Newsletter: 🔊 Tell PennDOT to Support Walking, Biking & Transit / 🏢 Parking vs. Affordable Housing in W. Philly / 🛣️ The Congestion Pricing Solution

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 160


PennDOT is seeking input on the Draft Pennsylvania 2045 Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) until TOMORROW, 10/19.

Submit an email to PennDOT asking for a greater commitment for transit, walking and biking in these plans.

Include your name & address.

Our email link may not work 100% on all systems and browsers. If the pre-filled email link isn't working for you, send an email to [email protected] with this body text.

We have also joined with other orgs in issuing a letter to ensure that Pennsylvania moves towards significantly reducing its greenhouse gas emissions, to enhance bike and pedestrian safety and public transit over the next 24 years.


Should Philly mandate an annual cash infusion to the Housing Trust Fund?

Vote YES on ballot question 4 to guarantee funding for affordable housing. If this was in already in effect, an additional $25 million in taxpayer dollars would have gone to affordable housing this year.

Emma Lee / WHYY

Read more about this measure in Billy Penn.

Find the full Billy Penn procrastinator’s guide to the November 2021 election here.


Become a member starting at $5-a-month and get membership perks -- LIKE DISCOUNTED MERCH. Also, help us build our voice for state and local elections in 2022!

Stay WARM -- Support cycling, transit, & housing with your very own 5th Square Sweatshirt.

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Inga Saffron writes about how an affordable housing proposal in West Philly transformed into a much worse project after neighbors complained about density and parking. The project's changes resulted in 74 less homes for families, 100 parking spaces, and losing street-fronted buildings.

JOSE F. MORENO / Inquirer Staff Photographer

5th Square member, Will Tung, attended the meetings as a near-neighbor and voiced his concerns about parking and the pedestrian-hostile design.

In rapidly-gentrifying neighborhoods with great transit access like this one, we need more housing for families, not parking. The 70 units lost at this site ironically mirrors the 70 units threatened for displacement at 40th & Market... but with little uproar or publicity.

Help us advocate for more housing, especially affordable housing, by signing up as a volunteer for our Housing committee to get notification of important local zoning meetings. Also, let us know about meetings in your neighborhood where housing is threatened by parking.


As NBC10 reports, a decade-old method of using Pennsylvania Turnpike toll revenue to pay nearly half a $1 billion annually to Philadelphia's mass transit system is set to expire next summer. One idea that would provide a dedicate stream of revenue for SEPTA is "congestion pricing," which New York City has been considering for a few years.

5th Square supports congestion pricing for Philadelphia as a way to fight traffic congestion, grow our bus ridership, and improve our air quality, while simultaneously providing a new source of funding for public transportation.

NBC10 interviewed 5th Square Member, Ben She, for its piece:

"Congestion pricing in Philly would aim to solve two of the most pressing problems in transportation," Benjamin She of 5th Square said. "There is the cost associated with traffic congestion, especially on the Schuylkill (Expressway) and (Interstate) 95 coming into the city."

"The second thing is that it’s really one of the best ways to fund SEPTA and the rest of our transit systems in Philly," She said. "PennDOT and the state of Pennsylvania is set to sunset their dedicated funding provision, $450 Million. It’s all going away after 2022. Philly and all the counties, really, need to find a local funding to supplement that lost state money. Congestion pricing could be a really good way to do that."


Tuesday, October 19, 2021, 12:00pm - 1:00pm

Join FPC for a Virtual Open House to learn about the Parkside Pedestrian Improvement projects coming later this year and in 2022

PlanPhilly / Trash Talk: Working toward a clean Philadelphia

Wednesday, October 20, 2021 - 5:30 p.m.

Join PlanPhilly for a virtual panel discussion featuring experts, advocates, residents and more about the root causes of Philadelphia’s trash issues and ways that communities are working together to create a better and cleaner city.

Penn Design / An Evening of Q&A with Diana Lind, ‘Brave New Home’

Thursday, October 21, 2021 6:00pm

Diana Lind is a writer and urban policy specialist. Her book, BRAVE NEW HOME: OUR FUTURE IN SMARTER, SIMPLER, HAPPIER HOUSING (Bold Type Books), was published in October 2020. She has has worked at Architectural Record magazine, Next City, The Philadelphia Inquirer and the University of Pennsylvania. She is currently the executive director for the Arts + Business Council for Greater Philadelphia and the housing fellow at the global nonprofit, NewCities. She lives in Philadelphia

Thomas Jefferson University / 2nd Annual International Neurodiversity & The Built Environment Symposium: Immersive Experiences

Friday, October 22, 2021, 9:00 AM — 3:45 PM

Building upon last year's symposium, Neurodiversity: Building Community and Rethinking the Built Environment, this year’s dialogue focuses on immersive experiences, responsive environments, spatial interactions, and experimental evaluative and physiological measuring tools and criteria.

