Peace out, potholes! It’s paving season!
Philly kicked off the start of its annual campaign against its notoriously busted streets on Wednesday with the release of multiple online tools for tracking progress on Mayor Jim Kenney’s $200 million election-year promise to improve the condition of city streets.
PavePHL is an interactive map that shows when and where paving crews are working so residents can know when to expect trucks on their neighborhood streets, and when they can expect to see the trucks leave and the blacktop fresh.
The map shares a page with PermitPHL, a permit map, and two more maps to come: PlowPHL, which tracks snow removal, and PickupPHL, which tracks trash and recycling pick-up.
More than 95 miles of city streets are expected to be paved by the end of 2019 and those streets can be identified on a list shared in a data-rich publication dedicated to the battle on potholes.
There’s also a video, complete with a jazzy score, offering a look into the process of repaving.
Streets commissioner Carlton Williams described the interactive tools as a way to “make the paving process more transparent.”
He called them “another way the Streets Department is communicating with residents about what they should expect when their street is getting repaved,” said Williams.
The action is part of a more than $200 million capital program geared toward repaving 131 miles of street every year by 2025. Kenney plans to spend more on the project than any other capital initiative, accounting for nearly 20% of the city’s proposed capital budget.
“We have been able to gradually increase our paved miles each year,” said Williams. “Adding a second paving crew last year and new equipment has helped us get closer to our goal of repaving 131 miles annually.”
The mayor also proposes to allocate funding to the Streets Department for an additional crew of more than 30 people as well as new equipment to help the city reach its goal.
Philadelphia’s repaving efforts for the city’s nearly 2,600 miles of streets cratered after 2009. Around that time, the city reportedly redirected two-thirds of its paving funds toward installing federally mandated ADA curb cuts.
It went from 119 miles in 2009 to only 34 miles in 2014. However, the numbers have crept up since then. They reached 77 miles in 2018.
The city expects to reach and maintain 131 miles of street improvement annually between 2020 and 2023.