round of engagement and tag, write or speak your feedback in an interactive exhibition of ideas on the future of Graffiti Pier.



Thanks to our volunteers, we were able to pack SEPTA's Board meeting last week to support free transfers. Dozens of our advocates turned out to give public comment, and held up 'One City / One Fare' signs to drive home our message ask to eliminate the transfer penalty. This comes in advance of SEPTA's impending fare policy proposal, due out in mid-March. We were thrilled to hear this message echoed by Councilmember Jamie Gauthier and Deputy Managing Director Mike Carroll!  A big thank-you to everyone who came and to all the advocates joining this fight.

Daniel Trubman, 5th Square


As Supervised Injection Sites (SIS) have made headlines over this past week, 5th Square issued a letter of support, saying 'Yes in My Back Yard' to this controversial but necessary approach to our wildly out-of-control public health emergency. We want to express our compassion for those experiencing addiction and are disappointed that many of our elected officials fail to treat this issue with the same gravity as any other disease affecting so many of our citizens. Sign-on to our letter and use the #YIMBYforSIS hashtag to share personal messages of support.


How will Pennsylvania pay for its looming infrastructure and transit shortfalls? Acting PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian says congestion ricing and rush hour highway tolling have to be on the table as a part of the funding mix. We support this innovative way to free up our road space in favor of more sustainable transit and active transportation, and applaud Secretary Gramian's efforts to start the conversation here in Pennsylvania. 

Capital-Star photo by Stephen Caruso




Places Journal | Nicetown

The Philadelphia Inquirer | Philadelphia City Council helped corral opposition to the country’s first supervised injection site

Philadelphia Magazine | South Philly's Eyesore Viaduct: Whatever Happened to the 25th Street Bridge Improvement Project?

Mission First Housing | Mission First receives $2.25 Million Capital Magnet Fund Grant from U.S. Treasury Department’s CDFI Fund


The New York Times | With a Rebel Yell, New York Revs Up Its War on Idling Vehicles

Pennsylvania Capital-Star | Could charging Pa. motorists for rush-hour driving pay for infrastructure? PennDOT wants to find out

3 CBS Philly | 'A Child Is Going To Die': West Philadelphia Parents Concerned About Crossing Guard Shortage, Taking Matters Into Own Hands


Metro US | Philly announces Transit Forward Philadelphia launch

The Philadelphia Inquirer | Transit Forward Philadelphia, a new advocacy coalition, is ready to hear your concerns



The Enterprise Center and consultant JVM Studio are currently seeking community feedback to shape design concepts and prioritize recommendations for a streetscape improvement plan that covers the stretch of 52nd Street from Arch to Pine.


CCD Clean & Safe Survey 2020 -- Let CCD know your thoughts and experiences regarding safety and cleanliness in Center City by answering six simple questions.



The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) Fellowship Program provides a unique experience in urban and regional planning to serve in various departments at the Commission over the course of a year. (Due 4/17)

The Museum of the American Revolution offers internships for undergraduate and graduate students who are seeking job experience and continued education. (Due 3/13)

 The Board Prep Program hosted by Young Involved Philadelphia (YIP) is a 7-week intensive training program supporting young professionals who are interested in being nonprofit board members - or who already serve on boards - and are seeking an education in thoughtful, engaged, and dedicated board service. (Due 3/6)

TransportationCamp PHL is pleased to present the first ever TranspoCamp academic award for undergraduate and graduate students! Please prepare a response to their prompt.

Clean Air Council wants to hear from you about your vision for the former refinery site, tell you about how to provide input into the remediation planning process of the site, and discuss how to advance policies that would promote public health and safety at the refinery site and the entire city.

Serve Philadelphia is holding its Civic Engagement Academy.  The Civic Engagement Academy is about inspiring local community change through training and skills development.

Nominations are also open for the Clean Air Commuter Award. Do you or someone you know brave snow covered sidewalks, rainy bike rides, or early morning small talk to get to work each day, reflecting your commitment to the environment? Enter the most dedicated sustainable commuter you know in our annual Clean Air Commuter of the Year award! Fill out this form to nominate a Clean Air Commuter! Nominations for the Clean Air Commute Awards close on March 15, 2020.

Nominate a Clean Air Commute Employer! The Clean Air Council is looking to honor the most sustainable-commute-friendly, Philly-based employer!

SEPTA Citizen Advisory Committee - Membership Application - this group is made up of transit riders representing Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties. There are currently a number of vacant positions and we are seeking transit riders, from across the SEPTA service region to apply to become a CAC member.



The application period for the 2020 AARP Community Challenge is open! The AARP Community Challenge provides small grants to fund "quick-action" projects that can help communities become more livable for people of all ages. Applications are being accepted for projects to improve housing, transportation, public space, technology ("smart cities"), civic engagement and more. (Due 4/1)

DVRPC's Competitive Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ) seeks to fund transportation projects that will improve air quality and reduce traffic congestion in the DVRPC Region. CMAQ eligible projects will demonstrably reduce air pollution emissions and help the DVRPC region meet the federal health based air quality standards.

Grants for play in PhiladelphiaKaBOOM! and William Penn Foundation invite you to apply for Play Everywhere Philly, an exciting new program awarding $1M to support child development and literacy skills through play installations in Philadelphia.  Idea Form due 3/6/2020.

PWD’s Soak It Up Adoption program. This grant-based green stormwater infrastructure (‘GSI’) monitoring and engagement program is actively seeking new partners for 2020. The bottom line is that civics and nonprofits who are eligible can receive small, annual grants to care for constructed GSI within their borders. The program is built upon a two-prong approach of weekly GSI site visits, and reporting, as well as community engagement.

PHDC is pleased to issue this Request for Proposals to owners and/or property managers (on behalf of owners) of affordable housing properties with income-restricted rental units that were built or substantially renovated with federal, state or local subsidies.  PHDC is seeking Respondents who are interested in participating in a new program (Shallow Rent Pilot Program) designed to provide monthly rent vouchers, not to exceed $300/month, to tenants who are leasing units in the City of Philadelphia at rent levels that exceed 30% of their gross income. (Due 3/9)



SEPTA | Manager of Planning Programs

New Kensington Community Development Corporation | Economic Development Director

The Pew Charitable Trusts | Officer, Philadelphia Research and Policy Initiative


South Kensington Community Partners | Greening Programs Coordinator

The City of Philadelphia's Department of Commerce | Director of Business Development - Strategic Technology Initiatives

Theatre Philadelphia | Executive Director

Riverfront North Partnership | Greenway Stewardship Assistant

West Philadelphia Skills Initiative | SEPTA - Bus Operator Program


MilkCrate | Senior Full Stack Engineer, React Native Engineer, Technical Account Associate, Business Development Associate, Customer Success Associate and Interns

Witty Gritty | Community Engagement Coordinator and a Project & Client Manager 

Philadelphia Parks & Recreation | RSI Swim Philly Coordinator, RSI Park Ambassador, Worksite Monitor, RSI FarmPhilly Program Assistant

Rodriguez Consulting is seeking a Civil Engineer with 4+ years of experience to perform Post-Construction Inspections of Private Developments in Philadelphia as part of a team that is working under the direction of the Philadelphia Water Department's (PWD) Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) Implementation Unit.

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

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