Feet First Philly / Mindfulness Walk in Fairmount Park with Susan Barr-Toman

Sat, Oct 23, 2021, 10:00 AM EDT

Join Feet First Philly for a mindfulness walk in East Fairmount Park. Mindfulness brings meditation techniques to our everyday experiences; allowing us to be more fully present in the moment, in touch with our thoughts, emotions, and bodies.

State Rep. Donna Bullock / Pedal for Peace Event

Sunday, October 31, 2021, 10 AM

Twice a year Rep. Bullock partners with amazing business, cycling clubs and community groups to host the Pedal for Peace Community Bike Ride. This year's ride is set for 10/31 and the theme is exploring healing through art. The usual meet up is 33rd and Diamond. The site of a mural titled: Stay Golden.


2021 Indego User Survey / Our annual user survey is live and we want to hear from you! Not an Indego Passholder? No problem! This survey is open to everyone. Don't miss the chance to submit your feedback before 10/28 and be entered to win a $250 Visa gift card

SEPTA Survey: Reimagining Regional Rail / SEPTA wants to know how we can make regional rail more useful to riders, increasing access and creating a more equitable transportation network that will benefit the entire region.

Transit Forward Philadelphia Bus Rider Survey / Transit Forward Philadelphia needs your help with a short (less than 5 minutes) survey. Survey responses will help make changes to SEPTA’s bus network. At the end of the survey, participants will be entered into a raffle to receive a $50 VISA gift card. Responses are very important to us and will be anonymous. The results of the survey will be shared with the public and SEPTA staff.

SEPTA Forward: Bus Revolution - Tradeoff Activity / Transit agencies like SEPTA have limited resources and they must use them as effectively as possible. This means we must be thoughtful about how we trade-off – or prioritize - different aspects of the current bus system. Below are some questions to help us understand your values so we can use those to drive the Bus Revolution forward.

SEPTA Wayfinding Metro Map / SEPTA is redesigning the wayfinding system for its rail transit network. Meet SEPTA Metro.



Billy Penn / With protected bike lanes, sidewalks, and solar lighting, the Delaware River Trail is close -- but won't finish till spring / In Open Letter, City Planning Agencies Acknowledge Their Racist History and Pledge to Do Better

WHYY / Council President introduces dining out extension, calls for return to old policy

WHYY / Wissahickon Valley Park is getting more bathrooms



The Philadelphia Inquirer / I’m a real estate developer who supports affordable housing — and paying my fair share | Opinion

WHYY / It’s a part of my life’: West Philly residents protest sale of University City Townhomes

The Philadelphia Inquirer / Owner of West Philly subsidized townhouses plans to sell, displacing dozens of families. It’s an example of the vulnerability of affordable housing. / Life in the New American Suburbs

Business Insider / Baby boomers are snatching houses out of the hands of millennials / Boston Introduces 'Maximum Parking Ratios' for Large Buildings


City of Philadelphia / Apply for a Philadelphia Activities Fund grant

The Philadelphia Activities Fund, Inc. (the Fund) is a non-profit corporation. It supports people and communities through projects that promote sportsmanship, the arts, and health. The next round of Philadelphia Activities Fund is open and accepting applications now through November 1.

Feet First Philly - Public Space Enhancement Mini-Grant

We are launching the second round of our public space enhancement mini-grant program. Community groups, businesses, and individuals are encouraged to download our RFP and apply. Grants range from $500 to $2000. Apply NOW - Nov 8th.


The Partnership TMA of Montgomery County / Program Instructor / Educator

SEPTA / Senior Project Leader - IT Department (9139)

NKCDC / Accounting Specialist, Full‐time

William Penn Foundation / Program Officer Consultant

City of Philadelphia - Workforce Development Office / Manager-Employer Engagement

Green Infrastructure Leadership Exchange / Communications, Marketing & Logistics Support

Independence Blue Cross / Research Analyst- Health Equity

City of Philadelphia - CityGeo team of OIT / Lead GIS Analyst

Associated Alumni of Central High School of Philadelphia / We're Hiring: Development Manager - AACHS

Center City District / Research Associate

City of Philadelphia / Assistant City Treasurer - Cash Management

City of Philadelphia OTIS / Communication Manager

Indego Bike Share System / General Manager

Knight Foundation / Program Evaluation Analyst

Mt. Airy CDC / Executive Director

Neighborhood Bike Works / Youth Programs Instructor

Spring Garden Lending / Accounting/Operations

The Bicycle Coalition / Coordinator, Youth Cycling Program

East Coast Greenway Alliance / Major Gifts Officer

New Jersey Future / Lead-Free NJ Program Manager

Billy Penn / Reporter

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