⛽️ GAS TAX REBATES
5th Square members Fae Ehsan and Caitlin Nagle wrote an op-ed in the Inquirer against a possible gas tax rebate, as gasoline prices are on the rise. They felt that it does little to address the structural problems facing low-income Pennsylvanians while exacerbating the climate crisis and lining the pockets of Big Oil.
Fae Ehsan, left, and Caitlin Nagle
From the article: "Policymakers should absolutely put money in people’s pockets — but using car ownership as a criterion is misguided and unfair. [...] Tying that rebate to car ownership may help drivers get around, but it strands low-income people — particularly those in areas of the commonwealth that do not have a robust public transport system."
🚲 OTIS BIKE STUDY
The City of Philadelphia with Kittleson and Associates released a study on parking separated bike lanes as part of a cycling network. They evaluated other comparable cities and determined that it would be a great fit. There are already some bike lane pilot projects like this around the city, like Market St and JFK Blvd. Those were granted special permissions through PennDOT.
The State Senate Transportation Committee held a hearing on Monday about HB140, which amends Title 75 to legalize parking separated bike lanes. Sarah Clark Stuart of the Bicycle Coalition provided testimony in favor of the bill. There was some skepticism from senators about the feasibility. We will let you know about new developments or potential action items as we hear about them.
We still need your help come election season. Your insights and financial contributions will help hone candidates to advocate for a more sustainable, walkable, and bicycle-friendly Philadelphia!
SURVEYS & EMAIL ACTIONS
The Schuylkill River Trail On The Circuit is again in the Best Riverwalk contest and @schuylkillbanks @circuittrails needs your help. Please vote once daily for the SRT between now and April 11!
SEPTA is redesigning their main website, septa.org, and would like your thoughts about the kind of information you would like from the website and/or transit related apps. Click here for the survey.
Clean Air Council has a campaign to increase funding for sidewalks in the city. If you've encountered some sketchy sidewalks while strolling around your neighborhood, this is a good chance for you to encourage the Streets Department to repair the sidewalks.
WHAT WE'RE READING
🏙️ HOUSING & LAND USE
Full Stack Economics / The strongest case for urban density isn’t aesthetics, it’s math
Washington Post / Biden administration announces new funding to make homes energy-efficient
Green Building United / Infrastructure Bill Breakdown for Building Professionals
Philadelphia Inquirer / A struggling South Jersey mall to get new life by adding apartments, hotel, and a health clinic
🌳 PUBLIC SPACE
Philadelphia Inquirer / A block of Sansom Street reopens to traffic, and restaurant owners are not too happy
Philadelphia Inquirer / Philly street sweeping resumes next week, and you have to move your car — with $31 fines starting in May
Grid Magazine / Mayor Kenney plans to subsidize the foundation that is deforesting Cobbs Creek
Brookings Institute/ The infrastructure law’s untapped potential for promoting community safety
ICYMI: 5th Square volunteer Alex Davis's mini-documentary on Washington Avenue
North Philly: Libraries are Essential Storytime Rally
Wednesday, April 6, 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM EDT
Cecil B. Moore Library Courtyard (2320 Cecil B Moore Ave)
FDR Park (1954 Pattison Ave)
Germantown Avenue Pocket Park Walk
Saturday, April 16, 11:15 AM EDT - 12:15 PM EDT
Meet at High Point Cafe at Allen Lane Station (7210 Cresheim Rd)
The City of Philadelphia’s Comprehensive Plan, Philadelphia 2035, set a bold vision that all residents will live within a 10-minute walk of a neighborhood park or recreation area. The Mt. Airy Business Improvement District is proud to have contributed to this goal by building six pocket parks along the Germantown Avenue commercial corridor. We'll meet at High Point Cafe, located at SEPTA's Allen Lane Station (arrive early to grab coffee). From there, we will walk along the historic Germantown Avenue, where we will visit each pocket park and the sites of future pedestrian improvements. This walk is almost 2 miles one-way. When the walk is over, join Feet First Philly at Zsa’s Ice Cream (6616 Germantown Ave). Register here.
Wednesday, April 20th, 11:00 AM
DVRPC is hosting a webinar to learn about regional examples of pop-up transportation projects. Hear from the influential community leaders about how and why they brought these projects to fruition. Panelists will include: Kimberley Bezak, co-creator of the Narberth Cycling Club (Borough of Narberth), Linda McIsaac, Founder, Gather in the Circle (Newtown Township), Cassandra Duffey, Borough Administrator (Borough of Collingswood) and Karen Taussig-Lux, Grants Administrator (Media Borough). Register for the webinar.
Thu, April 21, 2022, 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM EDT
The Philly Tree Plan is an urban forestry strategic plan that centers the perspectives of Philadelphia residents to bring the benefits of trees to communities that need them the most, in the ways that support them the best. The design team worked in partnership with the City to reach over 8,000 residents using a variety of engagement tools. Leaders of Hinge Collective will share their process for developing strategies that focus on personal narratives at a city-wide scale and how these narratives shape strategic planning. Free. Registration is required.
Sun, Apr 24, 2022, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
South Philly Meadows at FDR Park (1954 Pattison Ave)
The Meadows at FDR Park is one of the few natural places in South Philadelphia where people can go for a hike, picnic, walk their dog or just explore the great outdoors with friends and family. City officials are threatening to destroy this great public space and turn it into artificial turf soccer fields, paved roads, buildings and a privately-run golf driving range. So we’re getting together to show the City of Philadelphia that their constituents want to keep this beloved park wild. Please RSVP.
GRANTS, FELLOWSHIPS, CFPs
The Community Champions Awards & Grants Challenge is an initiative by the City of Philadelphia Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity to celebrate individuals and community-based organizations that have served communities of color and those with low incomes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Those selected will receive one-time grants or cash assistance. If selected as a finalist, organizations will advance to online public voting. The 10 organizations with the most votes will receive a $20,000 grant. Ten runner-ups will receive $12,500. Entries can be submitted through an online application portal, beginning Monday, March 21. The deadline for entries is Monday, April 11.
The Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania is putting out a call for session proposals for the annual conference Dec 7-9 in Hershey, PA. If you or your organization have a topic you'd like to share in the biggest housing-related conference in PA, submit a proposal! If you have any questions, please reply to this email. Due April 15th.
Zero Waste Microgrant: City funding is available to help you reduce waste at your organization. Any business, nonprofit, or organization based in Philadelphia County can apply for a grant up to $1000 and personalized Waste Coaching. Deadline to apply is April 15, 2022.
The Transportation Undergraduate Research Fellowship (TURF) program is a unique eight-week (June 20 to August 12, 2022) summer fellowship for undergraduates to get experience in transportation research at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon. Students must be currently enrolled in a civil engineering, urban studies and planning, or transportation-related undergraduate degree program at any college or university. Preference will be given to applicants who have a strong interest in transportation and graduate education. Applications are due by April 14th, 2022 at 8:00pm Pacific.
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].
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.