Newsletter: Indie Council Candidates Talk Transit, Streets, and Planning, ZBA Meeting for Waterfront Super-Wawa, Urbanist Jobs Galore!

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 93


Lombard Street needs a protected bike lane!

Lombard Street is being repaved and the City doesn't have any plans to protect this vital stretch that connects cyclists with the South Street Bridge.


Our petition to Councilmember Johnson and The Philadelphia School has almost 500 signatures so far, mostly from near neighbors, and we're doing one final push to reach local supporters. Sign and share it with any friends who ride the South Street bridge!



Say NO to a huge gas station proposed for the Delaware River waterfront!

The Central Delaware Overlay is designed to prevent more auto-oriented land uses like this, and we need to protect that vision. The future of the waterfront is walkable, bikeable, and mixed-use; no more suburban style development!

The fate of the new super-sized Wawa convenience store with riverfront gas tanks will be decided at the Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) hearing on September 25th at 2pm.

We stand with the neighbors in Pennsport opposing this project that would be a key setback for the City's vision of a sustainable waterfront. 

Come to the ZBA hearing on the 25th to make your voice heard!


The November 5th Election is coming up! Visit Our Election Center, now updated for the 2019 General Election.

Need to brush up on where local candidates stand on transit, streets, planning, and public space issues?

Read questionnaire responses from City Council candidates on the ballot this November, including most of the Democratic Council primary winners; Working Families Party's Kendra Brooks and Nicolas O'Rourke; and Independent candidate Joe Cox.



Thursday, September 19th, 6 pm - 9 pm
Urban Geek Drinks - September Convening
This September, Urban Geek Drinks will visit Triple Bottom Brewing. Whether you’re a transit fan, zoning geek, garden lover, biking enthusiast, civic do-gooder, or just someone who likes making new friends, join UGD for a beer and conversation.

Wednesday, September 25th, 7:30 am - 10 am
Urban Infrastructure: How SEPTA, oTIS and DRWC are Connecting Communities
WTS Philadelphia PhilaLink Committee hosts a program with four local mobility celebs, including outgoing SEPTA GM Jeff Kneuppel, discussing what the future of transportation planning holds for the Delaware River waterfront. 

Friday, September 27th, 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
W/T/F Cycling Mixer 2.0
Hosted by the Bicycle Coalition, this event brings together trans, femme, women and/or nonbinary members of the Philly cycling community. Come learn about race teams, nonprofit programs, and beginner-friendly events in the region while enjoying some light food and beverages. 

Sunday, September 29th, 11 am - 3 pm
Cargo & Family Bike Day
September 29th is Cargo & Family Bike Day so let's celebrate! It's not really an official holiday yet, but hey, somebody has to get the party started. Firth & Wilson Transport Cycles will have their cargo bikes out for test rides.

Sunday, September 29th, 4:30 pm
*** 5th Square Hosted Event: Motherload Community Screening ***
Join 5th Square and partners as we present a screening of Motherload at the Bok in South Philly. Searching for freedom and connection in a gas-powered, digital and divided world. MOTHERLOAD is a crowdsourced documentary about a new mother’s quest to understand the increasing isolation and disconnection of the digital age, its planetary impact, and how cargo bikes could be an antidote. 



A new report from Drexel's Lindy Institute recommends ways for the City to streamline the approval process for citizens to create pedestrian plazas, parklets, bike corrals, and other improvements in the public Right of Way, as well as solve other problems with insuring and funding citizen-created public spaces.

Read the full report, and stay tuned for ways you can get involved in a forthcoming campaign from 5th Square and partners that will call on Mayor Kenney and City Council to implement these recommendations. 

PHA's new Norris Homes development got rave reviews at Civic Design Review, and represents exactly the kind of good urbanism principles we hope to see incorporated into more of our new public and workforce housing. Like Paseo Verde before it, the new Norris Homes show that a walkable urban middle-ground option is possible for publicly-supported housing that achieves some density without replicating the problems of the tower block model that's fallen out of favor.

New statistics on speeding tickets released by the Pennsylvania courts show Philadelphia police issued barely any tickets for speeding in school zones over the 4-year period between 2014 and 2018. While police in Allegheny County, which contains Pittsburgh, wrote 3,646 tickets during that span, Philadelphia police wrote only 41. In 2018, Philly cops wrote only three school zone speeding tickets to our famously well-behaved drivers. The data underscore why we need the state legislature to expand on the speed camera legislation they just passed for Roosevelt Boulevard, and authorize municipalities to use automated photo-enforcement in school zones across the state. 

Why do we allow parked cars to block bike lanes across the city on weekends and holidays? Dozens of houses of worship are granted relaxed parking enforcement for services.  A recent article quotes 5th Square volunteer Dave Brindley, "Their transportation perspective is more behind a steering wheel than a handlebar. They don’t understand how dangerous parking in a bike lane is."

