Newsletter: 5th Square Beach Day, Roosevelt Blvd Meetings, Volunteer for Philly Free Streets

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 86

All aboard the beach train! To celebrate the return of the Atlantic City Rail Line service between Philadelphia and Atlantic City, we booked a limited-number of discount train tickets for a family-friendly group trip to the beach this Sunday, June 9th.

Check out the itinerary at the link, and get your tickets while they last. Kids under 4 ride free. We'll be meeting at 30th Street Station at 8:15 am.

Then, next Thursday, June 13th, at 6:00 pm our monthly meet-up will be at Booker's in West Philly at 5021 Baltimore Ave. This month, we're excited to welcome special guest Jamie Gauthier, winner of the 3rd District City Council primary, who 5th Square supported in that race. Jamie will make brief remarks and we'll have some time for Q&A with attendees. 

This will be a casual social gathering, so if you've been meaning to check out one of our events or meetings but haven't made it out yet, this will be a good one to come to. Bring a friend!



Tuesday, June 4th, 6 - 8 pm
Garden Court Community Association - Good Shepherd Community Church Re-use
Garden Court Community Association is hosting a public meeting tonight to review a proposed adaptive re-use and new construction project at 314 S 46th Street, the Good Shepherd Community Church. The proposed project involves renovating the existing structure and building a new 3-story structure to accommodate a total of 32 residences. Neighbors and the ZBA should put historic preservation ahead of parking politics and make sure this gets approved.

Tuesday, June 4th, 7 - 8 pm
Fishtown Neighbors Association - Community Zoning Meeting
FNA's zoning committee will hear a proposal for a 9-unit, 45-foot mixed-use building on Frankford Ave to replace the former Furfari Pretzels building and two adjacant buildings. Additional density here is appropriate and can only help with more foot traffic for local businesses, so we're also hoping to see this approved. All residents and business owners in Fishtown are eligible to vote. Please bring proof of residence.

June 6th, June 11th, and June 12th, 6 - 8 pm
Roosevelt Blvd Route for Change - June Open Houses
Join a discussion about the long-term alternatives for Roosevelt Boulevard, along with ideas to create more walkable areas around key transit stations. This will focus on the proposed 2040 alternatives, which include game-changing possibilities like protected bike lanes, median bus rapid transit, and express lane burial at intersections to create a surface boulevard with only 6 lanes. We need your voice to advocate for the maximum scope of bike, transit, and pedestrian options!

Thursday, June 6th, 6 - 8 pm
Commercial Corridors and the Philadelphia Platform
How can state government do a better job of supporting Philadelphia's diverse commercial corridors? Philadelphia 3.0 is hosting a discussion with state Reps. Jared Solomon, Morgan Cephas, Pam DeLissio, and commercial corridor professionals Tempest Carter, Alex Balloon, and Andrea Hodge about the Philadelphia Platform—the Philadelphia delegation's policy agenda—and common goals for commercial corridors.


Jamie Gauthier's primary win over long-time incumbent Jannie Blackwell for the 3rd District City Council seat was the biggest upset of the past election, and has seen significant media attention. The Why has a great podcast covering the background on this race and why it's such a big deal. Two weeks after the election, the Inquirer is still analyzing this surprising upset and the demographic shifts that contributed to Gauthier's victory. 

After some quality investigative reporting by the Inquirer, Council President Darrell Clarke is changing his story on how a favored developer was able to obtain city-owned properties in North Philadelphia at well-below appraised value.  Initially, the Council President insisted he and his staff had no role in the pricing, however, after emails from his office were made public, Clarke has said he would discipline the staffer involved, aide Jeffrey Young. No word yet on what that means.


Is your SEPTA Key card expiring in July? The Inquirer writes about the hoops that the transit agency was ready to make users jump through in order to get a new one, until they added a special hotline to transfer balances, in response to criticism. We need an accounting of why this was going to happen, and how to avoid similar rider-unfriendly moves in the future, but it's great to see SEPTA act quickly and responsively after the problem was pointed out to them. 

Ather Sharif created some visualizations of SEPTA's elevator outages and posted a new article with the story behind the Unlock Philly team who put it together in an effort to make the transit agency more accessible to people with disabilities.


