PHILADELPHIA — The Office of Transportation, Infrastructure and Sustainability (OTIS) released today CONNECT: Philadelphia’s Strategic Transportation Plan Progress Update 2021.
In October of 2018, OTIS released CONNECT to set the values, goals, strategies, and deliverables to guide transportation decisions for the period 2018-2025. This report measures the City’s progress towards delivering on these goals. It evaluates progress on 100+ deliverables in the plan and highlights challenges and successes.
“In 2018, I committed my administration to work towards a future where our transportation system benefits everyone,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “The COVID-19 pandemic and economic recession created one of the most challenging years ever in City government. While many of our initiatives have been delayed or reshaped by the pandemic, we’re proud that we’re still moving forward on all of the major goals that we set out in the CONNECT Plan in 2018.”
In 2018, the promise of more federal funding was uncertain at best. Now, the City is working in close partnership with our federal delegation to work towards a generational investment in infrastructure.
“This is a significant opportunity, but one that brings its own set of challenges. We must work diligently to ensure that we choose the right projects, address bottlenecks to make sure projects are delivered, and ensure that the jobs resulting from City contracts build wealth for Philadelphia residents, especially in minority communities,” said Deputy Managing Director for Transportation Mike Carroll.
Key highlights from the report include successes and challenges for each goal set forth in 2018 along with proposed strategies and deliverables:
- Vision Zero
- Success: Installation of automated speed enforcement cameras on Roosevelt Boulevard in Summer 2020. Initial results indicate a 93 percent drop in speeding violations since the warning period started.
- Challenges: There was an unprecedented increase in traffic fatalities during the pandemic where 156 people were killed in crashes, an 88 percent increase over 2019 overall.
- Transit First
- Successes: In 2021, the City released the first comprehensive transit plan for Philadelphia in 100 years. This plan features a range of policies and projects that the City will work with SEPTA and other partners to advance in coming years, including a slate of bus priority projects and a vision for the future of Regional Rail. The new pilot bus lanes on Market Street and JFK Boulevard, the first in Philadelphia in decades, are a step towards this vision.
- Challenges: Trolley modernization is the City’s top priority for large transit infrastructure spending. While some progress has been made, the project is still 10+ years away from completion. Funding remains the primary obstacle to seeing the program come to fruition.
- Great Streets
- Successes: American Street, the first road with raised bicycle lanes in Philadelphia. Other projects delivered include: Roundabout at Frankford/Trenton/York, 11th Street 2-way protected bicycle lanes, Parkside Avenue Safety Project, Spruce and Pine safety improvements, 22nd Street protected bicycle lane.
- Challenges: As of October 2021, we have delivered 19.4 protected bike lane miles. While there are many additional protected bike lane projects in the pipeline, it will take significant effort and support to deliver 40 miles by 2025.
- A Competitive City
- Successes: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Philadelphia moved quickly to permit outdoor dining. In the matter of months, more than 750 restaurants benefited from the program, helping to save thousands of jobs and businesses during the economic crisis.
- Challenges: Pandemic-related changes in work and travel patterns mean congestion has changed in Philadelphia, but it hasn’t disappeared. To address ongoing congestion and safety concerns, the City developed a package of State and local bills to address both congestion and safety simultaneously.
- Efficient Government
- Successes: The City of Philadelphia’s Municipal Clean Fleet Plan lays out a strategy to transition the City’s fleet – which represents around 13% of the municipal government’s carbon footprint – to clean and electric vehicles. This transition will allow the City to lead by example in reducing carbon pollution.
- Challenges: The FY2022 City budget makes the largest ever investment in paving and street maintenance. However, the drastically increasing cost of providing accessible improvements will continue to limit Philadelphia’s ability to meet paving goals.
CONNECT is the City of Philadelphia’s Strategic Transportation Plan for the years 2018 through 2025. CONNECT is informed by insights from data analysis and civic engagement that highlight the transportation opportunities and challenges that Philadelphia faces.