Newsletter: 🎄 Holiday Party Tomorrow / 🏆 Urbanist Award Winners / 🚇 Blvd Subway Meeting Thursday

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 258


Join 5th Square members and friends for our annual Holiday Party + Urbanist Awards Ceremony at Resurrection Philadelphia, 42nd & Pine Streets on TOMORROW Wednesday, December 13th at 7 PM!

Come celebrate with other Philadelphia built environment activists, neighborhood and community leaders, architects, planners, builders, and sustainability advocates at the urbanist holiday party of the season!

Drinks and light fare will be served. Tickets are $30 purchased online ($40 at the door).


We are proud to announce the winners of our 2023 urbanist awards:

  • 🎖️ Urbanist Lifetime Achievement Award - Sarah Clark Stuart, Executive Director, Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia

  • 🚍 Urbanist Changemaker of the Year - Jay Arzu, Roosevelt Boulevard Subway Organizer and Ph.D. candidate in the Department of City & Regional Planning, University of Pennsylvania

  • 🏛️ Public Servant of the Year - Jacob Golden, Legislative Director for Councilmember Driscoll

  • 🚲 Neighborhood RCO Champion - Anne Dicker, West Mount Airy Neighbors Association Traffic Calming Committee

  • 🏙️ Best Development of the Year - 1604-1616 Page St., Habitat for Humanity

  • 📰 Urbanist Media Champion - Asia Mieleszko, Strong Towns Staff Writer

  • 🏆 5th Square Volunteer of the Year - Russell Richie

Congrats to the winners! Join us tomorrow at our holiday party to honor the winners in person.


PennDOT, in collaboration with the City of Philadelphia and SEPTA, is hosting an Open House on Roosevelt Boulevard this Thursday. PennDOT representatives will be discussing interim improvements and selecting transportation alternatives for Roosevelt Boulevard.


Thursday, December 14 at 6:00 PM
Route for Change - Roosevelt Blvd Public Open House #2
Lenfest Center, 3890 N 10th St, Philadelphia, PA 19140
[Add to Google Calendar]

We will be giving out free pins at this meeting to subway supporters.

Rep. Jared Solomon sporting one of our Blvd Subway pins. Show up to Thursday's meeting to get your own pin!

We also have a limited quantity of Blvd Subway hoodies! Pick one up for $50 with free shipping.

Or become a 5th Square member today for $5 a month and get a free Blvd Subway T-Shirt!

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


This Friday, StreetBoxPHL, with 5th Square as a presenting partner, will be hosting the next session of the monthly Right-of-Way Roundtable Series.

Tune in to the virtual roundtable this Friday to learn about how Philadelphia can take inspiration from other cities around the world.


Philadelphia has begun to turn the tide against speeding-related crashes thanks to the Automated Speed Enforcement (ASE) program on Roosevelt Boulevard.  But here's the deal – these life-saving speed cameras are set to expire Dec 18th, and we need your help to keep them on!

We need you to reach out to state senators to help us keep our life-saving speed cameras.

  • Demand: Support House Bill 1284 with no expiration and expanded speed cameras.

  • Remind: Lives are at stake – we can't afford to lose this crucial program!

Options to Contact:

Greyhound, Megabus passengers with disabilities were an ‘afterthought’ at new Spring Garden terminal, advocates say

5th Square organizer Micah Fiedler is quoted in the Inquirer's article on the accessibility issues with the new boarding area for intercity bus companies:

“It’s honestly ridiculous,” said Micah Fiedler, coauthor of the accessibility review and a public transportation advocate with the urbanist group 5th Square. He said the underlying issue is a long failure to plan for and establish a convenient bus station located at a transit hub.

“There should be a modern city bus terminal, funded by taxpayer money,” Fiedler said, noting stations in Boston, New York, and Washington that also receive usage fees from bus companies. “The city of Philadelphia seems content existing in limbo.”

He and others believe the logical place is 30th Street Station. Indeed, Amtrak’s plan for renovations calls for a permanent intercity bus depot connected to the station, but that prospect is some years away.


5th Square Holiday Party + Urbanist Awards Ceremony
December 13, 2023 at 7:00pm – 9pm, 401 S 42nd St
Join 5th Square members and friends for our annual Holiday Party + Urbanist Awards Ceremony at Resurrection Philadelphia. 5th Square will be presenting awards to members of our community for their outstanding contributions to Philadelphia’s urbanist movement.

