Sustainability Initiatives

The Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities takes Mayor Nutter’s challenge, that Philadelphia become the greenest city in America, very seriously. Many of the goals and objectives outlined in Greenworks Philadelphia, are the responsibility of the MOTU and its partners. For the Mayor’s Office these goals represent an opportunity to develop a transportation and utility network that creates a greener Philadelphia.

LED Traffic Lights
Using Federal Department of Energy stimulus funds the Streets Department is replacing the incandescent yellow and green bulbs in traffic signals with LED lighting. The red bulbs are already LEDs, but are nearing the end of their 10-year life, so will also be replaced. This project will reduce the City's traffic light energy consumption by half and save ($700,000 - $1,000,000).

In the three years the Streets Department has also delivered incredible results for tax payers and the environment by improving the City's recycling rate. Philadelphia has made phenomenal progress with recycling, more than doubling the diversion rate since the mayor took office, from 7.5% to 18%. Within one quarter, this has earned the City more than $1 million in revenue and avoided more than $15 million in landfill costs. By combining changes in operations, and significantly boosting our outreach, we have created significant change in the City.

Pedestrian Plazas
The Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities worked with community groups interested in turning underutilized sections of the road into parks. The Streets and Commerce Departments work with local community groups to paint the road (see picture) and install planters, benches and tables. These low cost interventions make our roads safer, more beautiful and more accessible. They also provide the public the chance to sit and enjoy the city’s busy street life. The community groups are responsible for maintaining the spaces, keeping them clean and well tended and the community groups work with the City to manage these spaces: be it hosting a festival or dealing with snow. Just as importantly they work with their neighborhood to make them a success. The City of Philadelphia now boasts two pedestrian plazas with at least two more in the pipeline.

The Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities (MOTU) developed a Parklet Program. This program allows communities from across Philadelphia to request permission to build and maintain Parklets in their neighborhood. MOTU works with businesses and community groups interested in building Parklets to make sure they are designed safely and fit in well with their neighborhood. Philadelphia has a variety of Parklets providing neighborhood porches throughout the City.

Bicycle Corrals
The Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities (MOTU) developed a bicycle corral program allowing businesses, organizations, and residents to apply for a bicycle corral that would take the place of one on-street automobile parking space and replace it with a bicycle corral that could fit up to 12 bicycles. Philadelphia now has 7 on-street bicycle corrals with more being added, totaling an addition of 84 bicycle parking spots!