Newsletter: 🍻 Catch Up with the Candidates! 📅 Plus, tons of events!

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 223


The second of our two candidate meet & greet events is THIS Thursday at 6:30 PM, at Attic Brewing in Germantown.

We will be joined by candidates for Mayor and City Council. This will be a great opportunity to come and get to know the candidates and start conversations around roadway safety, public space, public transit and housing.

Our membership is deciding our endorsements THIS WEEK via straw poll. JOIN TODAY to be part of this process by becoming a member for only $5 / month!

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

If you missed the previous meet and greet in Old City, check out the video on YouTube!

More than twenty-six candidates answered our questionnaire discussing roadway safety, public space, transportation and housing for Philadelphia!


Feet First Philly is holding a virtual roundtable discussion on March 23rd at 6:00 PM about the candidates running for mayor, moderated by Jennifer Dougherty. 5th Square co-chair Dena Driscoll will be joining in the discussion along with Nicole Brunet of Bicycle Coalition and Tom Fitzgerald of the Inquirer. Register here.

Riverwards Area Democrats has an event on March 8th at 7:00 PM for the councilmember election called Candidate Friendzy, which is a little like candidate speed-dating. You'll get the chance for a short chat in a small group with each City Council candidate. It's in person at Indy Hall Clubhouse (709 N 2nd St). Registration is free, and $10 gets you drinks.


In the past week, we've seen movement towards our 2023 issue platform asks from several facets of city government!

We see major steps towards transit equity and increased SEPTA funding through the Kenney Administration's latest budget proposal - closing the gap on our first two transit asks!

  • Establishment of a low-income fare program, providing city funding for free rides for 25,000 residents living in poverty.

  • Enrolling city employees into SEPTA Key advantage, using city funds to provide municipal workers access to public transportation.

This comes on the heels of our latest op-ed asking for these innovative solutions to closing the transit funding gap for our region!

In fighting dangerous illegal parking practices and disability rights, we have seen a renewed commitment from the PPA under a new executive director:

In the realm of improved civic space, Ten library branches are now open from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM on Saturdays!

Those are: Cecil B. Moore Library, Charles Santore Library (Queen Village), Eastwick Library, Fox Chase Library, Greater Olney Library, Haverford Library, Kensington Library, Nicetown-Tioga Library, Tacony Library, and Walnut Street West Library (Spruce Hill).

The more you use the library, the easier it is to secure funding and prove how vital the library is. Get a book for some under-a-tree reading, have a cute library date, or rotate through each library every Saturday with your friends! Libraries also have CDs and DVDs, events, computer labs, and really helpful librarians. (Say hi!)

Read more on the Free Library blog post.


Jay Arzu, 5th Square member and Roosevelt Blvd Subway advocate, wrote an opinion piece for WHYY last week. He talks about how politicians have picked up the subway as part of their platform and how public opinion is crucial for the success of the upcoming Route for Change study. He lays out a great vision for how Philadelphia would benefit from a new rail line.

Proposed rail network by Martha Connell and Jay Arzu

"The answer is clear: A subway is needed on Roosevelt Boulevard and would be the catalyst for transforming the boulevard of death into the boulevard of life." (Read more...)


The Philadelphia Inquirer had a nice photo essay of the Philly Phreeze event that generated $65,000 for the Parks and Recs lifeguard program. We want to thank everyone that donated, and a special thanks to our participants for getting frozen for a good cause! It's still not too late to donate BTW!

Member Bill McKenna (by Tyger Williams for the Inquirer)


Urban Strategy in the Present Tense ft. Jasmine Sessoms and Harris Steinberg

Tuesday, March 7 at 04:00 PM (via Zoom)

Philly Full Moon Ride: The Worm Moon

Tuesday, March 7th, at 8:30 PM EST
Rocky Steps (Art Museum steps facing Eakins Oval)

Building Momentum for Youth Biking: Bike Buses, Bike Trains, and Bike & Roll to School Day

Wednesday, Mar 8th at 1:00 PM (via Zoom)

ULI Philadelphia: Parking Wars

Thursday, March 9th from 8:30 AM - 10:30 AM EST
Center for Architecture + Design (1218 Arch St)
Tickets range from $30 to $80.

