On race and place, Philadelphia must play by the rules

"Activists with the organization 5th Square support urbanist and sustainable transportation, land-use, and public-space policies. They have specifically led a charge to rationalize the city’s response to illegal parking in the median of South Broad Street." Continue reading

There’s no such thing as free parking in Philly, says economist who calculated how much off-street parking adds to housing prices

Gillen warns that the increased mandatory parking minimums supported by Clarke and Blackwell could have unintended consequences.  Continue reading

City on Broad Street Parking: Cops Have More Important Things to Do

The Broad Street median parking war continues. The city is seeking to dismiss a lawsuit filed last month in Common Pleas Court by an urbanist political action committee that wants to stop cars from parking illegally on the Broad Street median.  Continue reading

MEDIAN MATTERS: What we’re talking about when we talk about South Philly parking wars

"But there is one quirk, one special something, that raises hackles and boils the blood like no other. I talk, of course, of parking on the South Broad Street median." Continue reading

You weren’t the only one: After hundreds of riders accidentally get 2nd Key card, SEPTA pledges to fix kiosks, website

"Together with a few comrades from Code for Philly and the 5th Square, they got together one Sunday afternoon to brainstorm ideas for improving the kiosk’s UX. After about three hours of talking through the kiosks’ design flaws and drawing on a whiteboard, they came up with a few simple fixes that they say would vastly improve the customer’s experience." Continue reading

Guerrilla UX: Exploring a Better Design for the SEPTAkey Kiosk

"Then, folks from Think Company, Code For Philly, and 5th Square met together to discuss the problems with the existing flow and to whiteboard solutions for a better customer experience." Continue reading

Are Philly Urbanists Jumping the Shark With Parking Fight?

“The Broad Street median is a microcosm for how the city has dealt with parking management,” Liefer says. “And the way that they’ve dealt with parking management has been this ad hoc, laissez-faire sort of policy which just says, ‘We’re not going to address it. You figure out a solution.’” Continue reading

Group sues city over median parking in South Philadelphia

"It's a sight that's unique to South Philadelphia: cars lined up in the middle of the street, using the median as a parking space. But just because it's been going on for decades, that doesn't mean everyone is happy about it. That's the basis of a lawsuit being brought against the city by a group called 5th Square." Continue reading

Philly activist sues to stop South Broad median parking; justice for the PPA?

South Philly being South Philly, blowback from residents who rely on the rarely enforced, basically free parking has been strong, 5th Square co-founder and neighborhood resident Jake Leifer told the site: “We’ve also received some pushback from a handful of individuals and the amount of that pushback was significant. It included death threats to myself and my family.” Continue reading

Are plastic bags on the way out in Philadelphia? It's up to Wolf

"In Philly, banning or regulating plastic bags has been seriously considered for a long time, taking a cue from Washington, D.C.’s 5-cent-a-bag charge implemented in 2010. The bag charge is intriguing based on the possible revenue it could bring to the city, which 5th Square estimated at more than $6 million." Continue reading

Not in our yard: Local petition circulates to stop PPA billboards

"In a recent petition introduced by 5th square, a local political action group in the city, the profits from 45 billboards placed in local lots across the city will go to a “slush fund” run by the Philadelphia Parking Authority." Continue reading

Philadelphia Is in a Parking-Related Billboard Fight

"Political action committee 5th Square, which has an urbanist platform, launched a petition Friday to stop 45 planned billboards from going up; there were more than 1,000 signatures by Tuesday." Continue reading

The PPA Wants to Put Billboards in Neighborhood Lots – and Neighbors Aren’t Happy

More than 600 people have publicly opposed the billboards through a petition introduced by 5th Square, an urbanist political action committee that aims to achieve “better transportation, land use and public space for the people,” Continue reading

SEPTA resists petition to end transfer fees

"5th Square, an urbanist political action committee, has circulated a petition urging SEPTA to drop the $1 transfer fee riders pay when switching from one form of mass transit to another. With a modern fare card, SEPTA can now process a transfer automatically" Continue reading

Online petition calls for SEPTA to eliminate $1 transfer fee

5th Square, a local political action committee, launched an online petition on Monday that calls for SEPTA officials to scrap a $1 fee to transfer between most routes to make the system run more efficiently. Continue reading

Commentary: A cleaner Philly starts with you

Featuring 5th Square member: "In West Philadelphia, Dave Brindley decided to use technology to fight litter in his community." Continue reading

*Member Op-Ed: The system for reporting trash, trip hazards and illegally parked cars is broken.

