Newsletter: 🍂Time for a fall beer 🍻 outside and some YouTube 🎥 inside

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 201


We have lots of things going on these days, like launching a blog, working on marketing, and keeping track of SEPTA changes. The City Council candidates are coming in each week as we gear up for election season. It's a great time to get together and talk shop with your fellow urbanists.

The September meetup is this Thursday, September 29, 6:00pm at Pennsport Beer Boutique in South Philly. Pennsport Beer Boutique has a nice patio and classic hoagies. The venue is accessible via bus routes 25, 29, 64, and 57. Kids welcome!

At this meeting, we are honored to welcome:

  • Nikil Saval, Senator for the 1st district in the Pennsylvania State Senate.
  • Elizabeth Fiedler, Representative for the 184th district of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.
  • Appearances by Terrill Haigler, Michael Galván, and other City Council candidates

If you can't make this one, we have another meetup at the Mural City Cellars Wine Garden in Fishtown, scheduled for October 13 at 6:00pm! This is an outdoor, family-friendly event where we will provide updates on our recent campaigns. We will also be discussing mobility, safe streets, and access to transit specific to Fishtown and the Riverwards neighborhoods. There will be beverages available for purchase at this event, and nearby takeout and delivery food options are permitted. Mural City Cellas is accessible via the El (Berks Station) and bus routes 5 and 25.

At this upcoming meeting, we are honored to welcome Maria Quinones-Sanchez, former 7th District Councilmember and candidate for Mayor.


The short film "La Guagua 47" had a sold-out debut at the Kimmel Center on September 15th. This colorful musical is about the 47 bus and its proximity to the Latino community, serving as a lifeline to songwriter Alba Martínez in her youth. It is a beautiful showcase of the connections of each diverse neighborhood that come together via transit. For those unaware, the 47 connects North and South Philly, weaving between Puerto Rican, Carribean, Central and South American, and Mexican neighborhoods. Hispanic (Latine or Latinx) Heritage Month is from September 15th to October 15th this year and Billy Penn has a rundown of events. La Guagua 47 will also have a celebration event of artists that live along the 47. If only the 47 had a lane to itself...

WATCH: La Guagua 47

5th Square member Alex Davis released a great video essay on the new Wawa Station entitled "Why You Can't Walk to America's Newest Train Station". It's a fast-paced and fun dive into the history of Middletown Township's failed foray into transit oriented development. He also shows current local transit oriented development examples as a way Middletown could have successfully integrated Wawa Station into the area. This can give us insight on what to do to encourage TOD around new developments, like the Roosevelt Boulevard Subway.

WATCH: Why You Can't Walk to America's Newest Train Station


Many of the publications that once covered city meetings on land use, housing, and transportation more regularly no longer have the capacity to do it, or are no longer publishing. Critical information about city government decision-making about these issues is going unreported. That is why we have been working on developing a new standalone publication for city planning news, spearheaded by 5th Square member Brandon Tubby, that will publish original reporting on the city government meetings and current events that impact the issues we all care about. Presenting...

Part & Parcel, the logo for our new blog.

Aspirationally, once the new publication is up and running, we are interested in paying freelance writers and reporters to write about the main city government meetings every month that impact housing and transportation issues, like the Planning Commission, City Council's Rules Committee, the Historical Commission, the Land Bank, the SEPTA Board, and more. Donations made through the button below go to our reporting fund.

If you are interested in writing about these meetings as a freelancer, or you are interested in sponsoring this project in some capacity, or you would like to be involved in some other way, reply to this email or message us on Twitter or Slack.

Here's a few of our starting articles:


There are also three policy specific meetings for members only, over Zoom:

Members will learn about our current platform, work on the questionnaire we send to candidates, and help us with our endorsements. This is a critical election and we need everyone to make sure that we get the right people in office. Not a member yet? Just click one of the buttons below to sign up.

Become a 5th Square member today and shape our city policies!

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


Wednesday, September 28 from 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM via Zoom

Some of the biggest barriers to access for many Philadelphians is transportation. In 2019, 5th square successfully advocated for SEPTA to eliminate the 2-hour transfer fee and institute free fares for riders under 12, which gave more Philadelphians greater transit access to the city. 5th Square's mission is to continue advocating for free transfers, university student passes, and lower fares on Regional Rail to make transit more accessible to all Philadelphians. This event will feather 5th Square leaders and partners highlighting what it took to enact these changes at SEPTA at the grassroots level, lessons learned, and what upcoming projects young people in Philadelphia can get plugged into to advocate for better transit access in our city.


YPT Philly: Welcome Fall Happy Hour

Wednesday, September 28 at 5:30 PM
Cira Green (129 South 30th Street)

Join YPT Philly to officially kick off the fall season with a happy hour to meet other young professionals in the transportation industry!

