Newsletter: Party in the Concourse for 5th Square's 2019 Council Slate, SEPTA's Bus Map Upgrade

Come to a dance party fundraiser in the Concourse, and help raise money to support 5th Square's 2019 City Council slate!

Meet the candidates and other 5th Square supporters and volunteers who are getting involved to elect a pro-transit, pro-bike, pro-housing City Council on May 21st.

It's happening at Concourse Dance Bar (1635 Market St), on Thursday, March 28th from 5:30 to 8:30 PM. RSVP

Each ticket comes with two-hour open bar (beer/wine) and light food. Jump in the adult BALL PIT or just dance to the music from guest DJ Andy PryTicket levels start at $60

The venue is ADA accessible and the event is kid friendly.

Get your ticket here, and invite your friends!



Wednesday, March 6, 5:30 pm - 7 pm
Frankford/York/Trenton Ave. Roundabout Informational Meeting
The Philadelphia Streets Department is hosting an informational meeting concerning the proposed roundabout at the Frankford Ave. / E. York St. / Trenton Ave. intersection. Come weigh in on improvements to this notoriously dangerous intersection.

Saturday, March 9, 10 am - 1 pm
Climate Dads Field Trips: John Heinz Wildlife Refuge
In partnership with the best environmental educators from across Philadelphia, Climate Dads is collaborating to create a series of free tours of the city's hidden gems of sustainability-focused learning. Families with children of all ages are invited to join.

Saturday, March 9, 1 pm - 3 pm
Notary and Petition Party for Helen Gym
Come to a notary and petition party for Helen Gym in West Philly. If you haven't signed Helen's petition yet, stop by. If you need to get your petitions notarized, there will be a notary at the event.

Mondays and Wednesdays, March 4 – April 3, 6 pm - 8 pm
Preservation Alliance: Building Philadelphia Speaker Series

The Preservation Alliance presents a 10-part series with local architects, urban planners, archaeologists, and historians exploring the political, economic, and design trends that drove Philadelphia’s development. Topics include major urban planning projects such as the Ben Franklin Parkway and Society Hill, Philadelphia's varied architectural styles, and immigrant history.


Saturday, March 16, 10:00 am
Vision Zero Conference 2019
This year's Vision Zero Conference will feature a mobile workshop/walking tour of some of the city's Vision Zero projects, breakout sessions organized around themes of planning, equity, and implementation, talks by city Managing Director Brian Abernathy, transportation expert and founder of Black Women Bike DC Veronica Davis, and Mayor Jim Kenney, and a post-conference happy hour.

Thursday, March 28, 5:30 pm - 8:30 pm
5th Square Dance Party Fundraiser in the Concourse
Come celebrate and support 5th Square's 2019 City Council slate at Concourse Dance Bar!

Saturday, March 30, 9:00 am - 5:30 pm 
TransportationCamp PHL 2019

Organized by Young Professionals in Transportation, Women’s Transportation Seminar, and Drexel University, TransportationCamp is a day filled with ideas at the intersection of transportation, technology, and urbanism. The participant-driven conference series follows the “unconference” format, making for a more active and participatory event.



Inga Saffron explains the high cost of Councilmanic Prerogative and how the practices prolongs neighborhood blight, encourages petty corruption, and makes our streets less safe. "If Philadelphia ever hopes to realize its potential as a modern city, it’s going to need a constitution fit for the 21st century anyway. One where councilmanic prerogative doesn’t have the final word on the look of the city." In our 2019 City Council questionnaire, we've asked candidates to commit to ending Councilmanic Prerogative over street changes, which is the biggest obstacle to quickly implementing life-saving pedestrian and bike safety upgrades under Vision Zero.

A Philadelphia City Council committee gave the green-light to the construction of a controversial liquid natural gas plant in Southwest Philly last week, over the objections of neighbors and environmental groups. 