5th Square member Leigh Goldenberg writes, "When we bought our home in our 20s, this little cul-de-sac appealed to us as a quiet refuge in the middle of bustling Passyunk Square. Now, we’re discovering the street can be a terrifying place to raise our 2-year-old daughter, Tilde." Continue reading

Councilmanic prerogative for plants?

"It's their craziest idea yet," the urbanist political-action committee 5th Square wrote in a petition circulated Monday, urging residents to fight the "Planter Power Grab." Continue reading

How a Philly guy, fed up with crashes, built his own bike lane

Featuring 5th Square member and Philly Guy, Dave Brindley.  "The West Philadelphia resident figured he could do something, at least, about the most dangerous spot on his morning commute" Continue reading

Bringing Back the ‘Jay Driver’

Featuring 5th Square Member Jon Geeting -- Open Streets PHL founder Jon Geeting hopes the city hosts these car-free festivals at least three times a year. And thanks to Pope Francis, that may be possible. But Geeting also hopes Free Streets Days will “help change Philadelphians’ conceptions of what our public streets are for.” Continue reading

Illegal Median Parking Battle Divides South Philly Residents

"Median parking practice is technically illegal, but is it dangerous? 5th Square, a political action committee, seems to think so." Continue reading

Philly Mag Says South Broad Parking Enforcement is Picking Up

"Mayor Jim Kenney, a South Philly native, has been publicly noncommittal about the practice, saying that 5th Square and other supporters should win over South Philly residents before any permanent changes are made. But privately, he’s encouraged the PPA to step up its ticketing of the most egregiously misparked cars." Continue reading

South Philly Split on Broad Street Parking

Last month, the 5th Square PAC put out a petition asking Mayor Kenney to permanently ban parking on the Broad Street median, which is temporarily done for major events like the DNC. The petition garnered over 1,000 signatures in its first week.   Continue reading

The muddle in the middle

“Mayor [Jim] Kenney committed to a ‘Vision Zero’ policy for street safety during his 2015 campaign, and South Broad is one of the most dangerous places for pedestrians in the entire city,” the 5th Square PAC charges. “Median parking plays an important part in that, and the DNC provides the perfect opportunity to fix it.” Continue reading

Philly.com Interviews Mayor Kenney about South Broad Street Campaign

"Pushed to take a position, Kenney said he would prefer a 'clearer vista.'" Continue reading

The Citizen's South Broad Poll

"In partnership with BeHeardPhilly, we want to find out what people who live in South Philly really think: Should parking be permanently banned from the South Broad Street median?" Continue reading

Newsworks on South Broad Campaign

"We see a lot of crashes occur, whether it's a pedestrian that crosses and a car doesn't see them because of a parked car," [5th Square co-founder Jake] Liefer said, "or because somebody's opening a car door and there's a 35 mph car going past." Continue reading

CBS Philly on South Broad

“Cars that are trying to parallel park, in a very tiny space, right next to cars going 35 miles per hour, it’s a not a recipe for how a street should be working,” said [5th Square co-founder] Jake Liefer. Continue reading

After DNC, it's back to parking as usual on S. Broad Street

"The median parking is dangerous and ugly, and yet no one has been willing to touch it for fear of political blowback," says the petition by 5th Square, which describes itself as a nonpartisan political action committee that promotes the betterment of city infrastructure. Continue reading

Philly Voice on South Broad Campaign

"5th Square, a political action committee that advocates for a more 'accessible' Philadelphia, started the petition, which calls on Mayor Jim Kenney to make a more open Broad Street a reality." Continue reading

Curbed on South Broad Campaign

  "This week, for the first time in well, ever, the median on South Broad Street is completely free of parked cars, and a new petition wants to keep it that way." Continue reading

Spoke Mag Talks Traffic Safety with Us

“You can have the right policies, but if you don’t have the mindset that this is a problem that needs to be fixed, we won’t get anywhere,” says David Curtis, co-founder of 5th Square, a local political action committee focused on urban policy issues. “We need rapid intervention.” Continue reading

Streetsblog Picks Up 5th Square Rally for Protected Bike Lanes

Streetsblog picks up our rally in which we delivered more than 1,000 petition signatures for rapid protected bike lane installation to Deputy Managing Director Clarena Tolson: "Philly residents can’t wait any longer for safe bikeways... Dozens of people gathered to demand 30 miles of protected bike lanes, and soon." Continue reading

Philly Voice Attends our Rally for Protected Bike Lanes

"Protected bike lanes reduce the conflict points between motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians, 5th Square co-founder David Curtis said. The result is better protection for bikers and less congestion and faster through times for motorists, despite slower top speeds." Continue reading

