Newsletter: 🚘 I-95 Carmageddon Never Came / 🤝 Meetup Next Week / 🚇 Blvd Subway News

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 238

🤝 Meetup Next Week

Join 5th Square organizers and volunteers for an informal, in-person meet-up

Resurrection Philadelphia’s Annex
401 S 42nd St - West Philly
NEXT Thursday, July 6th at 6 PM


At this meetup, we welcome Nissim Leibovits, a Master's student in city planning at the University of Pennsylvania, who is using data to foster civic engagement and build more sustainable, inclusive cities. Most recently, he published an online mapping tool for residents to identify priority vacant lots for greening to reduce gun crime in our city.

🚘🚘🚘 I-95 Carmageddon Never Came

After the collapse of a section of I-95, many were predicting a summer of traffic nightmares... Carmageddon! However, in assessments by multiple / news / outlets, it never came! Why?

Monica Herndon / The Philadelphia Inquirer

Because our extremely overbuilt highway system create an induced demand for traffic. As City Observatory notes:

The lesson here is that traffic is not an inalterable and irreducible quantity dictated by nature, its actually very dynamic and elastic. People readily change their travel behavior in response to the availability of road capacity.

The repeated failure of these predicted “carmageddons” to ever occur is powerful evidence that the key tenet of highway planning is fundamentally flawed.... Widening roads in an effort to reduce congestion isn’t simply futile, its counterproductive. More capacity generates more travel, more sprawl, more pollution, and ultimately more congestion. It’s time to get off this treadmill.

"If you build it, they will come" is true with transportation infrastructure, and it's time we invest in alternatives to car travel for the sake of roadway safety, for our environment, and for equity.

🅿️ Conshohocken Doesn't Need More Parking

Showing up at last week's SEPTA board meeting were officials from Conshohocken Borough Council to scold SEPTA's reconsideration of it's multi-million dollar parking garage project for Conshohocken train station.

Conshohocken Council President Colleen Leonard went on to say, "The borough will not engage in any discussion regarding zoning amendments or variances that SEPTA would need to develop the property for multifamily residential in a future joint development scenario... The borough cannot sustain additional multifamily development in that area."

A parking deck would be an enormous waste of precious transit funding to subsidize suburban car ownership. What actually grows ridership is dense, walkable destinations -- a sprawling parking deck is antithetical to this.

Local blog, has a great editorial on this issue with reaction to the testimony.

We applaud SEPTA pausing this project and hope that they can come back with a plan to make this station an actual destination for people and not just cars.

5th Square in the News
🦺 DIY Urbanism

Asia Mieleszko of Strong Towns recently profiled 5th Square superstar member David Brindley in his unrelenting personal efforts to improve traffic safety through guerilla bike lanes.

You can meet David and other 5th Square organizers at our meetup next week!

🚇 Blvd Subway News

It's unanimous! All of Philadelphia City Council voted in support of hearings about a subway for Roosevelt Boulevard. This is a project that is a century overdue and is only more pressing in the wake of the recent collapse of I-95 which brought a renewed demand for transportation alternatives.

Check out these articles published in the last week:

The best way to stay cool this summer is to rock our "Build the Roosevelt Blvd Subway" CROP TOP -- now in stock!

Looking to buy the T-Shirt? Click Here!

You can help us make a walkable, transit-friendly city for everyone. Become a 5th Square member today for $5 a month. New Member signups get a free Blvd Subway T-Shirt!

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


5th Square Strava Group
Not a specific event, but 5th Square recently started a Strava Club. Join with other Philly urbanists in seeing how far you can take your cargo bike! Or record how far you can run when your bus or trolley is ghosting you.

