Newsletter: 🚋 #FundTrolleyMod | 🛣️ PennDOT's Dubious Widening Projects | 🚉 MFL Somerset Stop Closed

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 141


The Philadelphia region deserves reliable, accessible, and frequent trolley service.

We call on Congress to authorize direct financial support for SEPTA’s Trolley Modernization Project. We are also asking SEPTA to prioritize Trolley Modernization and increase their capital budget investment allocation for this important project.

Sign our petition and share it with the tag #FundTrolleyMod


Pennsylvania's Dept of Transportation is looking at a multi-billion dollar annual shortfall and is considering tolls to several bridges across the Commonwealth and charging fees to towns for state police coverage.

Besides raising revenue, PennDOT needs to examine whether its road and bridge widening projects are necessary. 5th Square is mentioned by Penn Capital-Star as pointing out the flaw in PennDOT's priorities.

(Pittsburgh City Paper photo)

Studies have shown that road expansion projects do not actually lead to less traffic thanks to induced demand. It actually encourages more driving.


We need 5th Square members' help to shape our advocacy priorities for the city budget this year!

Last week it was reported that Philadelphia will be receiving $1.4 billion from the federal government thanks to the American Rescue Plan, and the School District will receive about $1.8 billion. The City will be able to increase funding in several areas of the budget, as well as restore funding for some programs and services cut last year.

Join us as a member today to help shape our asks on how the City can best spend this money to advance better public space, transportation, and housing policies, for a more accessible, sustainable, and equitable city.

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


SEPTA is indefinitely closing the Market-Frankford El's Somerset station to repair elevators and to figure out a solution to ensure the safety of its workers and riders.

Our member Cameron Adamez is quoted in the Inquirer on this issue, “A station closure due to unsafe conditions is an indicator of a social system gone horribly wrong.”

The fact that the station has become a de facto shelter for unhoused people and a spot for drug use speaks to greater systemic problems that must not and cannot be solved by SEPTA alone.

HEATHER KHALIFA / Inquirer Staff Photographer

5th Square supports supervised injection sites throughout Philadelphia and believes such a facility in Kensington is critical in solving this problem. Additionally, the City needs to find immediate solutions to the expanding crisis of homelessness, by providing better, safer alternatives for the unhoused.

Read more in our press release on this issue.


A graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania is researching ways that transit can be safer and more comfortable and accessible for families.

Seeking mothers with children (Age 5 - 17) who are willing to share their transit experiences over a short (~20 minute) anonymous interview. Children will receive a $10 Amazon gift card for participating.


Monday, March 22 to Friday, March 26
BCGP | Vision Zero PHL Week Program

Philadelphia's Vision Zero Conference is going online this year and will be a week (March 22-26) of individual sessions, each day tailored to a different topic, with some amazing keynote speakers.

Wednesday, March 24, 7 PM
PA Transit Riders & Workers // Statewide Transit Funding Campaign
Public transit is essential for Pennsylvanians – It keeps us moving to jobs, food, and healthcare. But state funding for public transit is at risk. Some politicians want it on the chopping block. It is our job to fight back. Join the first Statewide Campaign Meeting of Transit Riders and Workers to begin this journey together.



The Philadelphia Inquirer | A park that welcomes homeless people, partially designed by homeless people, will be a Philly first

Billy Penn | Looks like Philly public pools will be back this summer

The Philadelphia Inquirer | Philly’s FDR Park to get $4.5 million for new visitor center, event space, café, and playground




Volunteer with 5th Square


SOSNA Safe Pathways to our Schools project - SOSNA and Mural Arts Philadelphia are working on a series of street murals to improve traffic safety near E.M. Stanton and Chester Arthur Elementary Schools as part of our Safe Pathways to our Schools project! To inspire our artist, we need help gathering images and stories from our neighbors. These images will help the artist come up with colorful graphics. Send us your hippest, coolest, most awesome graphics and colors to inspire the artist working on our street mural. Due 3/28

Philly Spring Cleanup on Saturday, April 10th. Volunteers can register for a cleanup project right now at If you would like to submit a project for this year's event but haven't gotten around to it yet, please do so before the Monday, March 29th deadline.

