🚲 25th STREET REDESIGN
The City has another survey out for redoing 25th Street in South Philly, underneath a viaduct that needs significant repair. There are three different designs being put forward: Design A which has two lanes, parking, and loading zones, Design B with two lanes, protected bikes lanes, and a raised pedestrian crossing, and Design C, which has four lanes and parking and loading on the curb. We feel that Design B has the most benefits for all residents, being available for all kinds of traversal and one of the few city streets with protected bike lanes.
If you live in Point Breeze, Grays Ferry, etc, or work around 25th Street, this is a great opportunity for you to voice your approval for a multimodal street. You can write comments in the survey, and there are two public meetings coming up:
- Thursday, April 21st: Point Breeze Ave and Sears St, 4 - 6 pm (rain date Friday)
- Thursday, April 28th: Smith Playground, 4 - 6 pm (rain date Friday)
More information is available at phila2035.org.
🚌 TRANSFORMING TRANSIT
The state of everything public transit is in flux, for better or worse. Act 89, a major source of funding for transit, will be sunsetting soon. There is lots of theoretical money for transit, but it will have to be disbursed to public transit agencies and not pet highway projects. Transit for All PA, a coalition of transit advocates across the Commonwealth, are working on getting all of the transit agencies the money and support they need to strengthen their systems. If you want to know more or get involved, they are organizing a summit on May 4th, from 6:00-7:30 pm. Make sure to let your friends in other cities and towns know too!
Locally, SEPTA has been hard at work reevaluating all of their transit modes as part of the SEPTA Forward initiative. Bus Revolution will be presenting two draft bus network redesign options tonight, the 19th, from 6:30 – 7:30 pm, via Zoom. More information is available on their website. This is a good chance for us to see where they are going.
On the Trolley Modernization front, there are two events coming up! Both SEPTA and PIDC have been working on the Bartram Village area for street safety and ease of trolley usage. During a previous cleanup, we saw that Lindbergh Blvd, Grays Ave, and Elmwood Ave could use more trolley infrastructure. SEPTA has two chances for you to offer feedback. One is a virtual workshop on Wednesday, April 27th from 6:00- 7:30 PM via Zoom. There will be an in-person event on April 30th from 10:30 AM – 12:30 PM on Lindbergh Blvd at Wheeler St. Just look for a SEPTA tent! More information is available on the SEPTA planning website.
Lastly, SEPTA is redesigning their main website and still has their survey open. Take a moment to give your feedback about septa.org and ther mobile app.
🗳 REPPING STATE REP. FIEDLER
State Rep. Elizabeth Fiedler, one of our endorsed candidates, will be having a virtual phone banking on Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays from now until the end of May. The phone bank will have a virtual training session via Zoom.
If you'd rather stretch your legs and meet your South Philly neighbors, there are canvassing days on Sundays, Wednesdays and Saturdays starting on April 20th until May 15th, starting at 6th and Tasker St.
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!
5TH SQUARE IN THE NEWS
AIR FILTRATION VS COVID-19
5th Square member Bryan Cummings wrote an opinion piece in the Inquirer about how air filtration and ventilation are an important part of mitigating COVID-19. In his article, he talks about how having better indoor air quality is a public right, and the city and state should step up to provide help. "What if Philadelphia did not treat its drinking water, and it was up to us to boil the water that came out of our taps with our own equipment and heating costs?"
ALEJANDRO A. ALVAREZ / Philadelphia Inquirer
"Today, the mask mandate is a reasonable policy in the absence of clean indoor air. But it’s also not sustainable. We need our government to ensure that our shared air is clean. If it is only up to individuals to filter air with our own masks, even if it is mandated, inequities will persist, many of us will continue to get sick, and this pandemic will drag on." (Read more)
SURVEYS & EMAIL ACTIONS
PennDOT is holding a virtual meeting room for the Interstate 95 Central and South Philadelphia (I-95 CSP) Planning Study from April 15 through May 15. The Planning Study will provide Philadelphia residents and stakeholders the opportunity to explore the study materials and share their comments, questions, and concerns with the project team. Those who are unable to access the virtual meeting room materials at home or the local public library, who have special needs that require individual attention or require translation services, please e-mail [email protected] or call the Construction Helpline at 215-513-1399.
