Newsletter: 💸 SEPTA Funding Progress / 🏠 76 Homes or 11 Duplexes with Parking? / 🔍 Investigating the Rise in Traffic Collisions

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 264


Good news! Governor Shapiro has announced that he plans to direct $282 million in sales tax revenue to SEPTA and other PA transit agencies.

If all goes as planned, this will cover a significant portion of SEPTA's deficit and while it's a great start, the fight isn't over yet. Without an additional funding source, SEPTA and will still have to cut service and raise fares.

The Inquirer's editorial board suggests this additional funding could be raised locally:

"As SEPTA often points out, virtually every other major transit system in the country benefits from significantly more support from local and regional governments than it receives. Currently, SEPTA garners about $17 per resident, while other agencies average $70."

Gov. Shapiro gets it right with his public transit funding push. But more is needed. | Editorial

So how can you help? A coalition of neighbors in Northwest Philly have created a petition you can sign to pressure our elected officials to fully fund SEPTA.

Transit for All PA has also put together a tool you can use to easily write to legislators in support of Governor Shapiro's proposal.


Remember the infamous "poop building"? What was originally supposed to be a transit-oriented, 76-unit apartment building with 20% below market units is now slated to be 11 duplexes with parking.

How did this happen? Well, it's a long and rather odd story. Get up-to-date with this piece from the Inquirer:

Duplexes are now planned at West Philly site dubbed the ‘poop building’ by social media - Jake Blumgart

Source: The Inquirer


A recent City Council resolution introduced by Councilman Thomas has authorized a series of hearings aimed at investigating Philadelphia's tragic increase in traffic deaths and finding ways to make our streets safer. 

We look forward to these hearings and hope to see City Council making progress towards stopping preventable traffic deaths and saving lives.


PennDOT is planning to expand I-95 in Center City and South Philly by adding lanes and new ramps. This will threaten the well-being of our neighborhoods by worsening air quality, increasing noise pollution, and harming our access to the waterfront.

Join us in telling PennDOT that highway expansion has no place in the core of Philadelphia by signing our petition.

If you want to do more to help us push back against PennDOT's plans, you can become a 5th Square member today for $5 a month to support our advocacy efforts.

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


The University of Pennsylvania, with 5th Square as a partner, will be hosting its 2024 Future of Cities Conference on February 9th.

With the theme Embedded Environments, the conference will investigate the multifaceted implications of the internet of things, artificial intelligence, and other urban technologies on our natural and built environments.


DVRPC E-Micromobility Summit
February 8, 9:30 AM to 1:00 PM, 190 N. Independence Mall West
The use of e-bikes, e-scooters, and other e-micromobility devices has surged in recent years. The summit will explore evolving trends and address relevant questions about the safe integration of these electrified modes, equity, and accessibility.

Wharton - Weitzman Future of Cities Conference 2024
February 9 · 8am EST, 20 S 33rd Street
The Wharton-Weitzman Future of Cities Conference at the University of Pennsylvania is a premiere platform that brings together those who want to make cities better. With the theme Embedded Environments, our 2024 conference will investigate the multifaceted implications of the internet of things, artificial intelligence, and other urban technologies on our natural and built environments. 

NightCycle Lunar New Year's Eve Ride
February 9, 8:00 PM; Art Museum Steps

Transit Equity Day Outing
Sat, Feb 10, 2024; 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM, 1755 N 13th St
Celebrate Transit Equity! Join partners of Transit Forward Philly for an outing that will highlight a public transit route to a beloved green space in the city.

Philly Bike Action Lunar New Year Ride
February 10, 12:45 PM, 225 N 10th St
All ages and abilities welcome. All wheels welcome (bikes, scooters, skateboards, etc.). 3 miles.

2024 Philly Bike Expo
March 16-17th, Convention Center
The Philly Bike Expo is an annual weekend-long event featuring exhibitors, seminars, presentations and events representing the spectrum of cycling.






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

Indego Community Ambassadors
The City of Philadelphia’s Office of Transportation, Infrastructure, and Sustainability, in partnership with Indego, is currently seeking passionate individuals to join as Community Ambassadors. This initiative serves as a powerful bridge, connecting diverse communities in Philadelphia to the benefits of bike share. Apply by February 2


Amtrak / Rail System Planner - Philadelphia

East Coast Greenway Alliance

Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia / Better Bike Share Partnership Educator

WHYY / Editor/Director, Billy Penn

New Kensington Community Development Corporation


East Coast Greenway Alliance / New Jersey and New York Greenway Manager

Clean Air Council / Transportation Outreach Coordinator

Delaware River Port Authority / Director, Revenue & Treasury


Fleisher Art Memorial / Deputy Director

Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition / Executive Director

South Asian American Digital Archive

Baker Industries / President

Philadelphia City Fund / Partnerships Manager

CRC Watersheds / Director of Giving and Outreach

Delaware Greenways / Trail Project Coordinator

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. 

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