As 2022 comes to a close, the Streets Department is taking a look back at its achievements this year. While the Department has faced various obstacles battling back from the pandemic, it has met its challenges head on while continuing to deliver its core services and make improvement to services where needed. Below is just a snapshot of the highlights of the year. The Streets Department would like to thank all the block captains, community groups and city agencies for partnering with us on various initiatives to keep our city clean, green and safe. We look forward to continuing to work with you in the new year.
Announced a historic win against illegal dumping
For the first time ever, an offender was not only caught illegal dumping, but they were held accountable through civil prosecution. Through the Streets Department’s initiative to take action against illegal dumpers and not just continuously complete cleanups around the city, an offender was found to be in violation of the Philadelphia Code and ordered to pay over $10,700 in total penalties that consists of a $5,000 fine and over $5,700 in abatement cleanup costs.
Launched trial installations for the Philly Streetlight Improvement Project
The trial installations for the Philly Streetlight Improvement Project (PSIP), a comprehensive light emitting diode (LED) street lighting, controls and networking project launched in November. The trial installations kick-off the stakeholder engagement period for the multi-year, citywide project to convert over 120,000 streetlights to LED fixtures. The project is designed to reduce energy costs, improve operations and maintenance capabilities, and enhance nighttime visibility for pedestrians and motorists.
Successfully removed over one million pounds of trash and debris from city streets
A total of 16,307 miles were cleaned and 1,485,300 pounds (742.65 tons) of debris was removed through the City’s Mechanical Cleaning Pilot Program. The program includes a hybrid of mechanical sweeping, sidewalk litter and trash removal, and trash compactor removal. The program operates in 14 neighborhoods.
Construction began on the Montgomery Avenue Bridge
The project includes the construction of a new single-span, steel, composite, multi-girder superstructure with a reinforced concrete deck supported by full height reinforced concrete abutments. Project also includes construction of moment slabs in the bridge approaches, new curb and sidewalk, street lighting, ADA curb ramps, and other miscellaneous construction, as well as construction of a portion of the brick roadway in the bridge approach.
Maintained on-time trash collection rate above 90%
The Streets Department has consistently maintained an on-time trash collection rate above 90%, surpassing the last nine years. The Department instituted a second shift of trash and recycling collection crews which has significantly reduced collection delays.
Launched Streetery License Application as part of the City’s Outdoor Dining Program
On Tuesday, November 15 the Streets Department announced that the Streetery license application for the City’s permanent Outdoor Dining Program was available for outdoor dining applicants. The Streetery license is part of the regulations for streeteries, providing restaurant owners with new annual licensing options for a type of outdoor dining authorized in the parking lane on city streets.
Increased illegal dumping crews allowing for improved response time of cleaning and removing dumped debris
Thanks to the leadership of Mayor Kenny and administration officials allocating funds to staff an additional illegal dumping crew the response time to remove illegally dumped debris improved. This initiative supports the Department’s proactive strategy of tackling illegal dumping and preventing piles of debris sitting at locations for an extended period causing unsightly eyesores in our neighborhoods.
Won Project of the Year: Frankford-Trenton-York Roundabout
Streets Department and our on-call designer McCormick Taylor received “2022 Project of the Year” award for the Frankford-Trenton-York Roundabout Project from the Mid-Atlantic Section of Institute of Transportation Engineers.
Active and consistent monitoring of the surveillance camera network
Streets continues to coordinate efforts with law enforcement and technology partners to create a vast Citywide network of illegal trash dump surveillance cameras in strategically targeted areas of the city known for such activity. Streets added cameras to be more responsive to areas of illegal dumping and will continue to expand the number of mobile and stationary cameras.
Construction began on the Cobbs Creek Parkway Guide Rail Improvement Project
The project involves removing and replacement of the guiderail and concrete curb, as well as other improvements to the Cobbs Creek Parkway corridor between Woodland Avenue and Springfield Avenue. The improvements include, but are not limited, installing temporary and permanent pavement markings, replacing cement concrete sidewalk in limited areas, constructing underground electric conduit, installing new street light foundations and poles, replacing existing streetlights with LED lights, and tree trimming.
Launched Keep It Clean Philly Facebook Live Series
Using the power of social media, the Streets Department launched its Keep it Clean Philly series where videos of targeted cleaning are captured live on Facebook. Each week an area of the city is targeted for a massive cleaning effort, bringing in heavy equipment such as backhoes and dump trucks along with flusher trucks and street sweepers. Dozens of Streets Department employees also join in on the efforts with hand brooms, rakes, backpack blowers and equipment. Community residents and city departmental and other local officials are “interviewed” on priority initiatives that tackle litter and dumping within specific neighborhoods.
Completed construction on the first two Neighborhood Slow Zones – Fairhill and Willard
Worked with the Office of Transportation, Infrastructure, and Sustainability to complete work on the City’s first two Neighborhood Slow Zones.
- Speed cushions at over 20 locations
- Intersection improvements consisting of delineated corner clearances and turn wedges
- Painted curb extensions at two locations on Glenwood Avenue
- Traffic Calming through updated pavement markings on N. 3rd St.
- New instructional street signs
- New and refreshed pavement markings
- A reduced 20 MPH speed limit
Hosted first ever Philly Fall Cleanup on October 8
In honor of the 15th year of community cleaning partnerships, Streets hosted a fall version of the Philly Spring Cleanup (PSC) on Saturday, October 8. The annual PSC is the largest single-day cleanup event in the city. PSC has become a Philadelphia tradition that brings neighbors together with one common goal of keeping their city clean and motivating those around them to do the same.
Results of the Fall Cleanup:
- 275 projects
- 75 tons or 289,500 pounds of trash
- 46 tons or 22,920 pounds of tires
Construction Began on the Parkside Avenue Vision Zero Project
The project involves the construction of pedestrian and bus boarding islands, ADA curb ramps, a multi-use trail, curb alignment, traffic signal upgrades at 52nd Street and Parkside Avenue, and a new traffic signal at 50th Street and Parkside Avenue. Work will also consist of new signage and improvements to street lighting at the intersection of 52nd Street and Merion Avenue.
Traffic Engineering installed:
- 402 pedestrian countdown signals at high pedestrian and vehicular crash intersections
- 287 100% recycled rubber speed cushions and 15 100% recycled rubber speed tables
- Neighborhood efforts included curbside tagging programs that provided residential feedback and data on contamination and participation
- Citywide efforts include airing of a grant funded video during an 11month campaign on cable and streaming stations and local movie theaters to garner over 40,000 monthly impressions.
Construction projects completed this year include:
- Make Way for Children (Willard & Barry Schools)
- Make Way for Children (Snyder Avenue)
- Manayunk Trail Bridge Lighting
- Thomas Paine Historic
- Main Street Streetscape
- Frankford & Belgrade Signal/ Reconstruction
Projects that completed design and were awarded construction this year:
- Washington Avenue
- Parkside Avenue Safety Improvement
- MLK Bridge Rehabilitation
- Island Avenue Reconstruction
- Filled 57,973 potholes
Plans for 2023 include:
- Expansion of the Mechanical Cleaning Program
- Continue to stand up the School Crossing Guard Program
- A third illegal dumping crew is expected to be staffed
- Continued expansion of the surveillance cameras that will include mobile cameras to allow for relocation when necessary
- The department will continue to work both on citywide efforts and targeted neighborhood-based campaigns to encourage recycling the right way, reducing contamination and increasing tonnage.