Apply for the Housing Solutions Collaborative. ChangeLab Solutions is accepting applications for the Housing Solutions Collaborative ― a learning collective for cross-sector community teams that will offer peer support, technical assistance, and a stipend to help teams in eight cities advance legal and policy solutions to the growing housing crisis. Due 4/9

Nominate a leader for NLC's 2022 Institute - For over a decade, New Leaders Council has provided leadership development to an emerging generation of leaders. With 9,000 alumni in 50 communities and states throughout the country, NLC intentionally recruits local leaders across identity, issue, and industry. Do you know a leader in your community that would benefit from NLC's leadership development training? Nominate them today!

2020 Latinos and Planning Division Student Scholarship - The purpose of the LAP scholarship program is to foster increased interest in the study of urban planning within the Latinx student population at the advanced undergraduate and graduate levels. The program is open to third and fourth year undergraduate students and first and second year masters degree students. One scholarship of $500 will be awarded to be used for fees, books, or academic materials. Due 5/31

The PIDC-D’Alessio Scholarship Fund supports graduate students at Philadelphia schools seeking to pursue a career in urban development and finance (Due 3/31)

Spring 2021 Citizens Planning Institute Application - CPI’s main programming is an eight-week course that empowers citizens to take a more effective and active role in shaping the future of their neighborhoods and of Philadelphia through a greater understanding of city planning and the steps involved in development projects. Deadline to apply: midnight on Friday, March 19.


FEMA | Non-Medical Vaccine Support Staff

Philadelphia Parks & Recreation | Lifeguard Training

Roxborough Development Corporation | Executive Director

Philadelphia Housing Development Corp. | Construction Projects Technician I, Philadelphia

Greater Philadelphia YMCA | Salesforce Administrator

Nonprofit Finance Fund | Analyst, Advisory Services

M&T Bank | Research Analyst

U3 Advisors | Analyst

Conservation Voters of PA | Policy Analyst

American Hiking Society | Program Manager

MBTA | Systems Administrator - Bus Tech

FMC | Manager, Corporate Social Responsibility

The Trust for Public Land | Philadelphia Program Manager

City of Philadelphia | User Experience Designer

Green Building United | Program Coordinator

USDOT | Public Health Advisor

Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) |Regional Digital Advocacy Campaign Manager

DVRPC | Internships

Bicycle Transit Systems | Field Technician, System Installation/Expansion Technician

Design Advocacy Group (DAG) | Part-time Fellow

Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia | Director, Anchor Economy, Strategic Action Advisor

The Welcoming Center | Program Manager, Entrepreneurship

Stix | Performance Marketing Manager, Lifecycle & E-commerce

U3 Advisors | Analyst

William Penn Foundation | Director, Watershed Protection Program

Michael Baker International | GIS Solutions Engineer

City of Philadelphia Jobs

DHS | Communications Director

Parks and Recreation | Grounds Maintenance Supervisor (Grounds) Recreation Leader Trainee (General) (Bilingual)

Streets Department | Street Crew Chief 2 (Traffic Sign)

MDO, Philly Counts | Communications and Digital Engagement Manager, Data and Reports Coordinator, Regional Organizing Manager, Director of Neighborhood Engagement Director of Training and Evaluation

Innovation and Technology (OIT) | User Experience Designer Business Intelligence/GIS Developer Analyst

Philly311 | Exempt Covid-19 Data and Reporting Analyst Temporary, Exempt Covid 19 Contact Center Team Lead Temporary, Exempt Covid-19 Call Taker Temporary

Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations | Executive Director of Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations

Office of the Chief Administrative Officer | Senior Design Researcher

Law | Assistant City Solicitor, Real Estate and Development Unit

Mayor’s Office | Special Aide to the Mayor

City Planner 2 (General)

Sustainability | City Energy Manager

MDO/Rebuild | Rebuild Communications Director

Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity | Chief of Staff

Mayor’s Office of Communications | Deputy Digital Director, Deputy Communications Director

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.

Support our advocacy with a recurring monthly contribution of $5.