Newsletter: 🚸 Want safe routes to school? Apply for a Slow Zone! 🐟 Chat at our Fishtown Meetup

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 203


School is in session, and WalkWorks has a webinar to educate everyone about the Safe Routes to School program that encourages kids to bike or walk to school. 

The Safe Routes to School in PA webinar will be next Monday, October 17, at 7:30pm. WalkWorks is a collaboration between the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Pennsylvania Downtown Center that helps communities make Active Transportation Plans like Safe Routes To School (SRTS). This webinar is the second of a two-part series. You can view the previous session here.

The panelist include presenters from the state, region, and city level. 5th Square co-chair Dena Driscoll is a panelist and will be talking about her advocacy work around this issue. Also featured is Fionnuala Quinn who worked on Safe Routes Philly, and Joe Banks from DVRPC.


One thing that can help neighborhood kids get to school safely is infrastructure that encourages slowing down traffic. You can help by applying for a Neighborhood Slow Zone! The Neighborhood Slow Zone Program is a way for the city to work with residents to install traffic calming devices or change the street configuration to induce slower speeds. A potential Slow Zone would be less than 1/2 mile by 1/2 mile and be residential streets bordered by arterials, parks, or railway. The Slow Zone requires lower posted speed limits to 20MPH, installing corner clearances within 20’ of crosswalks, and all calming infrastructure must remain for at least five years.

Example Slow Zone map / Philadelphia oTIS

Does this sound like something your neighborhood needs? You will need to submit:

  • Applicant Contact Information
  • Traffic Safety Concern Form
  • Proposed Location Map
  • Applicant Letter of Support
  • Letter of City Council Support

You will also want to submit any other letters of community support, petitions, or minutes from your CDC. This brochure from oTIS has more details about the application process and what kinds of things will be installed in your neighborhood. You can email [email protected] or 215-436-9886 to check your eligibility or ask them questions. We're also happy to help! Email us and we can connect you with other folks in your community and folks that have been through the process before. You can also come to our meetups and talk through your ideas with everyone!

Once you've gathered all the supporting documentation, you can apply by email, postal mail, or online.

📧 Email: Scan and attach all required materials as PDF files in an email sent to [email protected] with the subject line “Neighborhood Slow Zone Application”

📬 Mail: Mail all required materials to:
ATTN: Office of Complete Streets
c/o Vision Zero – Neighborhood Slow Zones
1401 JFK Blvd.
Suite 780
Philadelphia, PA 19102

🖥 Online:


Our October meetup is at the Mural City Cellars Wine Garden in Fishtown this Thursday, 10/13 @ 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.

We are honored to welcome:

  • Maria Quinones-Sanchez, former 7th District Councilmember and candidate for Mayor.
  • Quetcy Lozada, Democratic nominee for the upcoming 7th Council District special election



We are holding policy platform meetings for members only, over Zoom:

Come and help us shape our policy platform as we head into the 2023 campaign season for Philly City Council and Mayor's races! Join us for an hour-long virtual session where we will lay out our current platform and elevate issues you want us to push for in the upcoming electoral cycle.

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


WHYY held a panel last week over Facebook Live entitled "Systems & Safety: Driving SEPTA Forward", which discussed ways that SEPTA can improve rider experiences as the system is about to undergo major changes. 5th Square transit committee member Ben She was a panelist, discussing station closures and parking.

"When it comes to normal operation of the system, having a high level ridership and a high quality of ridership helps all the ancillary issues when it comes to the safety of the system. [...] It comes down to the capital improvements as well."

"Within septa's own service area, at least 28% of riders don't have access to a car at all. I think this is a crucial segment of the population that sometimes gets overlooked by our society. We need to make sure that SEPTA isn't just good enough for these people, but also good enough for everyone that wants to leave their car at home [...]"

Watch the full video on WHYY or on Facebook.


DAG Public Space Working Group

Tuesday, October 11 at 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM
Sister Cities Park, 210 North 18th Street
Join DAG at Sister Cities Park at 6pm for the second working group meeting to discuss concerns of public space in Philadelphia. Bring a current event article or topic to talk about.

Philly Bike Ride 2022

Saturday, October 15 at 7:30am

Philly Bike Ride invites participants to a completely car-free and non-competitive bike ride, making cycling safe, fun, and accessible for everyone. Pedal past the historic sites of Center City and Independence Hall, enjoy water views along Penns Landing and Kelly Drive, and take in charming neighborhoods such as Manayunk.

Public Space Summit 2022

Saturday, October 15 from 8:30 AM - 1:00 PM
University City Science Center (3675 Market St)

The Summit will gather and connect Recreation Advisory Councils, and Park and Library Friends groups from across Philadelphia. Registration is free.

Swarthmore Housing Affordability Forum

Sunday, October 16 at 4:00 PM
Park Avenue Community Center (PAC Center) 129 Park Avenue Swarthmore, PA 19081

Learn about housing challenges and solutions in Swarthmore and beyond.

Pennypack Park Cleanup

Saturday, October 22nd at 9:30am
Pennypack Park, Ryan Ave entrance

Councilmember Mike Driscoll and State Rep. Joe Hohenstein are hosting a cleanup event. All ages are welcome. All supplies will be provided. If you are interested in volunteering please call 215.686.3444 or email [email protected] or [email protected]

DAG Spring Garden Connector Project

Thu, October 27, 2022, 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM EDT
Join DAG and representatives to discuss the project history, design best practices, funding, and future actions.



🚨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!


Northern Liberties Neighbors Association / Executive Director

Transit Forward Philadelphia / Coalition Manager

Center City District / Retail Development 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.