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

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 150


WHYY and The Inquirer are reporting that City Council is dropping their plan to cut the parking tax!

This is an incredible win!

Our advocacy team has been consistently advocating against these cuts. We wrote a petition that garnered over 670 signatures, organized hundreds of contacts to Council, and held a rally in front of Parkway HQ.
Kimberly Paynter/WHYY

Amazingly, we do this with an all-volunteer organizing team, with funding from a membership network of small individual donors! Let's work together to break our region's dependence on cars and support a more livable and sustainable future by becoming a 5th Square member TODAY!

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

Read our Statement on the Withdrawal of the Parking Tax Reduction Bill

By rejecting the tax cut that directly benefits parking lot owners, Council has reaffirmed commitments to encourage transit ridership, address climate change, support a new green and clean economy, tackle poor air quality, and achieve major reductions in pedestrian and bike fatalities and serious injuries.


We have a rare chance to push for safer streets in West Philadelphia and we need your help!

Take the survey for the City's complete street project for Chestnut/Walnut by July 15th, and choose Parking-Protected Bike Lanes, the safest option, for both Chestnut and Walnut Streets.

Read the Bicycle Coalition's post about the project for more information, or view the all the project materials, online presentations, and interactive map on the City's complete streets website.

Image: Thom Carroll

There are also two in-person open houses about this project:

  • TONIGHT (6/17), 5-7 PM, Walnut Hill Community Playground (47th & Sansom Sts)
  • Tuesday, 6/29, 5-7 PM, Laura Sims Skate House (210 Cobbs Creek Pkwy at Walnut St)

Walnut and Chestnut Streets in West Philly have been dangerous speedways for far too long, incentivizing aggressive driving, and being the source of 692 crashes -- 182 involving pedestrians -- and 8 deaths between 2015 and 2019. This is unacceptable.


We are joining with several transit advocacy organizations in traveling to Harrisburg to rally for state-wide transit funding! Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Sign up Here & List 5th Square as your Organization

Transit riders and workers won't stand for another round of service cuts, fare hikes, and layoffs! We are organizing with riders and workers from all across Pennsylvania to build a grassroots vision for expanding transit in our state - and we need you!

📋 Volunteers Needed to Survey Bus Riders!

Transit Forward Philadelphia is seeking volunteers to survey bus riders in order to better understand the needs and challenges of SEPTA riders.

We are looking for volunteers to survey bus riders at various stops and transportation centers throughout Philadelphia. You will be paired in groups of two and be asked to survey bus riders at times and locations that are convenient for you.


Saturday, July 24, 2021
TransportationCamp PHL 2021 Summer Gathering

As discussed prior to TransportationCamp PHL 2021, the TCPHL21 team is pleased to be hosting an optional extension of the conference — the TCPHL 2021 Summer Gathering — on Saturday, July 24, 2021. The gathering will be an opportunity for TransportationCamp participants to interact with one another in an in-person setting, accounting for the improved global pandemic conditions. Additional details will be shared in the coming weeks, but you can expect a day of fun urban exploration with fellow TransportationCamp participants, concluding with a happy hour in the afternoon.


Ben Franklin Parkway Redesign Survey - The MVRDV team wants to learn from you! We are in a two week long pre-selection design phase for the Benjamin Franklin Parkway Redesign project (more information can be found here:, and we want to hear a bit from you as we think about how to approach this project. We hope you can take a few moments to tell us your perceptions of this beautiful and unique space as we embark on the process of transforming it to better suit the needs of all residents and stakeholders in the city.

Lower Poquessing Creek Trail Feasibility Study - "The Philadelphia City Planning Commission wants your help planning a 4.3 mile section of the Lower Poquessing Creek Trail. Please provide comments to on where you would like connections to the trail, how you would use a new trail, and more. Having input from residents, local businesses, and community groups will help us identify challenges and determine the best trail alignments and access points. Please contact Keith Davis at [email protected] with any questions, comments, or suggestions.

