PlanPhilly

Traffic & Transportation

    • Vision Zero Action Plan: Current conditions of Philadelphia street safety

Council President Clarke calls for Vision Zero implementation plan, despite existence of city’s Vision Zero Action Plan

In response to the death of Peter Javsicas, a multimodal transportation advocate who was hit by a driver on Tuesday while walking on the sidewalk near 16th Street and John…

    • 16th and JFK Boulevard, June 14, 2017

Advocate for multimodal transportation killed in crash at 16th and JFK

Peter Javsicas, a beloved figure in Philadelphia’s small world of transportation engineers and planners and Mt. Airy resident, died Tuesday evening of injuries sustained after a motorist jumped the sidewalk curb…

    • Taxi | Emma Lee / WHYY

Taxicabs’ lawsuit against PPA survives legal challenge, seeks $558 million in damages

A lawsuit by more than 130 medallion taxicab companies against the Philadelphia Parking Authority (PPA) alleging a violation of the companies’ constitutional rights survived a preliminary motion to dismiss on Monday.…

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ABOUT TRAFFIC & TRANSPORTATION

A region’s transportation network is its skeleton and its veins, providing the structure and framework for people to live and circulate. This network can encourage smart and sensitive development, or it can foster living habits that cause unsustainable and environmentally harmful development patterns.

Transportation networks for most metropolitan areas in the country changed dramatically after the Federal Highway Act of 1956, which appropriated $41 billion to construct 41,000 miles of interstate roads. This sparked a sudden transformation of the urban landscape, with more and more people moving out of the city and into low-density suburban developments.

Today, we are a suburban nation, and the automobile has become the only way to travel for most Americans. Roads continue to expand, people move further away from places of work and commerce, and cities continue to struggle because of shrinking populations and tax bases. Metro areas have become so decentralized away from cities that auto congestion is significantly increasing, even as our federal government transportation dollars are predominantly dedicated to widening our road systems. Attempts to ease road congestion by building more driving lanes have had limited success, as the street-widening often brings more drivers onto the roads. Such street designs makes alternate transportation methods impossible, as walking or biking are too dangerous and sprawl communities are too spread-out and disjointed to support a public mass transit or bus system.

With President Obama’s “economic stimulus” bill, there has been a new focus on dedicating federal dollars to alternate transportation projects such as public transit. In fact, the two largest transit stimulus projects are occurring in Philadelphia: the renovation of the Girard Avenue and Spring Garden Street stations along the Broad Street Line ($25 million).

Many cities change their land use planning and regulations to encourage development around important road intersections or public transportation centers using a model known as Transit Oriented Development. Such smart growth ideas will be the model going forward, especially as we get closer to costing out the true cost of driving individual automobiles everywhere.

UPCOMING EVENTS IN TRAFFIC & TRANSPORTATION

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