Weekly Newsletter, Issue 186


Councilmember Mark Squilla has passed through the Streets & Services Committee the legislation needed for his part of Washington Ave east of 11th.

However, Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson, will not be amending the bill to include his section of Washington Ave from 11th St to Grays Ferry Ave.

Contrary to Johnson's claims of safety, the five lane configuration for his half will not have the traffic calming measures -- it will stay just as dangerous as it is now. However, Mayor Kenney has a chance to have all of Washington Ave with the new layout, keeping the road safe for all neighborhoods.

The bill moves to the floor of the entire council THURSDAY, 6/16/22 at 10 AM: Watch the Council Hearing Live Here.

If you are interested in speaking at this council hearing, email [email protected] ASAP.


Book Talk: Nolan Gray, 'Arbitrary Lines: How Zoning Broke the American City and How to Fix It'

5th Square is pleased to welcome author M. Nolan Gray to Philadelphia for a book talk about his newly-published book about U.S. housing policy titled "Arbitrary Lines: How Zoning Broke the American City and How to Fix It." The event will take place on Friday, June 24th at 7:30pm at Resurrection Philadelphia near 42nd and Baltimore Ave. Light refreshments (pizza, beer, and seltzer) will be served.

Arbitrary Lines book cover

Philadelphia housing politics watchers are no strangers to the ways in which zoning policy is used and abused to block needed housing for people, and we're looking forward to talking about that, as well as the big picture of how advocates are winning important reforms to this institution across the country. We'll also be joined by guest moderator, Inquirer editorial board member Daniel Pearson, who'll be bringing the Philadelphia context to some of the book's themes, and facilitating some audience discussion.


5th Square Beach Trip

Join us for a family-friendly day down the shore this summer with your favorite group of Urbanist advocates. We're headed to Atlantic City and have a fun day planned of hoagie-eating, jitney-riding, beach-laying, and of course, margarita-drinking. Let's meet at 30th Street Station at 8:05 am and, of course, take a ride aboard the Atlantic City Rail Line.

Atlantic City postcard
Tickets are $60 for Adults 12+, $30 for Children 5-11, Kids 4 and under are Free.
  • Train & Jitney Fare
  • Hoagie from White House Subs
  • Food & 1 Drink or Appetizer from Landshark Bar & Grill


Senator Nikil Saval has been working hard to pass the Whole-Home Repairs Act; a bipartisan bill that creates a one-stop shop for home repairs and weatherization while building out our workforce and creating new jobs. This act would help PA residents avoid displacement, reduce their energy costs, and stabilize neighborhoods at risk of falling into blight.

5th Square member Brandon Tubby organized a postcard signing event last Friday that we will be sending to Gov. Wolf's office. A big thank you to everyone that came out!

Clockwise from top left: some of the participants smiling at the camera, two participants hard at work on a postcard, the whole pile of completed postcards, a participant putting the finishing touches on her card, and a shot of Brandon, Will and Juniper posing with her postcard.

If you missed out on our event, you can still help out by signing with Saval's campaign.

Support our ongoing efforts for a more sustainable, walkable, and bicycle-friendly Philadelphia! All contributions go to supporting elected officials and campaigns that shape the city.

Become a 5th Square member TODAY & help us decide who to endorse in the next election!

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


The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) has released the draft Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP) for Pennsylvania, which directs how to spend federal transportation money. Lots of projects are listed this year, like stops on the Broad Street Line and improvements to Cobbs Creek Parkway.

If the whole document of improvements is daunting, there's an interactive map that gives you more details about the various projects. Just move the map to your area of interest and click on the project. The main website has more information and breaks down the TIP into smaller chapters.

A screenshot of the TIP map, which is centered on Philly and the surrounding counties.


Comments for the next PA TIP are open and can be submitted via the map website. A Zoom meeting will be held to show you how to make public comments on the Draft DVRPC FY2023 TIP on Thursday, June 16 from 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM. Registration required.


Thank you to everyone that came out to our Northwest Philly meetup. A special thanks to Tarik Khan (who came by bike!) and representatives from SEPTA for coming to show us their plans for improving the bus riding experience with the new Wissahickon Transportation Center.


SEPTA Bus Revolution Pop-up

Tuesday, June 14 from 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM
15th & JFK Blvd. in Center City

Pop-up Events are a chance to meet with the Bus Revolution project team--make sure to come by and ask questions!

City's Biggest Pool Party and Rally

Tuesday, June 14, from 4-6pm
Sayre-Morris Rec Center (5835 Spruce St)

Do you have a closed pools in your neighborhood? Do you have multiple closed pools in your neighborhood? Join our efforts to bring attention to ALL the pools closed in city starting with Sayre Recreation Center.

Vision Zero: Cecil B. Moore Information Pop-up

Tuesday, June 14, anytime from 4-7pm
1520 Cecil B. Moore Avenue (the corner of Cecil B. Moore Ave. and Sydenham St.)