SEPTA is giving its bus network map an upgrade, writes Jason Laughlin for the Inquirer. "SEPTA’s current transit map, the big picture depiction of all buses, subways, and trolleys in the city, shows a web of indistinguishable red lines twisting among city streets." It's about time we upgraded our bus map to be more helpful, emphasizing frequency and connections. Take a look at the proposed new maps on SEPTA's website and let them know what you think. The agency will be soliciting feedback over the next few months before publishing a final version.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike could be headed for 'catastrophic' reckoning reports WITF, and transit could be on the chopping block if state lawmakers don't come up with replacement revenue. Because of a misguided lawsuit on behalf of trucking companies and the National Motorists Association, Pennsylvania is facing the possibility of a severe funding cut to our public transit systems to the tune of $450 million a year, and potential financial ruin for the Turnpike Commission. "Lawmakers are asking what will happen if commission loses the lawsuit and potentially has to pay back its toll money. Richards said she doesn't know exactly, but it wouldn't be good."

Philly is one step closing to having dockless scooters. The Inquirer writes about recent scooter companies' efforts to break into the Philly market. If paired with larger street safety improvements, scooters could be a useful transportation option for short trips that allows us to decongest city streets of the much larger and more dangerous dockless vehicles: automobiles.


PlanPhilly writes about the latest revised plans for the Dilworth House, an historic Society Hill house on Washington Square that has been sitting vacant for years. It's the last lot on Washington Square that could support high-density housing, but even though the developer has proposed incorporating the tiny house into a larger project, Society Hill neighbors still argue it's out of context—even though the context is a park ringed with other high-rises. The Art Commission and the Historical Commission both have the opportunity to end the 20-year legal battle over this project on Wednesday and Friday of this week, and stop giving Society Hill a pass on building their share of new housing.

The slowdown of the national housing market does not appear to be affecting our region. The Inquirer writes, "The region’s low housing supply — while a boon to many sellers who have had their pick of competitive offers — threatens to exacerbate affordability problems that plague the Philadelphia area and nation. High demand and bidding wars can artificially drive up prices, keeping low- and middle-class home shoppers, as well as first-time buyers, out of the market." How can we quickly add housing at a wider range of price points for first-time home buyers? We could start by legalizing triplexes and small apartment buildings citywide, and passing a Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Overlay for all of our BSL, MFL, and regional rail stations.


The AARP Community Challenge grant program is part of the nationwide AARP Livable Communities initiative that helps communities become great places to live for residents of all ages. The grant program will provide funds for community-based “quick-action” projects related to housing, transportation, smart cities and public spaces. The grant application period is open now and closes on April 17.

Jane's Walk 2019 is seeking walk submissions

ULI Philadelphia will celebrate transformational projects within the region with the 6th Annual Willard G. “Bill” Rouse Awards for Excellence. Apply to share your project with a national jury of experts. Finalists and winners are featured in local media. Deadline to apply is extended to March 8th. 

Knight Foundation is inviting nominations for the inaugural Knight Public Spaces Fellowship, intended to recognize leading civic innovators who have created or influenced great public spaces that have transformed communities across America. A small group of selected fellows will share up to $1 million in grants to continue their work. Nominations due March 22nd.

For Teachers: Draw the Lines PA, a statewide civic education and engagement project of the Committee of Seventy, is hosting a redistricting competition for students. Deadline: May 20th.

Rad Girls presents their 5th Annual Rad Awards, a ceremony and celebration honoring inspirational women leaders in the fields of technology, media, culture, and business. Accepting nominations which are due by March 15th, 2019.

The City of Philadelphia seeks a Program Manager to perform programmatic administrative analysis and legislative and regulatory affairs advisory work for the Office of Transportation, Infrastructure and Sustainability (OTIS).

Cedar Park Neighbors is seeking nominations for its Board of Directors.

PennFuture is hiring a Communications Director

Mission First Housing Group is seeking a dynamic Grants Associate

The Post-Landfill Action Network (PLAN) is seeking a Director of Zero Waste Conference Management and Education and a Director of Zero Waste Campus Expansion

Next100, a pop-up policy think tank is seeking policy entrepreneurs.

The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia is seeking the following: Bilingual Bike Share Community Liaison, Bike Share Community Liaison, RFQ for Designer – Neighborhood Bike Maps, RFP for Website Design & Development, and Intern Opportunities.   

Equal Measure is seeking the following: Senior Consultant, Communications, Senior Consultant and Consultant Positions

The City of Philadelphia's Dept of Commerce is seeking a Communications Director.

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.