Newsletter: Recovery Streets Platform 🚘💥🚗 Help Fix Washington Ave 🔎 Look Up Your New Polling Place

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 113

Primary elections are now on June 2nd due to COVID-19 -- request your mail-in ballot today and get it in by next Tuesday, May 26th!


Medical and health experts agree that being active outside is crucial to maintaining physical and mental health. 

However, without more options, overcrowding in parks, on sidewalks, and on trails can become a serious issue during the coronavirus epidemic because of the need for greater physical distance. This problem will only become more urgent as the weather gets hotter, and more residents seek out outdoor activities with pools and Rec centers closed.

In the new Recovery Streets report by the Bicycle Coalition, Clean Air Council, Feet First Philly, and 5th Square, we detail temporary concepts for street changes that can help Philadelphia deal with the health, economic, and transportation fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read the report and then sign on to show your support


Do you live near Washington Ave or use it often?Take a quick survey to improve Washington Ave for pedestrians and cyclists.

The Kenney administration will finally be repaving Washington Avenue in 2021, and they are proposing some design improvements to make it safer for pedestrians and cyclists. The City's transportation office wants to hear from all users of this street about their priorities for fixing Washington.

Read more about the project on OTIS's Complete Streets page, or watch these short videos
We need supporters of a safer Washington Ave to take this survey in big numbers
. We much prefer the 3-Lane option over the 4-Lane and Mixed-Lane options.

We also recommend safety supporters ask OTIS in the survey to put safety for pedestrians before fast vehicle movement at the intersection of Broad and Washington.



We are sharing a petition from Transportation For America asking Congress for $32 billion in emergency operating support for transit in the next relief package.

Transit is still facing an economic apocalypse. As millions continue following directives to stay home from work and school, public transportation ridership has flatlined, taking fare revenues with it. Combined with increased costs for additional cleaning and with the economy quickly coming to a halt, all of the funding sources that sustain our transit systems have evaporated, even as many essential workers and others continue to rely on it. Agencies large and small are hemorrhaging.




If you haven't done so already, you have less than a week to request a mail-in ballot for the upcoming election!


Still need to vote in person?  The Philadelphia City Commissioners have consolidated polling places for the June 2nd primary due to COVID-19.

Use our new map to look up where your new polling place is.


These candidates best represent our mission to make Philadelphia a more sustainable, accessible, transit-friendly city for everyone.

📸 Read more about why we're supporting these candidates in our Press Release.

🗒️ Read candidates' responses to our 2020 state legislative questionnaire and get vital election information at our 2020 Election Center.



Friday, May 22nd, 1 - 2 PM
DVRPC | Bike Sharing, Bike Libraries and Bike Matching

With the uncertainties around reopening our region, it's likely that more of us will rely on bicycling as a safe way to commute and recreate, but not everyone has access to their own bike. Join DVRPC as they discuss the new considerations for getting bicycles safely to those who don't have their own bicycles.

Tuesday & Wednesday, May 26th & 27th
SEPTA | Fare Restructuring Hearings

Join 5th Square as we advocate for a more equitable fare structure at SEPTA's Fare Restructuring Hearings. Due to the Covid-19, these hearings will be held online. Interested in speaking and supporting our Fair Fares Platform goals at the hearings? RSVP at the link and we'll follow up with scheduling and talking points. 


📰 Play Streets Expansion

The city is making it easier to transform your block into a Play Street this summer!

The Play Streets program allows neighbors to close certain types of streets to traffic so that kids have a safe place to play when school is out. A key feature of the program is the nutritious meals and snacks provided to children. This is important during the summer months when school meals are not available. 

The city has eased the petition requirement and turned the process around so that now opponents have to collect petition signatures instead of supporters. It now takes 25% of residents to sign a petition to stop a Play Street. 

(Courtesy of the City of Philadelphia)



The Inquirer covered the uptick in dangerous driving we have been seeing everywhere now. Despite fewer cars on the road, Philly has seen an alarming increase in road fatalities.

This goes to the core of our message -- we need to reduce the amount of road space dedicated to cars, now more than ever, before more people are killed

Managing Director Brian Abernathy is quoted as saying:

"...we just don’t see what problem we’re trying to solve by closing additional streets.”

The problem we are trying to solve is that during normal times over-allocates street space to car traffic and parking in unsafe ways, but with a lot fewer people on the roads, those still out driving have more room to speed. At the same time, residents and businesses need to use our public street space more than ever for safe transportation, summer recreation, and vending. The Recovery Streets platform aims to solve this public space misallocation problem through 10 policy changes.



With enormous looming PennDOT funding shortfalls due to the pandemic, how will the state make its required funding to roads and public transit? One option PennDOT is putting on the table: Congestion Pricing, according to the PLS Reporter.

Congestion pricing is the only proven way to reduce car traffic during peak times of the day and it's something state lawmakers should consider as a way to provide badly-needed regional funding to SEPTA on top of the state's existing funding level. Not only would congestion pricing decrease car traffic, it would also improve the sustainability and walkability of our neighborhoods.

Stay tuned to our newsletter in the future for more updates and advocacy for transportation funding.

Wikipedia Photo


OTIS | Washington Avenue Repaving and Improvement Project

The City of Philadelphia is repaving Washington Avenue in 2021. Repaving is an opportunity to change the roadway and make it safer for people walking, driving, riding transit, and biking. Take a moment to learn and provide feedback about the Washington Avenue repaving and improvement project.

DRWC | Philly Waterfront Parks Survey

As the Philadelphia Waterfront continues to grow, the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation (DRWC) wants to better understand the visitor experience and what you would like to do and see at one of the region’s most iconic destinations – from music and festivals to new parks and development projects. Your input is critical as DRWC continues to improve our public spaces for everyone to enjoy.







The Philadelphia Inquirer | Philly’s Washington Avenue is plagued with problems and the city wants your feedback before a repaving next year

The Philadelphia Inquirer | Philly-area stay-at-home orders slowed the coronavirus’ spread — but not dangerous drivers

The New York Times | Thinking of Buying a Bike? Get Ready for a Very Long Wait



OCF Realty | Sweet Renderings For Adaptive Reuse Coming to 12th & Wharton


In response to COVID-19, Smart Growth America is excited to launch Arts & Transportation Rapid Response, a new opportunity for cities looking to creatively and quickly address pandemic-related transportation challenges. Applications are now open. (Due 5/26)

Contract opportunity! Philadelphia Streets Department has announced a contract opportunity for on-call planning, design, and engineering services. Responses are due June 15, 2020. Look for opportunity #21200226140222 on eContracts Philly:



Strawberry Mansion CDC (SMCDC) | Full Time Project Coordinator (5/30)

Pennsylvania Democratic Committee | Field Organizer, Field Director

Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia | Consumer Finance Institute - Senior Research Assistant/Research AnalystSocial Media and Engagement Associate

Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC) | Contract Program Manager, Navy Yard Workforce Development Initiatives (5/22)

City of Philadelphia | Office of Reentry Partnerships | Director for the Neighborhood Resource Center (NRC) initiative (5/22)

Dot Connector Studio | Operations Associate


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

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