PlanPhilly Covers our Rally, Notes Urgency of Safe Streets Efforts

"'Every four days, someone is killed by a vehicle, whether walking or in a bike or in another vehicle,' said Clarena Tolson, deputy managing director of the Office of Transportation and Infrastructure Systems (OTIS), who accepted the petition" Continue reading

NBC Philadelphia Recaps Our Safe Streets Rally

"'These grant-funded street upgrades can and must be installed quickly and with as much physical protection as possible as a first step toward make our city's transportation network safer for everyone,' said 5th Square co-founder, David Curtis." Continue reading

Philly Voice Covers 5th Square's Petition for a Safer Frankford Ave

Philly Voice discusses our effort to improve safety on PennDOT-controlled Frankford Avenue throughout the River Wards: "a group dedicated to improving Philadelphia's infrastructure and public spaces is asking PennDOT to make a main Fishtown thoroughfare safer for pedestrians." Continue reading

NBCNEWS: Budget Cuts Force Philadelphians to Clean Their Own Streets

"Philadelphia is the only major American city without a comprehensive street cleaning program. But they do loan out brooms."  NBCNEWS.com interviews 5th Square member Will Tung about Philadelphia's block captain program and lack of citywide street sweeping. Continue reading

Billy Penn Talks with 5th Square about Vision Zero's Benefits for Drivers

Billy Penn talks with 5th Square about how Vision Zero can make life better for people in Philadelphia who walk, bike, and even drive.  Continue reading

Next City Discusses Kenney's Urbanist Appeal, Notes 5th Square Endorsement

Next City discusses Mayor Kenney's appeal to young urbanists who "flocked" to support him, noting 5th Square endorsed Kenney. Continue reading

Philadelphia Magazine Cover Story Highlights 5th Square Team and Ideas

Philadelphia Magazine's February 2016 cover story, "Twenty Smart Transportation Ideas Reshaping the City (and Your Life)," features 5th Square policy ideas and initiatives as well as quotes from co-founder and Interim Chair David Curtis and Advisory Board Member Michael Noda.  Continue reading

Billy Penn Wants Greater Democratic Competition, Names 5th Square as Part of Solution

Billy Penn dives into the decades-long history that led to Philadelphia being a one-party town before highlighting 5th Square as an organization working to establish a more competitive democratic system. Continue reading

PlanPhilly Reviews Transportation Under Nutter, Interviews 5th Square Co-Founder David Curtis

5th Square co-founder and Interim Chair David Curtis gives the Nutter Administration a B+ in transportation, due to lack of progress on street safety. "Despite his disappointment over the dearth of dramatic progress, [Curtis] had mostly positive things to say about the last eight years." Continue reading

StreetsBlog Covers Death of City Hall Parking Lot, Credits 5th Square

Streetsblog celebrates the death of City Hall Parking Lot by saying "The Jim Kenney administration is off to a promising start in Philadelphia. One of the mayor’s first acts in office was to end the thoroughly obnoxious practice of letting government honchos park on the sidewalk "apron" around City Hall — a public space... Ending the practice was on the wish list of urbanist political action group 5th Square." Continue reading

Citified Celebrates Death of City Hall Parking Lot, Credits 5th Square

In one of his very first acts as Mayor, Jim Kenney removes parking privileges for public officials and friends. Citified notes that 5th Square "railed against" parking on the pedestrian plaza around City Hall. We also announced our very first round of endorsements here and asked Jim Kenney to revoke this privilege in our 2015 Candidate Q&A, which he did. Continue reading

Philebrity Nominates 5th Square for Not-For-Profit of The Year

In our very first year of existence, 5th Square has been nominated for Philebrity's 2015 Not-For-Profit of The Year Award!    Continue reading

PlanPhilly Interviews 5th Square Co-Founder David Curtis About Improving Frequencies on SEPTA's Wilmington Line

PlanPhilly interviews co-founder and Interim Chair David Curtis about his efforts to improve frequencies on SEPTA's Wilmington/Newark line. Three daily round-trip trains have been added in the past twelve months. Continue reading

The Citizen Features 5th Square's Effort to Improve Turnout at Local Community Meeting

The Philadelphia Citizen picks up our effort to improve turnout at a community meeting to support mixed-use development on a vacant lot in the Bella Vista neighborhood. Continue reading

South Philly Review Covers Transport Guru Andrew Stober's Council Run, Notes 5th Square Endorsement

South Philly Review sits down with Council At-Large Candidate and 5th Square endorsee Andrew Stober, former Director of the Mayor's Office of Transportation and Utilities (MOTU), and notes our endorsement of the candidate well-versed in all things transportation. Continue reading