This year’s Philly Free Streets program was back on North Broad Street. Despite the brief, but heavy rain, the program proved to attract Philadelphians from neighborhoods across the city, and beyond.
Led by the Managing Director’s Office of Transportation & Infrastructure Systems (oTIS)—and made by possible by presenting sponsor Temple University and AARP Pennsylvania—Philly Free Streets partnered with the community along North Broad Street to bring an 8-mile roundtrip car-free route from Arch Street to Butler Street, just north of Erie Avenue.
At the event, Philly Free Streets volunteers conducted 561 participant surveys. Initial data released by oTIS indicates that Philly Free Streets succeeded in encouraging thousands of residents to participate in active transportation and to discover the history, organizations, institutions, and businesses of North Broad Street.
Here are some of the numbers we’ve collected from 2019’s Philly Free Streets:
Attendees came from neighborhoods across Philadelphia and many had attended Philly Free Streets in the past:
- Fifty-eight percent (58%) of people surveyed reported that they had participated in Philly Free Streets in one or more of the three prior year’s programs.
- Thirty-two percent (32%) of people surveyed reported to have joined Philly Free Streets on North Broad Street in 2018.
- 42 out of 48 Philadelphia zip codes were reported as home zip codes of people surveyed.
- Philly Free Streets was well-attended by North Broad Street neighbors. The zip codes in which the highest number of people reported living were in North Philadelphia: 19130; 19132; 19140.
- One person surveyed was visiting Philadelphia from as far as El Paso, TX and, even farther, from Argentina!
In addition to the surveys, other data sources amplified the program’s success and highlighted the importance of community collaboration.
- The City of Philadelphia welcomed over 20 community organizations to provide activities during Philly Free Streets.
- As a new partner to Philly Free Streets, a young North Philadelphia entrepreneur and fashion designer, Jamil Scurry, hosted his first-ever fashion show highlighting fashion from La’Vanter Boutique at 1334 W. Venango Street.
- Philly Girls Jump—a group of jump-roping women who empower the spirit of fun and build community—celebrated their fourth year partnering with Philly Free Streets.
- In partnership with North Broad Renaissance, the City connected seven North Philadelphians to part-time summer employment at $15/hour. These neighbors conducted neighborhood outreach and served as volunteer coordinators—or Zone Captains—during Philly Free Streets.
- In partnership with SERVE, the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Civic Engagement & Volunteer Service, Philly Free Streets welcomed a record 140 volunteers who, together, volunteered 490 total service hours!
- In partnership with Saint Joseph’s University, Philly Free Streets welcomed a volunteer group of students from China, many of whom were visiting the United States for the first time! The students had a great time in North Philadelphia, and helped conduct participant surveys.
- Indego, the City of Philadelphia-owned bike share system, welcomed riders to explore car-free North Broad Street on two wheels. At Philly Free Streets:
- Over 700 riders took more than 1,200 trips.
- Over 150 people saved money by using Indego’s Philly Free Streets discount code.
- The most-used Indego station was at Broad and Oxford at Sullivan Progress Plaza.