Signs of Progress in Traffic Safety

Wednesday, September 28, at 2:00 PM (virtual)

This webinar, sponsored by Uber, will explore some of the traffic safety wins being seen by communities and what can be learned to inspire similar change elsewhere. Speakers from NACTO, Transportation Alternatives, and WABA will share their experiences on overcoming challenges and creating shifts, providing examples and resources for others who wish to do the same. Registration required.

YIP State of Young Philly: Fair Fares for Public Transportation

Wednesday, September 28 from 6-7pm (virtual)

The event aims to answer the question: “How can young adults in Philly ensure that services, and all forms of public life are within reach for all Philadelphians?” There will be a panel talking about different wins and strategies for SEPTA fare reform in the context of accessibility. There will also be a 30 min Q&A on how to get involved with transit advocacy work.

Transit Talk - Proposed Bus Network Changes

Monday, October 3rd, 2022, from 6:30 – 7:30 pm (Virtual)

SEPTA's Bus Revolution team will be sharing the draft network and give a timeline of new public engagement events.


  • Trolley Modernization Station Design Feedback - SEPTA now has examples of trolley station designs that were based on the earlier survey and would like feedback for two new designs.
  • SEPTA Bicycle and Micromobility Survey - SEPTA wants to understand how riders incorporate bicycles, e-bikes, scooters, skateboards, etc. into their transit trips.

  • West Mt Airy Neighbors Association wants to see an end to speeding vehicles on Lincoln Drive. If you missed the rally, you can sign their petition or pick up a yard sign.
  • Vision Zero Conference 2023 survey - provide feedback from this year's conference and suggest topics for 2023.

  • Support Tiffany Fletcher's Sons- Crowdfunding for the family of the Parks & Rec employee caught in crossfire at Mill Creek Park.
  • NJ TRANSIT’s Atlantic City Rail Line Service Study is conducting a brief survey to learn how rail service could be improved to better meet the needs of customers. Those who complete the survey and provide their contact information will be entered into a drawing for either a monthly pass or a $100 gift card.

  • 2nd and Laurel Street Intersection Survey - Northern Liberties Business Improvement District wants to hear about your preferences for the public space improvements associated with potential roadway adjustments at the 2nd Street and Laurel Street intersection.

  • 2022 SEPTA Key 2.0 Survey - The survey will help in developing the Request for Proposal (RFP) for the next generation fare collection program, SEPTA Key 2.0. You can take the survey online, call in at (215) 580-7145 and selecting OPTION #3 (Commendations and Complaints) to take the survey over phone, or email [email protected] for a screen reader friendly PDF.


WHYY / Opinion: Philly needs to make it easier to build and maintain public spaces

Mainline Media News / Extension for Cynwyd Heritage Trail closer to becoming a reality

Philadelphia Inquirer / 4 Wissahickon Valley Trail bridges reopen, restoring a vital link to Center City

Sara Little Turnbull Fellowship - The Fellowship is a paid, 2-3 month, part-time or full time fall fellowship (on-site) for an early career woman or non-binary person of color who is curious, driven and passionate about design and design education. The fellow will be a part of Tiny WPA’s team, working as an in-house designer and contributing to the organization’s community-engaged design-build projects. We welcome applications from high school students, currently enrolled undergraduate and graduate students, and recent graduates with a 2-year or 4-year degree from a public, private, or community college or university. The compensation range is $15-25 per hour. Applications are due on October 2, 2022 by 11:59 pm.

Feet First Philly Public Space Enhancement Mini-Grant - Feet First Philly is partnering with the Department of Public Health to provide funding for mini-grants of $500 to $2000 to create public space enhancements and safety improvements where they are needed the most. Residents and community groups in low income communities and communities of color are strongly encouraged to apply. The deadline to apply is Tuesday, October 11th at 11:59PM.


Wednesday Night Rides is looking for volunteers to help plan routes, assist with the rides, or any other input. If you enjoyed past rides, this is a good way to get involved.

BCGP’s 2022 Bicycle Counts - Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia is looking for volunteers interested in helping us with this process between September 6 and October 28. Bike counts happen on weekday mornings and evening from 7:30 – 9:00 AM and from 4:30 – 6:00 PM, weather permitting. Sign up today!


Robert Schalkenbach Foundation / Full Stack Geospatial Developer

Northern Liberties Neighbors Association / Executive Director

Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection / Environmental Community Relations Specialist

Habitat for Humanity / Chief Financial Officer

Center City District / Retail Development Manager

Tri-State Transportation Campaign / Active Transportation Coordinator

Free Library of Philadelphia / Library Assistant 1

Office of Congressman Dwight Evans / Digital Media Manager

Northern Liberties Neighbors Association / Executive Director

Transit Forward Philadelphia / Coalition Manager

City of Philadelphia / Senior Director, Data and Analytics

Center City District / Retail Development Manager

Shift Capital / Development Finance Manager


Lawrence Hopewell Trail / Executive Director

Lutheran Settlement House / Administrative Assistant

jawnt / Customer Success Manager

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.