The backward ideas guiding Council President Clarke's new Zoning Code Review Commission and a separate 'Single Family Preservation Overlay' bill are the opposite of what a Council that took its own rhetoric on climate change would be doing, writes planner Alex Schieferdecker. "Philadelphia’s leaders frequently talk about mitigating climate change. In fact, the proposed legislation to create a review board briefly mentions it. But the Council president’s companion bill, and his public statements, make clear that the motivation for these initiatives is to limit multifamily developments and mandate more parking. As a result, this legislation threatens to become a major step backward. There’s a reason why cities including Buffalo, Minneapolis, and San Diego, are eliminating minimum parking laws and significantly increasing the types of new buildings allowed in zoning."

Passyunk Square Civic Association previews the specs from two development proposals for the 1100 Wharton municipal complex area near Wharton and 11th and asks Passyunk Square residents to weigh in on their preferred option. 


WHYY profiles the difficulty in maintaining and advocating for a green space in, of all places, Old City.  The Commerce Street Connector received a design grant from Community Design Collaborative and a group is working to raise the funding necessary to revitalize this space.

Star News came to a Jane's Walk of Frankford Avenue in Kensington hosted by 5th Square volunteer James Gitto and Feet First Philly's Chloe Finigan. It profiles four intersections along this corridor and the problems at each for pedestrians and cyclists.


The 2019 Registered Community Organization (RCO) registration period will be open from June 1st to June 30th

2019 RCO Training - This free workshop is for members of existing RCOs (Registered Community Organizations) and for groups considering applying as an RCO. The presentation-style format will walk you through the approvals process for any construction project in Philadelphia and the roles of the Planning Commission, Civic Design Review board, Zoning Board of Adjustment, the Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I) and RCOs. Training sessions will be held on June 6th at 12:30 PM and June 12th at 5:30 PM. 

In Philadelphia every summer, there are over 500 streets designated as “Play Streets”, which are streets closed off to traffic where neighborhood children can receive a meal and play together. In order to make those Play Streets more playful, Fab Youth Philly ( created the Play Captain Initiative (, which is a summer job for teens. Those teens will create and lead play activities on a number of Play Streets throughout Philadelphia. Due 6/17.

Volunteer with your friends & family at Philly Free Streets!  Philly Free Streets will be back on North Broad Street on Saturday, August 3 from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. from City Hall to Butler Street and Germantown Ave. Each year, volunteers have helped make Philly Free Streets possible! 2019 will be no different! Sign up for a shift today with your family & friends. Volunteers can be 14+

National Youth Bike Council is seeking Philadelphia volunteer activists.

State Farm Neighborhood Assist is back to help even the smallest of causes make a big impact in their communities. The program awards $25,000 grants to 40 nonprofit organizations to help fund neighborhood projects involved in Education, Safety, and Community Development. We're accepting 2,000 submissions starting June 5th, and we'll need your help to decide who wins!

Wetlands Park RFP: Design Services for a Delaware River Wetland Park for South Philadelphia. The Delaware River Waterfront Corporation (DRWC) requests proposals from qualified interdisciplinary design teams to develop ecologically- and community-centered concepts for a unique riverfront ecological park on the Delaware River.



The City of Philadelphia is seeking a Coalition Organizer for Philly Counts 2020

The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society is seeking a Director of Organizational Effectiveness

New Jersey Future is looking for a skilled, organized, motivated individual to manage communications, working committees and member relations for Jersey Water Works, a large and growing collaborative focused on transforming New Jersey’s inadequate water infrastructure.

Sidecar is seeking a Senior JavaScript Engineer

Temple University is hiring a Director of Sustainability

Johnson, Mirmiran & Thompson (JMT) is seeking a program manager for an increasing number of large capital construction programs in the Philadelphia region.

The Philadelphia 76ers organization is seeking a data scientist

Connect the Dots, a civic engagement company specializing in innovative, inclusive community and stakeholder engagement is looking to develop a pool of associates and collaborators to bring in on civic engagement projects in Philadelphia. looking for designers, community organizers, facilitators, researchers and more; email [email protected]

The South of South Neighborhood Association's (SOSNA) Vision Zero Committee is in search of a Summer Intern/Work Study Student (graduate or undergraduate). stipend is available.

Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC) is seeking a Director, Community Investment

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