Bicycle Coalition Holiday Lights Ride 2023
December 13, 7:00PM - 9:00PM
It's time to dust off your bike decorations, bundle up and ride with us on our Annual Holiday Lights Ride! This ride is family-friendly and free to attend but an RSVP is required so we can plan our rollout & ride buddies accordingly!

Design Advocacy Group: Unlocking the Benjamin Franklin Parkway's Potential as a Great Urban Park
Thursday, December 14 · 10 - 11:30am EST, Virtual
Building on the ideas of 2013's More Park, Less Way plan, the current planning process for the Parkway seeks to unlock the Parkway's potential as a great urban park for all by removing excess pavement, connecting fragmented green spaces, and layering on new landscaping and amenities.

Roosevelt Blvd Route For Change Open House #2 - Lenfest Center
December 14, 2023 at 6:00pm – 8pm, 3890 N 10th St
PennDOT, in collaboration with the City of Philadelphia and SEPTA, is hosting an Open House on Roosevelt Boulevard. PennDOT representatives will be discussing interim improvements and selecting transportation alternatives for Roosevelt Boulevard. Join us to convince PennDOT to move forward with the Blvd Subway.

StreetBoxPHL Right of Way Roundtable Series
Friday, December 15 · 12 - 1pm EST, Virtual
We will talk about the Do's and Do Mores of Street Design and discuss Inspirational Designs from Around the US with Paul Supawanich.


Save Philly's Speed Cameras
The Automated Speed Enforcement (ASE) program cameras on Roosevelt Boulevard have saved lives by reducing excessive speeds, which cause fatal and serious injury crashes. However, speed cameras are set to expire at the end of 2023. Speed cameras should be renewed and expanded to additional corridors in the city. Reach out to your elected officials!

Bicycle Coalition: Legislation Needed Now to Save Lives of Pedestrians and Bicyclists!
2023 is a terrible year to be a bicyclist in Philadelphia. So far, 10 persons have been killed while riding their bicycle on city streets, the greatest number ever recorded. There are two pieces of legislation in Harrisburg that would allow automated speed enforcement and parking protected bike lanes. Please send a message to your state senator to ask that they prioritize passing two bills in 2023 to protect the lives of vulnerable road users.

The DVRPC is asking for feedback on its vision for Greater Philadelphia in 2050. Tell the DVRPC what they should prioritize over the next 30 years. Let them know if you think Philadelphia should have a new subway line by then. Bicycle Coalition's recommended responses here. Survey closes December 15th.

Support SEPTA Funding
SEPTA is facing an urgent fiscal cliff which may see drastic service cuts and higher fares. Fortunately, the Pennsylvania House passed HB 1219 which would increase the portion of sales tax that is allocated to public transit funding without increasing the tax itself. This bill still needs to pass the State Senate, so contact you legislator to ensure SEPTA gets the funding it needs!








Community Spark Grants
In 2024, the League’s Bicycle Friendly America program will award Community Spark Grants, of $1,500 each, to 15 organizations for projects and programs that spark change and catalyze a community’s ability to create places where bicycling is a safe, easy, and more accessible option. Deadline February 1, 2024 at 5pm ET

DVRPC Public Participation Task Force Application
The Public Participation Task Force membership provides ongoing opportunities for interested residents of DVRPC’s nine-county region to learn more about the regional planning and decision-making process from DVRPC staff and to share their thoughts on how DVRPC can improve its engagement process. Applications are accepted year-round and reviewed annually in December/January. Applications for the 2024 cohort are open through December 16, 2023


Queen Village Neighbors Association / Executive Director


City of Philadelphia

Philadelphia Housing Development Corp

Mayor-Elect Cherelle Parker's Office / Open Application

Councilmember-Elect Nicolas O'Rourke's Office / Open Application

Councilmember Gauthier's Office / Director of Legislation and Policy


Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) / Director, LandCare

Community Design Collaborative / Program Manager

WHYY / Transportation Reporter

The Philadelphia Citizen / Staff Writer

5th Square is Philadelphia's urbanist political action committee.

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