Newsletter: 🚇 SEPTA board meeting / 🍻 Two upcoming events! / 🚥 Unveiling of Washington Ave

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 172


Did you sign up for a membership already? Do you want to be a member? Come join us at Buffalo Billiards in Old City and get to know the candidates running in your district, hear their takes on urbanist topics, and sign their petitions to get on the ballot.

Thursday, March 10th, 2022 at 6:30 PM

We will be welcoming candidates for the upcoming PA State legislative races ahead of the upcoming primary on May 17th. This event will kick off our membership voting period to determine our endorsements for the 2022 election cycle. We will also be posting candidate questionnaire responses as they come in. If you aren't already a member, we can sign you up when you arrive.


SEPTA is holding its monthly board meeting on March 22nd at 3 PM via WebEx.

Are you are frustrated by the locked gates in Center City? We can loop you in with talking points and how to can tell your story to the Board of Directors. RSVP with us and we will follow up with instructions on how to register and help with your testimony.


Only a few spots left! Join 5th Square and friends for a guest talk by Brookings Metro Senior Fellow Dr. Jenny Schuetz at Woodland Presbyterian Church near 42nd and Baltimore Ave.

Thursday, March 17th at 6:30pm

Fixer Upper: How to Repair America's Broken Housing Systems is the first book assessing how the broad set of local, state, and national housing policies affect people and communities.

Light refreshments (pizza, beer, and seltzer) will be served. Copies of the book will be available for purchase.

Note: Attendees must present evidence of full vaccination to be admitted.


Last week, the Office of Transportation, Infrastructure and Sustainability released their plans for a mixed street layout. While there were some sections of the road converted to three lanes, 5th Square and PennEnvironment are unimpressed by the mediocre and potentially hazardous plan. That said, the turnout for the open house was incredible. Every press outlet was in attendance. The Philadelphia Inquirer, 6abc, Telemundo, and WHYY covered the event, and Dena Driscoll was interviewed by 6abc to explain why the 3-lane option was vital.

Tom Gralish/Philadelphia Inquirer

Sarah Clark Stuart of the Bicycle Coalition has a detailed analysis of the new plan in Philadelphia Weekly. It seems that even the Federal Highway Administration is taking road safety more seriously with their new report to Congress -- perhaps this will trickle down to streets like this one.

We would like to thank everyone who attended the open house, wrote letters and emails, and made signs. Without your voices and dedication, Washington Avenue may have had a worse fate with a 4 lane version.

(Hispanohablantes, respondes a este correo electronico si estas interesando en hablarnos con 5th Square sobre Washington Avenue u otros problemas urbanas, por favor.)


Philadelphia's political parties are holding local elections at the precinct level in 2022, and you can run for and win a seat in your neighborhood with just a few dozen votes. 5th Square's mission is all about reforming Philadelphia's planning politics around transportation, housing, and public space, and elected officials really listen to grassroots community leaders on these topics. That could be you!

Sign up for more info about how to get involved in running where you live!


Help us decide which Philly-area candidates to support for 2022 races in the PA State Senate and PA State House.

Members will gain exclusive access to vote on our candidate endorsements and can join our discussion to shape our priorities for the upcoming election cycle.

Become a 5th Square member TODAY

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

Kick off 2022 by helping us advocate for a more sustainable, walkable, and bicycle-friendly Philadelphia!



Daniel Trubman, 5th square transit committee member, was quoted in a Metro Philadelphia article about money from the national infrastructure bill going to the SEPTA capital budget for infrastructure improvements. Several of us testified at the recent capital budget hearing as well.

Getty Images

“The series of projects SEPTA is funding with the newly available infrastructure bill funding reveals a focus on the fundamentals. These projects will help grow transit ridership in the coming years and decades.”


5th Square co-chair Dena Driscoll was quoted in a Chestnut Hill Local article about regional rail woes.

“If we have frequently running transit, people are going to use it. Frequency is the biggest thing we can do to increase ridership.”

Carla Robinson/Chestnut Hill Local


NPR is looking for millennials experiencing buyers' remorse and what they think about homeownership for an upcoming story on All Things Considered.

A call for abstracts for the Road Safety on Five Continents (RS5C) conference is open until March 15th. It aims to be a leading source of research results and interaction in the transport area with focus on safety and health associated with road transport. Accepted abstracts will be published in the conference proceedings in DiVA, the Academic Archive Online. The conference is in Grapevine, TX, on October 10-12, 2022.



PhillyVoice / Philadelphia takes initial step towards creating nation's first municipal bank

Philadelphia Inquirer / Philly quietly added surprise fees and ‘burdensome’ rules for restaurant streeteries



Housing, Health, and Equity - A Joint Meeting of the HCTF and the Regional Community Economic Development Forum

Wednesday March 9, 2022, 11:00 AM

Spencer Gober, a Senior Planner in DVRPC's Office of Community and Economic Development, will provide an overview of the recently published Barriers to Building Generational Wealth: Mortgage Lending Disparities Across Greater Philadelphia. This study analyzes mortgage lending trends throughout Greater Philadelphia from 2004-2019, and presents findings of racial, ethnic, and geographic mortgage lending disparities that exist within the region. Free, register via Zoom. PDF of the agenda and speakers

YPT-NYC & TransitCenter Present: Transportation as a Career (Panel)

Thursday, March 10, 2022, 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM EST

YPT-NYC and TransitCenter are pleased to present "Transportation as a Career", a panel discussion featuring seasoned transportation professionals who may have gotten their start in ways that you didn't expect! Our panelists come from diverse backgrounds but share a common interest in encouraging underrepresented groups to consider transportation as a career, as widening the talent pool is more critical now than ever before! Free.