Framing The Future of The Roundhouse

Thursday, March 9th @ 10am (via Zoom)

Chester Valley Trail Extension Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony

Monday, March 13, 2023, at 11 a.m.
167 King of Prussia Road, King of Prussia, PA 19406

BUILDPhilly Mayoral Forum

Tuesday, March 14 from 8:00 AM — 10:30 AM EST
Kimmel Center (300 S Broad St)

Philadelphia Refinery Public Meeting

Tuesday, March 14th from 6 to 8 PM (via Zoom)

TransportationCamp PHL 2023

Saturday, March 18th from 9am to 5:30pm
Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building @ Drexel University (3245 Chestnut Street)

Waking Up from Winter Pajama Party (Bike Ride)

Saturday, March 25th at 8pm
Rocky Steps (at the Art Museum)

Vision Zero Conference 2023

Friday, March 31st from 9:00am to 3:30pm.
Temple University Student Center South (1755 N 13th St)

Join Bicycle Coalition for the 2023 Vision Zero Conference focusing on approaches to Vision Zero that help move toward an equitable future. The conference will be followed at 4:00pm by the 2023 Better Mobility Mayoral Forum, where the Philadelphia mayoral candidates will have an opportunity to speak about their views on sustainable mobility and Vision Zero. Daniel Pearson, Inquirer Editorial Writer, will moderate the discussion. Tickets are on sale now, ranging in price from $20-$95.

2023 Code for Philly Launchpad - Creating Projects to Support Philadelphia

Multi-day in person event from March 31st to May 10th

The Launchpad is for anyone interested in supporting local "third places" or interested in participating in making positive change in Philadelphia in general. In our opening weekend, we'll be brainstorming ideas for projects on Friday 3/31 and forming project teams on Saturday 4/1. Advanced tech skills not required! We welcome newbies, career changers, and anyone with an interest in tech. More info here

CycleScenePHL: Welcome Planners


Saturday April 1st at 11am
Meet at the paintbrush sculpture across from the Convention Center (Broad and Cherry)

Lower Merion Township Planner Chris Leswing, instrumental in the lighting of the Manayunk Bridge and a major force in developing the Cynwood Heritage Trail into what we know it as today, is inviting municipal planners from around the country to ride their bikes in Philadelphia and a little beyond. Let’s join them, show off our city, and celebrate our scene! Route features include: the SRT, the Manayunk Bridge, the Cynwood Heritage Trail, Laurel Hill Cemetery West, and a happy hour near the Pencoyd Bridge.


  • Did You Operate a Streetery between 2020 and 2022? Take this survey! A Temple University Graduate Planning Studio is studying the economic and equity impacts of Philadelphia's Streetery Program. If you have, or still do, operate(d) a Streetery in Philadelphia, please fill out the survey by March 10th.

  • Philly Streetlight Improvement Survey - We highly suggest that the new LED lights be warmer in temperature and less bright. Pick Option B, Warm White.



CNBC / Black real estate developers get rare access to big capital through Philadelphia program

Philadelphia Tribune / A senior-specific PHA high-rise gives spectacular Philly views and a chance to age in place

Noahpinion (Substack blog) / Everything you think you know about homelessness is wrong


Billy Penn / Philadelphia Rebuild program cuts goal in half for parks, rec centers

NBC10 Philadelphia / PennDOT Begins Construction on Park at Penn's Landing

Philadelphia Business Journal / Construction to begin capping I-95, creating Penn’s Landing Park

BBC News / US Disability rights activist Judy Heumann dies aged 75

Philadelphia Inquirer / Philly is getting better streetlights, free WiFi, and more. Officials say it’s all part of budgeting for racial equity.


Counties, municipalities and municipal agencies, pre-qualified land trusts, nonprofits and other eligible organizations can apply now for state conservation, recreation, trail and related grants. Administered by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Community Conservation Partnerships Program (C2P2) is funded with a variety of state and federal funding sources including Pennsylvania’s natural gas Impact Fee. Applications will be accepted through April 5. Online tutorials are available on YouTube to aid organizations in the application process.

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