Newsletter: 🍽️ Streetery Showdown / 🚇 Help Out with Blvd Subway Advocacy / 🏫 Support Student SEPTA Passes

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 274


Remember streeteries? After first proliferating during the peak of the pandemic as a safer alternative to indoor dining, they have been steadily going extinct. These dynamic public spaces which repurposed our streets for a more productive use than parking have shrank in number from more than 800 at their peak to only 13 today.

Councilmember Rue Landau is investigating the decline of streeteries and currently is calling for feedback from the public on outdoor dining. Take the survey and let her know what you think.

Read more about why streeteries have been disappearing in the Inquirer: Restaurants beg City Hall to fix the outdoor dining system after just 13 establishments get approved for ‘streetery’ licenses

Source: WHYY

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The proposed Roosevelt Blvd Subway would transform the lives of hundreds of thousands of Philadelphians by connecting the more than half a million people who live within a mile of the Roosevelt Blvd with the rest of the city with a single-seat ride from NE Philly to City Hall. You can learn more about the subway and why we support it here.

But in order to make this subway a reality, we need volunteers to help us keep up the fight and advocate for building the subway. All volunteers are welcome, and right now we are particularly looking for volunteers to help work on the website.

Those interested in volunteering can sign up here. Make sure to check the box labeled "5th Square Transit Committee" if you want to volunteer to help out with Blvd Subway advocacy.


Currently, students in the School District of Philadelphia can't get a free SEPTA school pass if they live within 1.5 miles of their school.

A concerned student set up a petition calling for free SEPTA passes for all students. The student argues that even those students who live within 1.5 miles of their school still need to take SEPTA to get to extra-curricular activities around the city, but they have to pay for their own fares which imposes an unfair financial burden on those who happen to live near their school.

While low-income families have to pay their own students' SEPTA fares, SDP is subsidizing driving by paying parents $300 a month to drive their children to school.

Sign the petition and call for free fares.


Mail-in ballots have been arriving and the election is coming up soon on April 23rd so we want to help you be prepared. This election, we are endorsing the following candidates:

  • Nikil Saval for the 1st Senate District
  • Cass Green for the 10th House District
  • Marylouise Isaacson for the 175th House District
  • Joe Hohenstein for the 177th House District
  • Malcolm Kenyatta for the 181st House District
  • Ben Waxman for the 182nd House District
  • Elizabeth Fiedler for the 184th House District
  • Tarik Khan for the 194th House District
  • Andre Carroll for the 201st House District

We decided to endorse these candidates after our members overwhelmingly voted to support them. You can find more details about these candidates by visiting our 2024 Election Center.

5th Square's Steering Committee is also recommending voting "NO" on Question 1. See our 2024 Election Center for more information on this issue.


🚲 Withdraw the Bike Lane Parking Permits on Spruce and Pine Streets

Ever used the bike lanes on Spruce and Pine Streets on a weekend? You might have noticed that the bike lanes turn into a parking lot due to an arrangement the city has with nearby houses of worship to allow parking in the bike lane. This practice creates a dangerous situation for those using the bike lane, and it may even be illegal. Join Philly Bike Action in signing their petition and calling to end this dangerous practice.

⛲ Fairmount Park Centennial Subdistrict Design Plan Survey

Philadelphia Parks and Recreation is redesigning the Centennial District of Fairmount Park and is looking for feedback. The survey proposes several plans with different road designs and a reduction in road miles through the park, so respond to the survey to indicate your support for the plans which deemphasize the role of cars in Fairmount Park and reorient it as a space for humans.

🗳️ Register to Vote

Planning to vote in the upcoming primary election? You can register to vote here and then you can request an absentee or mail-in ballot. To vote in the primary, you must register by this Monday, April 8th.

🚌 Support SEPTA Bus Revolution

Buses are a vital lifeline for getting folks around Philly, with many neighborhoods completely reliant on this service being fast, frequent, and reliable. SEPTA’s Bus Revolution would make buses more useful for more people by redesigning its entire bus network which would result in over a million more people gaining access to frequent bus routes.

Learn more about why we support Bus Revolution and sign our petition in support.

💸 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.


Ghost Bike Placing for Mario D’Adamo III Esq.
April 13, 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm | FDR Park
Mario D’Adamo III Esq. was struck and killed while riding his bike in FDR Park in August of 2023. Families for Safe Streets Greater Philadelphia, Friends of FDR Park, and the family of Mario will be hosting an event in honor of what would have been Mario’s 38th Birthday and to place a ghost bike for Mario at the crash site.

Philly Bike Action District 1 Meeting
April 22, 7-9:00PM | Old Pine Community Center, 401 Lombard St
Join PBA to discuss the 3rd street bike lane, bike lane parking on Spruce and Pine, and a new proposal for a bike lane on Locust Street (repaving in 2025).

Trails Day At Cobbs Creek Park
April 27th, 8am-2pm | Cobbs Creek Pkwy and Thomas Ave
Join Clean Air Council and Fairmount Park Conservancy for the fifth annual Celebrate Trails Day along Cobbs Creek Trail for a day filled with free activities including horseback riding, a birding walk, plant identification workshop, and raffle.

2024 Temple University Bike Tour
Sunday, April 28, 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM | Temple Diamond lot
Hosted by Temple University Ambler, the Temple University Office of Sustainability and the Temple University Office of the Provost, the scenic tour will begin at the Temple University Athletic Field in Philadelphia and end at the Ambler Arboretum of Temple University.

Take the Lane 2024
Thursday, May 2, 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM | Center for DesignPhiladelphia
On May 2, StreetBoxPHL, the Community Design Collaborative, and other advocates will high-light three new public space proposals, and three new policy proposals that will bring equity and innovation to city streets.

Ride of Silence
Wednesday, May 15; Details TBD
A ride to honor the cyclists killed or injured by motorists in and around Philadelphia. This ride happens rain or shine.

Bikeout: Philly to Schwenksville
May 25 - May 26 | Philadelphia Museum of Art
A celebration of Philadelphia's beautiful trails, this ride will travel from the Museum of Art along scenic waterways to a summer camp in Montgomery County.







Philadelphia Parking Authority

Philadelphia Corporation for Aging / Quality Improvement Analyst

Delaware River Port Authority / Project Manager, Finance

City of Philadelphia

Alliance for Watershed Education

University of Pennsylvania, Housing Initiative at Penn / Senior Research Associate / Analyst

District Attorney’s Transparency Analytics (DATA) Lab / Senior Data Analyst

Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation / Director, Multi-Family Development

Asian Pacific Islander Political Alliance



2024 Mpact Transit + Community Conference Call for Speakers

The Mpact Transit + Community Conference focuses on the interplay of transit, mobility, land use and development in building great places to live - for everyone and they are putting out a call for speakers. Add your voice and help shape the vision for transit-oriented communities. Closes March 29.

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

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