Newsletter: 🔽 Mayor Kenney, Veto the Downzoning of Girard Ave / 💳SEPTA Key 2.0 / 🌞 Our Harrisburg Transit Funding Rally

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 152


Almost 500 petition signers are urging Mayor Kenney to veto Council President Clarke's bill that aims to downzone much of Girard Avenue east of Broad St.

Cities who are growing their transit ridership and expanding housing options for people who do not own cars are doing so in part by allowing more dense development along transit corridors. Darrell Clarke is trying to taking Philadelphia in the opposite direction.

Read more about this bill in WHYY's PlanPhilly & sign our petition today for a more sustainable and accessible city.


We need just 13 more member sign-ups in order to reach 300 members.

If you read our newsletter, participate in our advocacy campaigns, and support our contribution to local politics, you should become a member of 5th Square!

Help us reach this milestone before the end of summer and build for important advocacy and election campaigns coming up!

We have only a few of our Miriam Singer shirts left in stock, and members get 50% off! Sign up before July 4th and we will send you the link.


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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 for more info or view the the project on the City's website.

Image: Thom Carroll


Tom Fitzgerald of the Inquirer writes about how SEPTA is gearing up to upgrade its fare payment system this year. In it, 5th Square members react to the unreliable state of the current SEPTA Key system.

“It’s to the point where the best thing may be to just start with a clean slate,” said Benjamin She, a transit advocate with 5th Square in the city. He said that lately his Key card has not worked on about a quarter of trips he takes on buses and trolleys; often, operators just wave him through when that happens, he said.

HEATHER KHALIFA/The Philadelphia Inquirer


Pennsylvania's public transit is in jeopardy. Transit systems across our state will face a cataclysmic 31% funding cut unless legislators take decisive action. Just last week, more than 100 transit riders and workers rallied in Harrisburg to launch the Transit for All PA! platform. 5th Square joined them by signing onto the platform to call for expanded transit funding to help move all Pennsylvanians.

The funding for PA Public Transit is going to sunset next year. Please write your rep to tell them to fund transit!

📋 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.


Thursday, July 1, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
AARP PA, Accessory Dwelling Units Panel

For generations, families have helped their aging parents by moving them into their homes, or into living quarters on their residential property. We’ve known these dwellings as mother-in-law suites and carriage houses. Today they’re known as Accessory Dwelling Units, or ADUs. ADUs are an ideal solution to keep families together — an economic alternative to the high cost of assisted living centers. ADUs allow seniors to age in place — living out their lives in their communities and near their loved ones. But despite the long history of ADUs, they need city ordinances to allow their construction. Most ordinances haven’t been updated since the 1960s and they no longer reflect today’s needs. It’s time to update our ordinances to give families the flexibility they need to let their loved ones live out their lives with the dignity they’ve earned. Join AARP PA as we continue our community conversations on ADU's for a webinar featuring a panel of guest speakers including;

  • Tya Winn – Community Design Collaborative, Executive Director.
  • Diana Lind, Writer, and Urban Policy Specialist
  • Eli Spevak, Founder & CEO, Orange Splot LLC
  • Andy Toy, Development and Communications Director, SEAMAAC

Saturday, July 12, 6 - 7 PM
PennEnvironment - A conversation with Senator Casey: What a federal 100% Clean Electricity Standard could do for PA

Join U.S. Senator Bob Casey, PennEnvironment, Vote Solar, NRDC, and the Philadelphia Solar Energy Association on Zoom to discuss a federal 100% Clean Electricity Standard and the opportunities it could bring to Pennsylvania.

Saturday, July 24
TransportationCamp PHL 2021 Summer Gathering

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.


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.



WHYY / Could Philly’s World Cup bid mean an end to FDR Park’s beloved wild meadow? / Environment: How Two Neighborhoods Are Fighting Litter In Their Community



The Philadelphia Inquirer / Philly City Council approves making tenant screening more transparent and helping renters with past evictions

Sightline Institute / Portland just passed the best low-density zoning reform in US history


The Philadelphia Inquirer / Philly’s redistricting should get us closer to one district, one councilmember | Opinion

Pennlive / Pa. received $7.3 billion in federal COVID-19 rescue aid. The new state budget spends $1 billion of that money.

Volunteer with 5th Square


Call for volunteers to help with the East Coast Greenway Alliance's first ever NYC-to-Philly Ride, August 28-29! For more information, volunteer roles, and registration, see -- Join the 2-day crew or help out just for a day -- we especially need volunteers for the closing ceremony in Philadelphia on August 29th. Please reach out to Daniel Paschall with any questions at [email protected]

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)


The Eviction Lab at Princeton University / Administrative Assistant

McCormick Taylor, Inc., / Multimodal Transportation Planner / Public Involvement Specialist

The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia / Membership Associate, Bilingual Bike Share Community Liaison, Bicycle Education Coordinator

Connect the Dots / Manager: Community Engagement& Business Development

The Women’s Community Revitalization Project / REAL ESTATE DEVELOPMENT TEAM PROJECT ASSOCIATE

Education Law Center and Public Interest Law Center / Temporary Contract - Mobilization Consultant

HEXAGON STUDIO ARCHITECTS / full-time architectural designer

The Office of the Council President / graduate student or recent graduate for the fall 2021 GIS Fellowship program

Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia / Senior Project Manager - Home Construction

GreenLight Fund Philadelphia / Program Associate

Greensgrow / Executive Director

Philadelphia Housing Development Corp. / Director, Neighborhood Preservation Initiative, Staff Attorney

AECOM / Senior Communications Manager

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

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