PlanPhilly

Traffic & Transportation

    • SEPTA fare kiosks, new and old

SEPTA’s proposed fare hikes draw rider ire

SEPTA held a pair of public hearings at its headquarters Monday to solicit feedback on proposed fare changes, which would mark modest price increases that nonetheless could have major impacts…

    • Mock up of conceptual plan for Chestnut Street

Blackwell backs parking-protected bike lane on Chestnut Street at community open house

A modest crowd of cyclists and West Philadelphia residents gathered at the Enterprise Center Wednesday evening to listen to planners from the Office of Transportation and Infrastructure Systems (OTIS) and the…

    • Electric Vehicle parking

Kenney returns electric car parking permit moratorium bill to Council unsigned, will become law

In a letter to City Council, Mayor Jim Kenney said he would not sign a bill passed earlier this month that suspends a program allowing electric vehicle (EV) owners apply for…

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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

  • Apr 27, 2017

SEPTA Community Meeting

6:30PM – 7:30PM
  • May 11, 2017
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