PlanPhilly

Traffic & Transportation

    • SEPTA GM Jeff Knueppel and Uber GM for PA John Feldman announce 40% off regional rail Uber deal

SEPTA announces discount program with Uber for rides to, from 11 regional rail stations

SEPTA announced a 14-week pilot program with Uber to provide discounted rides to and from 11 of SEPTA’s regional rail stations. The transportation providers held a press conference today at SEPTA’s…

    • Public school funding advocates hold signs in protest before the start of the PPA meeting as security looks on

PPA lambasted by education advocates over recent amendments to UberX, Lyft legalization bill

If you go to Fairmount Park or Rittenhouse Square on one of these sunny afternoons, you’ll see some little children, running around, playing with nature’s toys—sticks and stones—and generally having a…

    • The Walt Whitman Bridge, opened in 1957, is the second oldest of the area's four Delaware River Bridges. Photo courtesy of DRPA

Port Authority unions get first raises since 2010, absent a Christie veto

After years of working without a raise, the Delaware River Port Authority’s (DRPA) unions are poised to sign new collective bargaining agreements. At their meeting Wednesday, the DRPA board voted to…

VIEW MORE

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

VIEW MORE

Logging in via Facebook

Log in

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Which weekly emails would you like to receive?