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The Department of Streets is organized by three divisions: Administration, Sanitation, and Transportation.


The Administrative Division provides support services through several units:

  • Administrative Services Unit (Budget and Accounting)
  • Human Resources Unit
  • Information Services and Technology Unit
  • Planning and Public Affairs Unit.


The Sanitation Division manages the City’s solid waste management system. The system includes trash and recycling collection and waste disposal.

The division also cleans illegal dumping sites and disposes of:

  • Abandoned tires.
  • Bulk items.
  • Household hazardous waste.

The division manages community outreach and initiatives to encourage recycling and reduce litter. This includes:


The Highways Unit

The Highways Unit safely maintains Philadelphia streets. The unit:

  • Constructs, repairs, and maintains City streets.
  • Determines how and when streets are excavated.
  • Responds to weather events like snow and ice.

The Highways Unit also includes the Right-of-Way (ROW) Unit. The ROW Unit:

  • Processes permit applications for street closures and temporary occupancies, like block parties and utility work.
  • Reviews plans for projects that impact the sidewalk and/or street.
  • Reviews plans for capital improvement projects that affect transportation infrastructure.

The Survey, Design & Construction Bureau

The Survey, Design & Construction Bureau designs city streets and highways. It also plans and constructs city bridges, through its Bridges Unit. The Survey, Design & Construction Bureau performs all surveying functions for the City, including:

  • Supplying lines and grades.
  • Preparing street maps.
  • Creating plans and other land records.
  • Maintaining all road records and street opening data.

The Traffic Engineering Unit

The Traffic Engineering Unit determines the type and location of all:

  • Signs.
  • Signals.
  • Markings.
  • Devices for regulating traffic.

The Street Lighting Unit

The Street Lighting Unit manages the City’s street lighting system. The unit designs and maintains a network of over 100,000 lights, including:

  • Roadway lights.
  • Pedestrian-scale lights.
  • Alley lights.

The Planning and Analysis Unit

The Planning and Analysis Unit provides strategic planning and analysis support for the other units. Its work includes:

  • Coordinating the bidding of all public works contracts and the solicitation of all professional services contracts for the department.
  • Providing administrative support and coordination for all grant-funded Department of Streets projects.
  • Coordinating new technology solutions for transportation operations and divisions.
  • Coordinating the annual paving program and ADA curb ramp program, including the review of moratorium conflicts on recently paved streets.
    • Reviewing all design plans and accepting as-built inspection records for all ADA curb ramp construction in the city.