Newsletter: 🚴BIG WIN for Grays Ferry Bridge | 🏞️ Safety for Cobbs Creek Pkwy | 🏀 Sixers' Rebuffed from Penn's Landing

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 125

This photo is an example of type of protection we won for the westbound side of the bridge:

These new protected lanes plus the imminent opening of the Swing Bridge along Schuylkill Banks means there will soon be several new safe pedestrian and bicycle crossings across the Schuylkill!



Philadelphia Magazine ponders what Philly would look like if more people from our community were in charge!

If we can never dream, we can never do. This list of gutsy, enterprising ideas for Philadelphia comes from some of the city’s most steadfast visionaries: urbanists.

 Illustration by Sean Rynkewicz

Several 5th Square members contributed to the list, which featured some of our favorites:

  • Make Center City a Pedestrian Utopia
  • Rethink our City's Systems from a Woman-Led Perspective
  • Sweep Streets, Plant Trees, Fix Sidewalks
  • End Single-Family Zoning in Center City
  • Make Regional Rail run like the Subway

Join 5th Square as a Supporting Member to help make these ideas come true for a more equitable, sustainable, and accessible Philadelphia.

Help us grow Philly's urbanist political movement, help us shape our advocacy, help decide which candidates for office to support, and, for a limited time, get a free gold logo shirt!


Annual Subscriber, $60 per yearMonthly Subscriber, $5 per monthOne Year of Membership, Starting at $60


WHYY recently ran the story Racism and Deadly Traffic on Cobbs Creek Parkway, a timely and important radio piece about the ongoing problems with this perennially terrible road, which is a product of institutionally-racist transportation policies and priorities at the city and state.

Michaela Winberg/WHYY

For far too long, Cobbs Creek Parkway has been a deadly highway weaving through the residential western edge of West and Southwest Philadelphia.

Area elected officials Councilmember Jamie Gauthier, Rep. Joanna McClinton, and Senator Anthony Hardy Williams have joined the call, and released a statement announcing early steps, and committing to more transformational changes. The Inquirer editorial board also weighed in Wednesday in support of quick action to save lives. A forthcoming virtual meeting is being organized by neighbors, and we will share details with petition signers in due time.

Sign the petition to join the Cobbs Creek Neighbors Association and 5th Square in demanding PennDOT & the Philadelphia Streets Department immediately implement life-saving road safety measures. Learn more about the issue on our campaign page and take action.




The city and the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation, a non-profit steward and planning body for the Delaware waterfront, underwent a process to choose a developer for Penn's Landing that was "deliberative and driven by clear policy goals" writes Inga Saffron, praising the process for respecting the resident-driven waterfront plan. Saffron writes:

In choosing Durst, and in resisting the siren call of the 76ers and their politically influential minions, the city and DRWC demonstrated a true grownup moment.

Durst Organization

We agree, and this is why 5th Square has frequently sponsored local actions for RCO meetings and the ZBA, activating supporters in waterfront neighborhoods to stand up for the Delaware waterfront plan's vision at key moments, like when two Super Wawa gas stations were proposed in the last few years, and when the Spring Garden-Christian trail segment was under consideration.

We encourage supporters of the plan to join Registered Community Organization boards for waterfront neighborhoods. There are upcoming board elections for Queen Village Neighbors Association and Fishtown Neighbors Association in November.


Unsure if you already applied to vote by mail in the November Election?



VisionZero - Seeking Focus Group Participants

Are you a driver? Help Philly reduce traffic deaths! The City's #VisionZeroPHL initiative is looking for participants for a set of focus groups about effective traffic safety messaging. To qualify, just answer a few short questions:


The Park at Penn's Landing

So, what do folks want to see/hear/experience in the new park at Penn’s Landing? We’ve heard everything from fun, free programming to hiring diverse staff and vendors. What do YOU want to experience? 



Daily Events Today through Sunday, September 27th
Virtual Greenfest | Clean Air Council
2020 marks the 15th annual Greenfest Philly. Taking place over a 16-day period, Greenfest will continue to give environmentally conscious individuals in Philadelphia and beyond a chance to interact with climate leaders and experts, providing even greater access to a community of like-minded people, businesses and groups.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020, 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Locatecture in the City with Witold Rybcynski | Athenaeum of Philadelphia
Witold Rybczynski, two-time winner of an Athenaeum Book Prize, will give an illustrated talk about his book, Charleston Fancy: Little Houses and Big Dreams in the Holy City. The talk describes a contemporary example of what Christopher Alexander calls organic urban growth

Wednesday, September 30, 2020, 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Whose History Is It? The Democratization of Preservation | Design Advocacy Group
Join DAG at a virtual Zoom event with a panel of activists, architects, preservationists, scholars, and citizens to talk about the role of historic preservation in upholding or dismantling structural racism.










Community Design Collaborative | Outdoor Learning Competition

How can communities turn underutilized schoolyards into outdoor classrooms that could enable students to safely return to school? Submit your idea to the Design AID: Outdoor Learning Spaces Competition! (Due 9/26)

Basic Systems Repair Program

The Basic Systems Repair Program (BSRP) provides free repairs to correct electrical, plumbing, heating, structural and roofing emergencies in eligible owner-occupied homes in Philadelphia.

Art is Essential Projects

From the pandemic to systemic racism and inequality, the Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation is asking artists to explore our present reality. 100 artists’ proposals will be awarded $1,000 each for community-based art projects. (Due 10/7)

Multimodal Transportation Fund

Multimodal Transportation Fund grants up to $3,000,000 are available for projects with a total cost of $100,000 or more. Funds may be used for the development, rehabilitation and enhancement of transportation assets to existing communities, streetscape, lighting, sidewalk enhancement, pedestrian safety, connectivity of transportation assets and transit-oriented development. Submissions are due 9/30.



Exact Solar | Office Assistant & Documentation Specialist

Neighborhood Gardens Trust | Temporary Digital Communications Manager

PhilaPort (The Port of Philadelphia): Director Of Business Development

Action Wellness -- Financial Data Specialist -- including COVID-19 relief funding payroll calculations

Benefits Data Trust (BDT) seeks an Associate Director of Partnerships

Rebuild - The City of Philadelphia | Community Engagement Director

Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation (PHDC) | Program Analyst, Philadelphia

Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia | Regional Organizer

Fairmount Park Conservancy | TreePhilly Coordinator, Development Manager, Community Program Coordinator, Facilities and Landscape Manager

Schuylkill River Greenways | Trail Project Manager

The West Philadelphia Cultural Alliance | Executive Director - Paul Robeson House & Museum

The Alliance for Watershed Education of the Delaware River | Managing Director

PennDOT's Office of the Secretary | Civil Engineer

Azavea | Temporary Research SpecialistPeople Operations Coordinator

City of Philadelphia | COVID-19 Planning and Logistics Coordinator

City of Philadelphia | Assistant Budget Director of Capital

Dragonfly Partners LLC | Administrative Assistant (P/T)

Philabundance | Senior Vice President - Chief Financial Officer

Philadelphians Organized to Witness Empower & Rebuild (POWER) | Director of DevelopmentCommunications Director

City of Allentown | Historic Preservation Planning OfficerChief Planner

Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia (SBN) | Manager of GSI Partners initiative


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. 

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