Do you walk, bike or drive on Cecil B. Moore from Willington St. to 10th St.? Stop by this informational pop-up to learn about traffic safety recommendations for the corridor.

Get Active Happy Hour: Voter Turnout Letter Writing

Tuesday, Jun 14, 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM EDT
Indy Hall Clubhouse (709 N 2nd St)

DGS Philly is hosting a night of easy activism, writing simple heartfelt handwritten letters to low-propensity voters encouraging them to participate in our democracy. Proof of boosted vaccination status and a KN95 mask required (masks available). There is another event on June 26th as well.

Blossom at Bartram: SEPTA Trolley Modernization virtual workshop

Wednesday, June 15 from 6:00 – 7:30 PM (via Zoom)

This is an interactive virtual event focused on roadway alternatives for 49th, Grays & Lindbergh. This corridor is part of the High Injury Network and is a segment of the Route 36 trolley. SEPTA wants your feedback on the Trolley Modernization project, so make sure to sign up!

Off the Record with Jerusalem Demsas, Atlantic Staff Writer

Thursday, June 16, 2022, 7:00 PM
Pen & Pencil Club, 1522 Latimer St.

Please join us at the Club for an Off the Record chat with Atlantic staff writer Jerusalem Demsas. Jerusalem’s writing has become a must-read for anyone concerned about housing, transportation, the economy, or "blue" city and state governance. The event will be moderated by Vox audio producer and P&P Governor Miles Bryan. The Inkwell Grill will be open and serving a full menu of snacks and sandwiches. Free event, registration required.

BCGP Featured Group Ride: Juneteenth Empowerment Ride

Friday, June 17, 2022 11:00AM - 1:00PM EDT
Indego Station at 52nd & Larchwood

Join the Bicycle Coalition and Indego for this month’s Featured Group Ride: Juneteenth Bike Ride. The ride will be a 2 mile loop beginning and ending at the 52nd and Larchwood Ave Indego Station located in West Philly, featuring Black-owned organizations. This ride is beginner-friendly and at a leisurely pace. Helmets will be provided for Indego riders. Must be 14 to ride an Indego Bike. You can also bring your own bike. Please RSVP.

Houwzer’s RiseUp Fund Affordable Housing Panel

Tuesday, June 21 from 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM EDT
Drexel University's Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships
3509 Spring Garden Street

RiseUp Fund is hosting a panel discussion on affordable housing issues featuring Councilmember Jamie Gauthier, Drexel Assistant Professor Dr. Sharrelle Barber, Shift Capital CEO Brian Murray and Houwzer CEO Mike Maher. The free event will begin with a brief showing of the investigative documentary, "Push: The Global Housing Crisis" by United Nations Special Reporter Leilani Farha. Free, RSVP required.


  • Senator Wayne Langerholc has a Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) survey out. He wants coal-fired power plants to stay open, but this is a huge danger to our climate future. Tell him that we need to transition away from coal and put our efforts into renewable energy!

  • 2022 CCD Customer Satisfaction Survey - A good way to tell Center City District to spend its money wisely.
  • Permanent public restroom survey - The City of Philadelphia has funding to pilot one permanent public restroom in Center City, and will be using this survey to gauge interest in more public restrooms and amenities. Note: the gender demographics questions are awkward, but you can use the "other" category instead.

  • School District of Phila - Early Dismissal Survey - Next year’s Academic Calendar includes days where students are dismissed early. The District is seeking feedback from families on their plans and needs for after-school childcare on early dismissal days.

  • PennDOT is conducting a survey for the I-95 Girard Interchange. This covers Allegheny Avenue south through the Interstate 676 Interchange at Race Street.



PhillyVoice / Reading Terminal Market to extend outdoor space with Filbert Street Transformation project

CBS Philly / Reading Terminal Market Expanding, City Adding Seasonal Festival Street Space

Axios / Lifeguard shortage squeezes Philadelphia pools

The New York Times / How a Highway Divided a Community in Philadelphia


Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency / Kathy A. Possinger Housing Policy Fellowship

Rutgers University's Center for Urban Research and Education is looking for proposals for papers that address regional patterns of segregation and evaluating their impact on neighborhood disparities across metropolitan areas, including policies related to single-family zoning, ADUs, land banking, etc. Full text for this proposal is on Twitter. Please submit one-page abstracts in PDF form to [email protected]. Abstracts are due by midnight on Friday, July 1st. For further information, please contact [email protected].


SEPTA / Manager, Planning Programs (7074) - Trolley Modernization

The Nature Conservancy /

Friends of the Wissahickon / Field Coordinator

Spak Group / Leasing and Marketing Manager

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation / Program Officer, Policy

Reinvestment Fund / Community Development Loan Officer/Director, MidAtlantic

Princeton University / Program Coordinator, Eviction Lab

Bicycle Coalition / Youth Cycling Program Coordinator

City Cast / Podcast Host, City Cast Philly

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.