The City of Philadelphia will be receiving $42 million to provide long-term housing and services for those experiencing homelessness via a new federal program created by the American Rescue Plan (ARP) called HOME-ARP. The Office of Homeless Services (OHS), which administers the City’s homeless Continuum of Care together with the City’s Division of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), has drafted the DRAFT HOME-ARP ALLOCATION PLAN using extensive community input, consultation with a range of organizations, need and gaps data from both the homeless assistance system and the local housing market. OHS is holding a community meeting on Wednesday, April 20 at 2:00 p.m. via Zoom to brief
the community on the contents of this draft plan. You can submit comments online; public comment will close on April 29.
A coalition of parks groups, Recreation Advisory Councils and Out of School Time providers have an email campaign asking for an $8 million increase in the Philadelphia Parks & Recreation operating budget to make our parks and rec centers safe, clean and ready to use. A corresponding rally takes place on April 21st--check the Events section below for rally details.
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
Philadelphia Inquirer / The pandemic has made warehouses more valuable than suburban offices, as workers stay home
Multifamily Real Estate News / Affordable Housing Development Pushes On
Center for Community Progress / Treasury’s Final Rule Is Here; Here’s What You Should Know About Using ARPA Funds to Address Vacancy
🌳 PUBLIC SPACE
April 19, 2022, 5:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Le Virtù Restaurant: 1927 E Passyunk
Suggested contribution levels are $100, $250, $500, or $1000.
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.
Wednesday, April 20 2022 5:00 PM — 6:30 PM EDT
Bok Bar: 800 Mifflin St, Philadelphia, PA 19148
Join Grid Magazine on the rooftop for the launching of the 2030 Series, a look at the past, present and future of sustainability. This monthly series will feature compelling interviews (and perhaps the occasional musical act), delivered with a humorous and lively take on the sustainability issues of the day. This month’s show is a live complement to our Retrospective Issue, featuring interviews with the City’s first three sustainability directors as well as Councilperson Katherine Gilmore Richardson and former Councilperson Blondell Reynolds Brown.
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.
Thursday, Apr 21, 4:30 PM EDT
Philadelphia City Hall North Apron (1400 John F Kennedy Boulevard)
The Philadelphia Parks Alliance is having a rally at City Hall to increase the budget for Parks and Rec operations.
Friday, April 22, 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
The negative health effects from lead contamination are well documented. Yet lead is regularly found in water tested at drinking fountains and sinks in Philadelphia's public schools. Join our virtual citizen lobby day to call on Philadelphia city council. We’ll schedule 1-2 video meetings with you, your elected officials, and other constituents (30-45 mins each) to discuss the importance of implementing policies to get lead out of Philly Schools drinking water. We’re also planning a virtual kick off and wrap up for you to participate in throughout the day.
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.
Saturday, April 30, 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Temple University Student Center South (1755 N 13th St)
This year's in-person conference will focus on policies and infrastructure that address the primary factor in traffic deaths: speeding. Panel topics range from automated speed cameras to creating more space in streets and intersections for people, not cars. Tickets are sliding scale ($35-$95), with a "pay-what-you-can" ticket available. See the event registration page for more pricing information.
GRANTS, FELLOWSHIPS, CFPs
The annual Nothern Liberties Neighbors Association board election is fast approaching and will be electing President, Treasurer, and 6 Board seats. The nomination meeting will be held on Thursday, April 28th, at 7:00 PM at the NLNA Community Center at 700 N 3rd Street, and mask will be required. You may also make nominations online by emailing them to Paula at [email protected]. Nominations will be closed at 9:00 PM on Thursday, April 28th. After checking eligibility, and receiving confirmation from nominees, we will post a list of candidates, along with information about the May General/Election Meeting.
To run for an at-large Board seat, you need to be at least 18 years of age, and have lived in the neighborhood (this includes both owners and renters) for no less than one year, or have owned or operated a business with a physical location in the neighborhood for no less than one year. To run for President or Treasurer, you also need to have been on the NLNA board for one year, now or in the past.
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.