Newsletter: ✨ 5th Square Meetup THURSDAY / 🖤 Ride of Silence TOMORROW / 🚨 Proposed Vision Zero Funding Cut

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 279


Join 5th Square organizers and volunteers for an informal, in-person meet-up over at Resurrection Philadelphia’s Annex this Thursday, May 16th at 6PM! This is an indoor/outdoor, family-friendly event and light refreshments and pizza will be served.

We will be joined by Councilmember Rue Landau and other guests.

Want to support our efforts to host events for you to meet other urbanists? Become a 5th Square member for as little as $5 per month.

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


Each year Philadelphia's bicyclists come together to remember and honor those who were killed or injured by motorists with a ride around the city in complete silence.

Join them tomorrow, Wednesday May 15th at 6:45 PM for an 8-mile ride starting on the north side of City Hall. RSVP here.

It might be rainy tomorrow, but this ride will happen rain or shine.


At a time when traffic deaths remain significantly higher than pre-pandemic levels, the Parker administration is proposing a substantial cut to Vision Zero funding.

Parker's budget would cut Vision Zero funding from the Kenney administration's $15 million over six years to just $9 million, a 40% reduction.

Read more about it in the Inquirer, where 5th Square organizer Will Tung was quoted.

“If we’re serious about reaching the goal of zero roadway deaths, we need more road diets so cars have less room to speed. We need more daylighting at intersections so that drivers can see pedestrians, and we need a full network of protected bike lanes,” Will Tung, a member of the urbanist group 5th Square, testified at a recent Council hearing.

What can you do to stop a VZ budget cut? Mayor Parker is holding a series of town hall meetings for community input on her budget. If you don't want to see reduced funding for Vision Zero, you can show up to a meeting and let Mayor Parker know that safe streets are a priority for you.

Find a town hall meeting near you here.


Can we make it easier to design more liveable apartments while also reducing the cost to build them with just a small change to building codes?

Single-stair advocates will say yes. A growing movement of architects and planners are pushing for limited changes to multiple egress requirements which would re-legalize a single means of egress for certain fire-resistant buildings.

Read more about the proposal and how it could help housing affordability in Architectural RecordExit Strategy: The Case for Single-Stair Egress


A growing coalition of groups, including 5th Square, are putting their support behind the proposed temporary relocation of Philadelphia's intercity bus terminal to a parking garage on 2nd Street in Old City.

Read more in the Inquirer's article which quotes 5th Square organizer Micah Fiedler.

Leaders of the group say that Old City site has major advantages over Spring Garden Street, with comfort for passengers. It also would temporarily resolve a city embarrassment.

“This does represent a meaningful, serious improvement,” Micah Fiedler of 5th Square urbanist group, an organizer of the coalition, said in an interview. “We’re even hoping for water fountains.”


There are two upcoming meetings hosted by SEPTA this month that we need volunteers to show up for and testify:

May 22, 10am and 4pm: SEPTA FY2025 Capital Budget Public Hearing

May 23, 3pm: SEPTA Board Meeting - May 2024

At SEPTA's capital budget hearings, they will be making big decisions about how to allocate their capital budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

At SEPTA's May board meeting, the board will be taking a final yes/no vote on Bus Revolution.

RSVP and we can help you with your testimony.


🐟 Fishtown Neighborhood Bikeways Survey

OTIS is soliciting feedback on their project to identify several neighborhood streets for bikeways in Fishtown. Read more and fill out their survey.

✍️ Historic District Petitions

5th Square opposes the proposed historic districts in Washington Square West and Spruce Hill because we believe they will raise rents by restricting the development of new housing as well as increase costs for existing homeowners by making home repairs more complicated, expensive, and time-intensive. We are instead calling to preserve historically significant buildings with individual historic designations. Learn more and sign the petitions:

Several parking lots in Washington Square West that would be protected as "contributing" properties by the proposed historic district

🏫 Support Student SEPTA Passes

The School District of Philadelphia gives SEPTA passes to certain students if they live far enough away from their school. A student concerned that this places an unfair financial burden on some families has set up a petition to call for free SEPTA passes for all students regardless of where they live. Sign the petition here.

🚲 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.

🚌 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.


5th Square May Meetup
May 16, 2024 at 6:00pm – 8pm | 401 S 42nd St
Join 5th Square organizers and volunteers for an informal, indoor/outdoor, family-friendly meet-up with light refreshments and pizza. We will be joined by Councilmember Rue Landau and other guests.

Ride of Silence
Wednesday, May 15, 6:45 | North Side of City Hall
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.

BikeJC Jersey City Ward Tour
June 2nd, 11am rollout | Jersey City
The Jersey City Ward Tour is Bike JC's largest event, with 3,000 cyclists taking a 15 mile ride through all of Jersey City's wards.








Philadelphia Housing Development Corp.

Transit App / Growth, SEO & ASO

East Passyunk Avenue Business Improvement District / Executive Director

Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia

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

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