PA Senate Democratic Policy Committee Hearing: Housing Scarcity & Contemporary Houselessness

Monday, March 14, 11:00 AM (Hybrid event)

In person: Howard Gittis Student Center Room 217
1755 N 13th St, Philadelphia, PA 19122.

Zoom registration link:–gqjgiHdJoWQLIGkmVdjkQJuVLIFRu

Senators Street, Saval, Cappelletti, Tartaglione, and Haywood will host a hearing on housing scarcity. The fire that occurred recently in the Fairmount neighborhood of Philadelphia highlights the harsh reality and consequences of housing scarcity in the Commonwealth. Families don’t choose to crowd into dwellings beyond capacity if they have better choices, and government has a responsibility to provide safe, affordable, and accessible housing.

DAG Monthly Event: To the Future! Rail Park Feasibility Study Results and Next Steps

Thursday, March 24, 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM EST

The Rail Park is a vision for a three mile linear park and multi-use pathway connecting 10+ Philadelphia neighborhoods and 50 city blocks along the site of former Reading and Pennsylvania Railroad lines. Friends of the Rail Park commissioned a cost estimate and feasibility study in 2021 to determine a viable next phase of the Rail Park, and better understand how the Rail Park can contribute to comprehensive community development. Friends of the Rail Park’s Executive Director, Rebecca Cordes Chan, will share the preliminary results of this work and the path forward. Registration is required. Free.

Spread the Word USA Book Tour: Black Champions In Cycling

Wed, Mar 30, 2022, 6:00 PM

The Tricycle Cafe & Bicycle Shop
1 Station Avenue
Conshohocken, PA 19428

Desire Discrimination Determination – Black Champions in Cycling is set to make a groundbreaking contribution of knowledge so desperately needed in international cycle racing. Taking on issues regarding access, diversity, inclusion, representation and anti-racism in policy and practice. This book will provide much needed insight and become a seminal reference point for cycling organisations, journalists, commentators, thought leaders and policymakers. Tickets are $20, register online.


HOT•BED art installation open call - In partnership with Drexel University and The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) of Philadelphia. They are seeking 8-10 artists or artist teams to develop art installations to raise awareness of plastic pollution and its impact on the watershed. They will be displayed in prominent commercial lobbies across the city during the summer of 2022. Call for Submissions closes March 15, 2022 at 11:59 PM.

2022 AARP Community Challenge - The AARP Community Challenge provides small grants to fund quick-action projects that can help communities become more livable for people of all ages. This year, applications will be accepted for projects to improve public spaces, housing, transportation and civic engagement; support diversity, equity and inclusion; build engagement for programs under new federal laws; and pursue innovative ideas that support people age 50 or older. Deadline: Tuesday, March 22

The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation & Natural Resources is now accepting applications for the 2022 round of Community Conservation Partnership Program grants. Applications accepted until April 6. More information:

Parks & Rec is now accepting applications for PlayStreets supervisors! This volunteer-led summer meal program is a great way to bring healthy food and safe recreation to children on your block. To apply to be a PlayStreet, call (215) 685-2719 or (215) 685-2720 or email [email protected].


Old City District / Marketing Intern

Rails to Trails / Mid-Atlantic Director, Trail Development

Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia /

Sci-Tek Consultants, Inc / Environmental Scientist

Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce / Development Director

Benefits Data Trust (BDT) / Director of Policy

Germantown United /

Monument Lab / Administrative Coordinator

SEPTA / Planning Data Analyst

[Volunteer] Feet First Philly / Steering Committee Member

Smart Growth America / LOCUS Policy Director

[Volunteer] ULI Philadelphia UrbanPlan

Global Designing Cities Initiative / Graphics Associate

Transportation Alternatives / Director, Families for Safe Streets

The William Penn Foundation /

Philadelphia City Council / Social Media Coordinator

Makom Community /

Schuylkill River Greenways / Trails Project Manager

Bicycle Transit Systems /

Tacony CDC / Executive Director

Tiny WPA /

Oracle / Senior Manager or Director, Analyst Relations

The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) /

Green Building United / Executive Director

City of Philadelphia /

Independence Blue Cross / Health Equity Program Manager

Montgomery County, PA / Planner

Congreso de Latinos Unidos / External Affairs Coordinator

Spring Point Partners LLC / Senior Program Officer, Ember

Econsult / Various positions (Analysts, internships)

Carbon Switch / Senior Staff Writer

FabYouthPhilly / Various positions

Wexford Science & Technology / Assistant Director, Development

City of Philadelphia - Office of Innovation and Technology (OIT) / Multiple openings

CIC Philadelphia / Director of Sales & Strategic Partnerships

Philadelphia Office of Sustainability /

The Painted Bride Art Center / Project Manager

The Philadelphia Inquirer / Senior Politics Editor

Generation180 / State Director, Pennsylvania (contract position)

Billy Penn / Investigative Reporter, Deputy Editor, Development & Engagement Manager

The Philadelphia Energy Authority (PEA) / Program Manager

PIRG / Transportation Advocate

Reinvestment Fund / Senior Policy Analyst – Southeast

Starfinder Foundation / various positions


Thanks to Charlie Huemmler, 5th Square's newest memeologist, you too can have a Washington Avenue meme in this trying time. Don't worry, you can right-click on these all you want.

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

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