In very welcome news for Chestnut St congestion in Center City, Philly is smartly placing loading zones and bike share stations in space formerly reserved for parking.

ioby, a non-profit crowdfunding start-up focused on the civic sector is exploring expanding to Philadelphia. They have a survey for residents about their perceptions of the nonprofit sector, grassroots work in their neighborhoods, and the degree to which they trust local government and private institutions.

For more about ioby, visit

Link to survey:

Note: By submitting this survey before 11:59PM EDT on September 20, you're also entering for a chance to win one of three $100 Amazon gift cards.


Fitler Square Neighborhood Association is seeking Board Members.

Queen Village Neighbors Association is seeking Board of Directors candidates for 2020-2021.

Bella Vista Neighbors Association is looking to fill an interim board position



The Equitable Public Space Fund will award 2-year grants of $10,000 to $25,000 per year to groups that use community organizing to promote equitable public space in Philadelphia and Camden

The Office of Arts, Culture and The Creative Economy (OACCE) Culture in Neighborhoods program transforms Philadelphia’s public indoor spaces into
neighborhood hubs of creativity. Proposals will be accepted until January 3, 2020 for events that will take place between August 2019 – February 2020. 

The Delaware River Waterfront Corporation (DRWC) invites bids for the construction of the Delaware River Trail -- On-Road Section (the "trail") to be constructed along the eastern side of Columbus Boulevard from Washington Avenue to Spring Garden Streets, in Philadelphia, PA.

The New Leaders Council is holding their NLC Institute starting January 2020 and is seeking applicants. NLC equips its Fellows with the skills to run for office, manage campaigns, launch businesses, create starts ups and network with thought leaders. The NLC Institute is an intensive, five-month progressive entrepreneurship training program. (Due 10/1)

Women candidates of PA: In 2020 @Emerge_PA is running its traditional 6 month cohort program AND a shorter bootcamp for active 2020 candidates (who can't commit to a 6 month program).

Rebuild is seeking a team that will assist with carrying out community engagement, outreach, and communications efforts that advance Rebuild’s engagement goals and help raise the overall visibility of the initiative and its programs. Successful Applicants may be a single entity or a team comprised of multiple partners.

Rebuild is also posting its Contract Opportunities

The Penn Community Scholars Program is a 12-session training series being offered to representatives of community-based organizations interested in learning more about the research process and building community-academic partnerships. Program components include: an introduction to community-academic partnerships, challenges and opportunities partnering with academics, building a logic model, evaluating impact, developing a winning pitch, and more. The program concludes in a culminating symposium where Scholars pitch their ideas to a panel of funders and academics.


The Managing Director’s Office of Transportation, Infrastructure, and Sustainability (oTIS) of the City of Philadelphia is seeking a Vision Zero Communications Manager and a Deputy Director of Complete Streets

The Jamie for West Philly campaign seeks talented and diverse team of candidates interested in staffing the 3rd District Council office beginning January 2020

The Office of Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson (2nd District) seeks a motivated individual who is committed to public service to serve as Communications Liaison.

Center City District is hiring a Vice President for Operations: Parks & Public Spaces, a Director of Research, Community Service Representatives, and Part-time Staff

The Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia (SBN) is seeking a Communications Manager

Pennsylvania Land Trust Association is seeking a Director of Advocacy

Philadelphia Parks & Recreation (PPR) is seeking a Director of Program Design and Development

Brandywine Realty Trust is seeking a Business Development Representative

Defender Association of Philadelphia is seeking a Communications Director

The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) is seeking a Research Analyst for its Office of Community and Economic Development and a Back End Developer to plan, develop, and maintain data APIs for web and intranet applications.

The Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation (PCDC) is searching for a Site Director to manage its Out-of-School Time (OST) program for High School Youth.

Cohere is seeking a Studio Coordinator, Digital Marketing Coordinator, Interns

Conservation Voters of PA, a pro-environment political organization seeking to elect environmental champions this November, seeks to hire dynamic, effective, and energetic Field Canvassers.

The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage is seeking a Communications & Digital Media Associate

Philadelphia's Office of Property Assessment is seeking Real Property Evaluators

Comcast is hiring a Director, Data & Analytics

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia is hiring a Manager, Creative Solutions

The Green Infrastructure Leadership Exchange, a start-up, member-based non-profit initiative seeking to transform water infrastructure throughout North America, is seeking a Communications & Partnerships Specialist

WSP is currently initiating a search for a Planning and Environment Manager

The William Penn Foundation is seeking a Program Officer.  As a member of the Great Learning team, the Program Officer’s primary responsibility will be to lead grantmaking focused on instructional improvement to increase the number of children in Philadelphia reading on grade level by the end of third grade.  

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. Support our advocacy with a recurring monthly contribution of $5.