Newsletter: ⚖️ Streets Dept Reorganization / 🧊 Philly Phreeze 2024 / 🚘 Expanded Traffic Calming Eligibility

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 265


Mayor Parker just announced that she will split the Streets Department into two separate departments.

We applaud Mayor Parker for this move which fulfills a long-standing ask of ours to separate sanitation and transportation operations. Here's what 5th Square Chair Steph Davis has to say about the move:

"For far too long, Philadelphia has combined transportation operations with sanitation in the Streets Department. Consequently, transportation priorities are subsumed by the larger sanitation operations in terms of budget and staffing.

“With the Mayor’s announcement and appointment today of separate streets and sanitation commissioners, we are hopeful that this means a shift in how City government approaches our streets.


"We look forward to working with, and holding accountable, Streets Commissioner Kristin Del Rossi in achieving these goals together.”

-Steph Davis, 5th Square Chair

See our full statement here.

Want to help 5th Square hold the new Streets Department accountable? 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


5th Square is supporting the “Philly Phreeze” fundraiser to get the largest public pool system in America open again this summer for Philadelphians. Our donation will help Parks and Rec to retain and hire new lifeguards to keep these lifesaving public spaces open.

5th Square will match your donation here dollar-for-dollar up $2,500!

  • Donations $60 and above will earn 5th Square membership for 12 months, including access to vote on this year's endorsements.

  • The first 10 people who donate over $100 are invited to join us in jumping into a phreezing Kelly Pool on Saturday, February 24th!


The City has recently announced an update to the process for requesting traffic calming in your neighborhood which expands eligibility to cover more streets. If your street was previously ineligible, it may now be a traffic calming candidate under the new criteria.

Now eligible are shorter blocks (400 feet between intersections, down from the previous requirement of 1000 feet) and narrow neighborhood arterial streets.

You can find a map of eligible streets and submit your own request for traffic calming here.


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


💸 Support SEPTA Funding

Governor Shapiro has announced that he plans to direct $282 million in sales tax revenue to SEPTA and other PA transit agencies. This will cover a significant portion of SEPTA's deficit, but we must keep up the fight ensure Governor Shapiro's proposed funding comes through and to find an additional funding source to cover the remaining deficit.

You can help by signing this petition, and reaching out to elected officials.

🛣️ Stop I-95 Expansion

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.


Governing: With Public Transit on the Brink, Some States Prepare to Boost Funding

Advocates have pushed Gov. Shapiro to commit to helping the system avoid cuts. Earlier this week, Shapiro announced a plan to increase the share of the state sales tax that is dedicated to transit, estimating a $282 million increase in funding for state transit systems next year. SEPTA has recovered about 72 percent of bus riders — and only about 55 percent of subway and regional rail riders — since before the pandemic. Shapiro’s proposal would help SEPTA navigate an estimated $240 million annual budget shortfall.

“We’re excited to stay alive to fight another day,” says Steph Davis, chair of the Philadelphia-based urbanist group 5th Square, which advocates for greater transit funding as part of a statewide coalition.

Metro Philadelphia: Mayor Parker appoints 5 women to new leadership roles

5th Square, an urbanist political action committee that supports safer streets for pedestrians and cyclists, celebrated Parker’s decision to split Streets. The PAC’s chair Steph Davis said in a statement that transportation issues had been “subsumed by the larger sanitation operations in terms of budget and staffing.”

“We are hopeful that this means a shift in how city government approaches our streets,” Davis added.


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.








City of Philadelphia / City Planner 2 (Urban Design)

Riverfront North / Project Director

Philadelphia Parking Authority / PEO Bike Patrol

Parking Reform Network / Policy Director

NV5 / Civil/ Transportation Engineer

Indego Bike Share / Bicycle Mechanic


Clean Air Council



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

South Asian American Digital Archive

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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