Wednesday Night Rides // June 28 // Gardens Galore
For this week's ride, our first ride of summer, we'll be touring community gardens (including Emily St & Iglesias Gardens), and murals about food and water justice (like this one on Bodine High School) in South & North Philly.
Start: Hawthorne Park, 12th & Catherine
Time: Meet at 7pm, roll at 7:10pm
End: Love City Brewing, 10th & Hamilton

[PARK(ing) DAY] 2023 Info Session
Jun 28, 2023 12:15 PM on Zoom
The number of parks throughout Philadelphia increases dramatically each year on the third Friday in September, when activists, artists, architects, and other citizens transform metered parking spaces into temporary public parks. Known as PARKing) Day, this annual event re-imagines the possibilities of 160 square feet of public space.

THE ENGINE INSIDE | Philadelphia Premiere (84 min) Hosted by Bicycle Film Festival & Philly Bike Expo
Thursday, June 29, 7:00PM
401 South Broad Street Philadelphia, PA 19102
The new documentary feature film, "The Engine Inside" tells the stories of six everyday people from all over the globe, who reveal the unique power of the bicycle to change lives and build a better world.

Night Cycle Philadelphia - Two Bridges
FRIDAY, JUNE 30, 2023 AT 7:00 PM EDT
Penn Treaty Park
A bike ride into NJ and back into Philly via two bridges

Philly Bike Action! General Meeting
Monday, July 3rd, 2023 at 7PM
Schuylkill River Park (300 S 25th St, Philadelphia, PA)
In case of rain: Lubert Plaza (Corner of 10th and Locust street)
Philly Bike Action! is a newly found group specifically focused on improving bicycle infrastructure in the city of Philadelphia. The group is focused on community level involvement and active communication with elected officials. They host a variety of recurring meetings, events and rides. More information can be found at or by joining their Discord server:

Washington Square West Civic Association Bike Day
July 16th 10am-1pm
Kahn Park - 11th and Pine Streets, Philadelphia
Join the WSWCA and other organizations for a day that celebrates cycling. Washington Square West has 4 bike lanes that traverse our neighborhood, and we want everyone to feel confident that they can use them safely! RSVP on Facebook or EventBrite!







Norristown Walking and Biking Survey
There are so many ways to get around Norristown, but how can we make it better for walkers and bicyclists? Fill out this Norristown Mobility Survey at the attached link and tell us! You have a chance to win a $25 gift card for participating.

PennDOT District 6 Survey - Interstate 95 Girard Avenue Interchange Project Sections GR5 and GR6.
The project team is seeking feedback on potential designs of spaces under and adjacent to I-95 as a follow-up to information presented at recent Near Neighbors Meetings held in Northern Liberties and Old City. Meeting materials from these meetings can be found at The survey will be open to the community until June 30.


Play Everywhere Philly | Playground Grants
Play Everywhere Philly is a city-wide competition to create playful learning spaces that support child development and literacy skills in everyday locations across Philadelphia. Due 6/30.

On June 15, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released a notice of funding opportunity (NOFO) to build the evidence base to accelerate the adoption of innovative and effective practices and policies to increase the production and supply of quality, affordable housing.

Community Design Collaborative and StreetBoxPHL Request for Parklet and Ped Plaza Proposals
The Collaborative and StreetBoxPHL are partnering to support transforming streets into public spaces across Philadelphia. Community Based Organizations (CBO's) considering, or currently developing, Parklets, Pedestrian Plazas, or other interventions in the Right Of Way (ROW) to debut in 2024, and looking for design support are encouraged to fill out the form below by August 4th 2023 to participate in the ROW Steward Services Initiative:

StreetBoxPHL - Right Of Way Roundtable
Are you a BID manager, RCO Board Member, or are you the one on your block who organizes block clean ups, block parties, or other gatherings in the street? Join
StreetBoxPHL for the Right Of Way Roundtable (ROW Roundtable) a monthly on-line meeting this Fall 2023. If you take care of public spaces in city streets, or want to learn how to build them, sign up here.

StreetBoxPHL | Graduate Fellowship Opportunity 2023-2024
StreetBoxPHL (SBP) is seeking a highly-qualified (graduate) student Fellow to help launch its ROW Roundtable series, increase its communications and advocacy efforts, and support programmatic efforts to provide technical assistance to stewards of public spaces in the ROW, in collaboration with SBP’s partners. due 7/21

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