SEPTA Forward: Bus Revolution Survey - As part of SEPTA's bus network redesign, they will be looking for input from transit riders and community members throughout the process.  Please take a moment to tell them your hopes for the project and early thoughts about SEPTA’s bus services. The survey will take 2-3 minutes to complete. 

phila2035: The 25th Street Transportation Safety Study - The 25th Street Transportation Safety Study will look at ways to improve traffic and road conditions along 25th Street. The study will cover the area from Washington Avenue to Passyunk Avenue. The project will partner with nearby residents and businesses to propose short- and long-term safety improvements for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers. The Philadelphia City Planning Commission (PCPC) and Michael Baker Intl., a transportation planning firm, will guide the study and engagement.



6abc Philadelphia / Cocktails-to-go and outdoor dining allowed during pandemic in Pa. must cease, PLCB says

Billy Penn / Opinion: An anti-people redesign in Headhouse Square frustrates Philadelphians

The Philadelphia Inquirer / Will the closing of Philadelphia’s only rec center for people with disabilities lead to lasting inclusion?

WHYY / Opinion: Eating in the streets revealed how we need to change dining room culture



University City Review / 48th and Chester Development: A test case for Affordable Housing units / There's Nothing Especially Democratic about Local Control of Land Use

Vox / BlackRock isn’t to blame for the dumpster fire housing market

TheHill / Here's how to make President Biden's housing initiative work

Volunteer with 5th Square


Garden Court Civic Association - Zoning Committee Our neighborhood (boundaries are 52nd Street, Cedar Avenue, 45th Street, and Locust Street) has over nine thousand residents living in a variety of building types, household formations, and socioeconomic conditions, in addition to civic institutions and several mixed-use commercial areas. Interested or know somebody who would be a good fit? (Due 7/31)

2021 Healing the Planet Grant Program - The Healing the Planet Grant Program, funded by The GIANT Company, aims to build environmental stewardship by connecting people and families to community green spaces, improve community green spaces, support environmental restoration efforts, and support community gardens. Applications will be accepted for $2,500, $5,000, $10,000, $15,000 and $25,000. Interested applicants that have smaller projects that do not meet the minimum grant of $2,500 are encouraged to expand the scope of their project or partner with another organization. Applications for less than $2,500 will not be considered. A list of criteria for eligible projects can be found below. Applications will be accepted online June 1, 2021 through June 30, 2021 at 5:00pm EST.

PHFA - 2022 Housing Policy Fellowship Program Application - The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency ("PHFA") is accepting applications for the 2022 Housing Policy Fellowship Program. The Fellowship will provide an opportunity for the selected recipient to undertake a project/program that addresses a housing issue of significant interest/relevance to the applicant. PHFA is attempting to create a cadre of new leaders that will think creatively and broadly about possible solutions to the ongoing affordable housing needs of Commonwealth residents. Due 6/18


The Public Interest Law Center / Fellowships

Rebuilding Together Philadelphia / Program Associate

Amtrak / Lead Business Analyst Enterprise Asset Management (Maximo)

Philadelphia Energy Authority / Director of Development and Workforce Initiatives

AECOM / Senior Communications Manager, Entry Level Urban Planner

Pennsylvania Environmental Council / Sr. Program Manager, Trails & Outdoor Recreation (Philadelphia Office)

Tri-State Transportation Campaign / Campaign Organizer in Newark

Green Building United (GBU) / Community Climate Resilience Coordinator, Building Performance Program Coordinator

NJ Transit / Assistant Director, Trans-Hudson & Intermodal Planning

City of Philadelphia / Program and Data Analyst

Philanthropy News Digest (PND) / Community Organizer

PA CDFI Network - Reinvestment Fund / Executive Director

Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) / Deputy Director

Citizen Diplomacy International / International Youth Program Manager

Johnson, Mirmiran & Thompson / Traffic Project Engineer

The City of Philadelphia - The Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity (CEO) / Data Manager

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

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