Newsletter: Read city emails 📧 👀 or sign up for the Marketing Committee meeting 👥

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 217


You may be familiar with the new Market St bike lane extension that was approved last year. Bike lanes on Market and JFK have been a long battle, first envisioned in 2009 and finally executed in 2018.

Megan Shannon of Government Transparency Blog submitted an right-to-know request to see how and why the new extension was such a difficult process. One of the interesting emails she points out is that PennDOT was advocating for a much safer lane on 15th St from Callowhill to Market than what the city intended to do. It seems that the bridge was also difficult to deal with as well, and much of the construction is temperature dependent. If you've ever wanted to see the longest email thread of city shenanigans, check out her blog post!

The bike lanes on JFK and Market were first announced at Vision Zero Conference. The 2023 conference has been announced for Friday, March 31st! This year will have a mayoral discussion panel for a chance to vet the candidates. Tickets are on sale now, ranging in price from $20-$95.


A friendly reminder that the Neighborhood Slow Zone application deadline has been extended to February 15th. The Slow Zone Project offers residents the opportunity to work with the City to reduce vehicle speeds and improve visibility on neighborhood streets. The City will work with you and your neighborhood to determine the best way to slow things down. You can fill out the application form and get more information on the Neighborhood Slow Zone Program site.

There's only a handful of active Slow Zone sites, so we highly encourage you or someone you know to apply. If you have any questions or want help with the application process, contact Pete DeCarolis at [email protected].


Your chance to state all of your grievances to the state is here in the form of a transportation survey. It's one part of the 12-Year Transportation Program update, and it's more exciting than mere button-clicking.

The survey starts out with basic questions about how you travel or what projects would you prioritize. Then you get a map, asking you to put a pin somewhere and categorize your issue. Make sure to pick the most suitable category and give as much detail as you can. You can upload images, too, in case you have pictures of something very specific. After that, you can even decide on a budget allocation and add new potential funding sources!

Let your imagination run wild! Do you want to see a rail station in Phoenixville or Reading? More bike lanes? Found a pothole that leads to another dimention? Pin it! And if you need more inspiration, you can browse our issues page for ideas.

You can help us make a walkable, transit-friendly city for everyone with your financial contributions. Become a 5th Square member today!

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


Tonight (the 24th) at 7pm via Zoom, we will focus on matters related to the 2023 Philadelphia mayoral and council races, especially developing our 2023 election center with our platform and endorsements (see our 2022 election center here).

All are welcome, even if you have never participated in this committee before, have no marketing experience, or if this is your 1st (or 100th!) 5th Square event! And you do not need to be a policy wonk! RSVP to this event to get a Zoom link emailed to you.


Bridging Blocks: Rules of the Road

Wednesday, January 25th from 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Lucien E. Blackwell Library (125 S 52nd St)

Dirt bikes and ATVs are illegal to operate on city streets. But the 2021 ban on these vehicles, which gives police the power to confiscate, has done little to disappear them from the road. While many view dirt bikes and ATVs as dangerous and disruptive, plenty others see “bike life” as a distinct urban culture worthy of celebration rather than cancellation. Join WHYY for a neighborhood discussion about the rules of the road and bike-life culture.

Jersey City Citizen Planner Class

Wednesday, January 25th at 6:30 p.m. (via Zoom)

This class is a great opportunity to learn the basics of planning and zoning and how it functions in Jersey City. Registration is required.

What's New at the National Zoning Atlas?

Monday, January 30th at 12pm (via Zoom)

The National Zoning Atlas aims to depict key aspects of zoning codes in an online, user-friendly map. It will enable comparisons across jurisdictions, illuminate regional and statewide trends, and strengthen national planning for housing production, transportation infrastructure, and climate response. This atlas could also democratize zoning information and thus participation in land use decisions, inform zoning reform advocacy, and narrow a wide information gap that currently favors land speculators, institutional investors, and homeowners over socioeconomically disadvantaged groups. Register here.

Walter Rand upcoming improvements

  • Monday, January 30th at 3pm via Zoom
  • Monday, January 30th at 6pm in person
    Cooper Medical School of Rowan University
    401 South Broadway, Camden, NJ

The NJ TRANSIT Walter Rand Transportation Center (WRTC) Improvement Project is an exciting project that will transform the current facility into a modern, vibrant, and customer-focused transit hub for Camden residents and visitors. The new transportation center will provide passengers with a first-class customer experience including more efficient service, better flow, easy-to-use technology, and amenities. The project is currently in the design concept phase, and we will be seeking your input. Register for the webinar via Zoom, or register for the in-person event by calling (856) 757-9154 or emailing [email protected]

Webinar Wednesday: Pennsylvania’s Infrastructure Report Card

Wednesday, February 1 from 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm (via Zoom)

The four Sections of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) in Pennsylvania (Central PA, Lehigh Valley, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh) combine forces and efforts every four years to perform an assessment of current infrastructure conditions throughout the Commonwealth. Criteria such as capacity, condition, funding, future need, operations and maintenance, public safety, and resilience and innovation are evaluated, with a letter grade assigned to each of the fifteen categories. Grades are compared to those provided in the previous Report Card (2018) to show progress or where efforts may have slipped. Deadline to register is January 31.

Making Reparations: How can we come together to preserve history and ensure that every Philadelphian has a home?

Thursday, February 2nd at 10am (via Zoom)

For the first time in more than two decades, there are more renovation projects in the US than new builds. Philadelphia has already been leading the way in this increase of adaptive reuse, and now, the city will have even more tools to do so with the recent passage of the statewide Whole Homes Repair Act, which provides unprecedented opportunities to save historic buildings and help low-income homeowners hold onto their properties. This program will explore the intersections of craft labor, historic preservation, and housing justice to discover how we can both preserve our city’s legacy of expert craftsmanship and attain housing for all.




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